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Canal Life: What does culture mean to you?

Created by Zoe Parker, Lucy Meredith and Jason Hird, Tea & Tolerance is a roaming tea caddy, travelling festivals and events in search of what makes a 21st Century Human. They added questions about culture in Leeds to their teapots at took to the local canals as part of the Flotsam and Jetsom project, collecting answers as they went, and shared the results here.

It was a lovely, sunny day as we made our way along & back a stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool canal. We had a range of participants – some from the Men’s Room in LS14 and others who had got wind of the invite and wanted to join in. So there was a good mix of women and men of different ages from around 30 to 75 years old. There were seventeen people in total across two beautiful barges.

Leeds Liverpool Canal. Image: Flotsam & Jetsom
Calder & Hebble Navigation. Image: Flotsam & Jetsom

What does culture mean to you?
Art. Chips. Food.
Diversity. Colour. Dancing.
An Existential Crisis.

Heading off to Brid.
A couple of days off.
Going out for a meal or two…

One persons culture is another persons…
What does it all mean?
I mean: I like to see artists that I know
Not ones I don’t (& the opposite, of course)
For free, for you and for me…

West Indian Carnival: The oldest in Europe.

A SURPRISE, sometimes.

What could Leeds do better?
Transport. Free parking.
Renovate old buildings.
Events & concerts in the park.
Boat rides on the Lake.

Spend our cash in local areas

(In my day a trip to town was a luxury)

Canal systems & connections
(From East to West, we know best!)

But  a pair of jeans got caught around the propeller. And as the un-picking was done – Let’s clean up our waterways, we said – and I wondered about Shire Horses and slowing right down along the towpath… How about “Traditional” canal boat rides and drays pulling Tetley’s Beer round the streets. The Lord Mayor’s Parade?! A Citizens Celebration, maybe? How about vast City Parks full of trees and the Slowest Ride on Earth..?

Leeds Liverpool Canal. Image: Flotsam & Jetsom
Calder & Hebble Navigation. Image: Flotsam & Jetsom

What ideas do you have to put Leeds on the map?
Show other countries how Leeds works…

Drawing the City
A skyline exchange
Picture your City…

The Tour de France & Triathlons

Integrate the canal system with ‘City Living’ (the fast & the s l o w… )
Always the right time

Dedicated walking routes
Around Yorkshire
From the Leeds Hub…

The Trails of the Dales Centre
Located in LS. Gateway to Beauty



You can read the full write up on the Tea and Tolerance blog.


  1. It would have been great if Tea and Tolerance had credited the art project, funded by Leeds Inspired, that the boat trips were part of. It was called Flotsam and Jetsam and was a Playful Anywhere CIC project in partnership with community boat charity, The Safe Anchor Trust. The decorated boat was a commissioned piece by artist, Gemma Latham.

    The photograph that is accredited “Flotsam and Jetsom” (sic) is not the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, it is the Calder and Hebble Navigation in Kirklees.

    • Leanne Buchan Leanne Buchan

      Hi Marie, sorry about that I’ll edit the article now and make sure that it’s properly credited.

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