>John Betjeman in Leeds
>…Recently, the BBC announced that they were considering showing John Betjeman’s 1968 film A Poet Goes North. For some reason the BBC never showed it, despite commisioning the poet to create what looks to be a poem to a city he admired and the changes that were happening to it under his nose.
Why am I telling you this? Well, despite being full of bygone Leeds stuff (which it may surprise you to know is a bit of a passion of mine), Mr Betjeman visits Whitelocks – and we have a wonderful segment showing some of that wonderful interior work, most of which still exists today.
Whitelocks may have wobbled in terms of beer (both choice and quality) in my times, but you can’t deny that the interior is wonderful, and truly one of a kind in Leeds – only The Garden Gate in Hunslet comes close in my mind, in terms of preservation. Betjeman’s love of Whitelocks, along with the other ‘Alley pubs’ in Leeds was well documented: he declared it to be ‘The very heart of Leeds.’
Keep an eye out for the film: an excerpt can be seen here and the Whitelocks section is towards the end.