The Time is Now

By February 2, 2015 March 23rd, 2016 Features-Leeds

JLife delves into the latest in the Oakwood Clock restoration, as well as the area’s wealth of offerings.


Following successful fundraising efforts across the community, work has finally started on the restoration of the Oakwood Clock, one of Leeds’ most notable landmarks.


After vivacious campaigning throughout the past couple of years, residents and businesses in North Leeds have seen their efforts succeed, with work on the Oakwood Clock officially commencing. Workmen cut its power on 12th January, dismantling it and taking it away for repair.


The fundraising efforts began as a result of the clock’s worsening state following 100 years facing the brunt of weather conditions. With the possibility of its permanent removal arising on the basis of health and safety grounds, a course of action was soon prompted.


The group co-ordinating the campaign, Oakwood Traders and Residents Association (OTRA), was first set up in 2012 after enquiries made by local resident and councillor Christine Macniven established that the clock didn’t appear on any schedule that Leeds City Council had of buildings in need of repair. Although Christine managed to get it placed on the list, it became apparent that the backlog of such properties meant that it was unlikely to reach the top of the list in time to save it. After becoming aware of this, residents and businessmen decided to take matters into their own hands.


Over the intervening years, the campaign by OTRA has galvanised the many people in North Leeds into action. The Friends of Roundhay Park were quick to lend support, supplying a donation of £1,000. Numerous events and activities followed which increased the funds but it was not until a successful bid was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund that the overall objective looked as if it was going to be achieved. Even then without the generosity of Grahame and Marilyn Stowe, who provided the balance of the funds needed to restore the clock, it was uncertain as to whether the project would ever get off the ground.


As well as collecting the funds to restore the clock, OTRA has provided people who want to demonstrate their support for the clock with the opportunity to buy paving stones with inscriptions of their choice to be laid around it. The funds collected by this initiative are being used to revamp the immediate surrounding area to create an appropriate setting for the restored clock.


Iain Macniven, a trustee of OTRA and Christine’s husband, explained: “It’s been a hard slog but the project has brought the community together and shows just what can be done when people work together towards a common goal. The local residents and businessmen have been fantastic.


“The clock means so much to so many people and it would have been a tragedy if it had been lost for future generations. As part of our commitment to the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are trying to raise the awareness and understanding of people to the importance local heritage. Part of that is the creation of our Love Oakwood website where we are documenting the history of the area – information can be found on it both about the area and the restoration.”


The fully restored clock will be back in its revamped setting in time for Oakwood Day 2015 (2nd May) when it will be unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Leeds. The day of celebration is aimed not only at the people of Oakwood, but at friends of the Oakwood clock everywhere.


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What’s New


As well as maintaining its long-established features, Oakwood is continually broadening its retail and leisure offerings, and, most recently, parking opportunities.


A vibrant addition to the suburb has been Bang and Olufsen. The store is the first in the UK to roll out the new retail concept in which three different zones allow customers to have hands-on interaction with technological products.


North Bar’s latest offering, Preston, has transformed into a socialising hub with food and drink, while Taste’s fresh homemade goods have quickly placed the delicatessen as a lunchtime favourite.


For something a bit different, Stew and Oyster is an ideal destination to sample the sharing platters and craft beers from across the region. Meanwhile, Soosi Mediterranean Grill – formerly identified as Selections Restaurant – introduces unique flavours to the palate with Italian, Persian and Iranian chargrilled delicacies among others.


Especially for You


JLife takes a look at a selection of the shops, suppliers and eateries which make their mark on the flourishing area of Oakwood.


Good Night Sleeptight

Good Night Sleeptight provides a local and reliable service for all bedroom furniture needs. The company has over 75 years of experience specialising in divan beds, mattresses, bed frames and other high quality products. In order to make the process as easy as possible for customers, made-to-order assistance, as well as competitive prices and package deals, are available.


Manning Stainton

Buyers are attracted to the great local amenities and excellent schools in Oakwood and Roundhay. Manning Stainton is proud to have successfully moved 43 per cent of all people who sold in the area throughout 2014. Call the company now for a free valuation if you wish to move in 2015.


Oakwood Flooring and Carpet Centre

Following on from its recent extension, and in partnership with a Yorkshire-based manufacturer, Oakwood Flooring will be offering a range of quality, locally made beds and mattresses from the beginning of February in the new showroom at 166 Easterly Road, a few doors from the carpet and hard flooring showrooms.


The range will include divan, leather, metal, round, bunk beds and ottoman storage beds, as well as a bespoke service if you have a design of your own to challenge the team with.


The range will be complemented with a selection of headboards and mattresses in several fabrics and colours.


The showroom is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm.


Perfection Carpets

Recognised for its fantastic array of inspiring floor coverings at competitive rates as well as the staff’s wealth of knowledge, Perfection Carpets guarantees customers a top quality service. Whether it’s a leopard print for your bedroom or a striped carpet for the study, the independent retailer will make any property stand out. The process is hassle-free, with free measurement and honest advice.


Simon Falk Eyecare

Having invested in the best eyecare diagnostic equipment, Simon Falk Eyecare’s services encompass thorough eye examinations and keratoconus fitting as well as contact lens fitting skills for overnight vision correction, children and older patients. Customers can also avail of the eyecare plan for a monthly fee of £8, covering tests, unlimited appointments and same day emergency appointments.



Taste – an artisan bakery, upmarket pizzeria and coffee shop – is within easy reach in Oakwood. The independent establishment was founded by entrepreneur Gary Hendrickson and prides itself on serving a high quality of food as well as ensuring prompt service and competitive pricing.


The gourmet delicatessen specialises in a wide range of fresh food which is produced in-house daily, such as breads, pizzas, soups, salads, pastas and more. The pizza dough is freshly prepared on the premises and there are a number of toppings to avail of, including classic favourites and different vegetarian options. Additionally, those opting for sandwiches can complement their combination of ingredients with one of the many types of bread, from plain white and multigrain granary choices, to sundried tomato, and sage and onion breadcakes.


As well as savoury goods, an extensive selection of desserts, cakes and other sweet treats are available at Taste, created in-store each day by the in-house bakers and on display in glass cabinets. A variety of unique drinks can also be purchased, like pear and elderflower, strawberry and rhubarb, and cream soda.


When going along to Taste, customers can also expect relaxed and friendly service from the staff.


Credit: Howard Barnett