'Locks to Legacies' is a new interpretation of the waterways in Leeds. Over five months, a group of 10 incredibly talented young people met weekly at The Lock Keepers house in Leeds and with Canal Connections took a tour of Leeds canal by boat.

The group were presented with new research from Heritage Corner regarding the industrial history of Leeds and it's close ties to both transatlantic slavery and the movement for emancipation and abolishment. Using this often hidden history as a starting point, together the group researched, wrote and produced their own creative responses to the colonial connections of the Leeds canal.

‘Locks to Legacies’ has brought these stories to life for the public to see and hear through an audio tour and exhibition. On Saturday 30th October 2021, the public were invited to join us to celebrate their work. Three QR codes are now situated along the towpath by the Royal Armouries. You can also find links to the audio below:

Listen to ‘Locks to Legacies’ Stop One.

Listen to ‘Locks to Legacies’ Stop Two.

Listen to ‘Locks to Legacies’ Stop Three.

The launch event also premiered the ‘Locks to Legacies’ film, produced by Ashley Karrell. It documents the first week of the project and the beginning of the research process and you can watch it below:

In March 2022, the full podcast episodes (three in total) were launched. You can listen at the link below:

Listen to the podcasts

We hope you will be able to visit the canal walk, scan the QR codes and engage with the project in person - what the group of young people created together is unique, in-depth and expressive.

Thank you to Ignite Yorkshire, We Are IVE, Heritage Corner and Canal Connections. 'Locks to Legacies' is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Leeds Inspired.

Images (including banner) by JMA Photography.