Pudsey has given its name to "Pudsey Bear", the mascot of the BBC's annual fundraising marathon Children in Need
The name Pudsey occurs in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Podechesaie" and "Podechesai", but in the early 6th century Pudsey and the neighbourhood appear to have been the centre of the considerable Kingdom of Elmet, which retained its independence for more than 200 years after other more petty kingdoms had been subdued by the Angles.
Pudsey is a market town in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Once an independent town, it was incorporated into the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds in 1974, and is located midway between Bradford and Leeds city centres. It has a population of 32,391.
Pudsey constitutes the areas of Fartown, Troydale, (nice place)Littlemoor, Lowtown, Uppermoor and Chapeltown. There is also the village of Fulneck, the district of Stanningley and part of the district of Tyersal.
The town was famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for its wool manufacture, and, from the 19th century, for cricket. Yorkshire and England cricketers Sir Len Hutton, Herbert Sutcliffe, Ray Illingworth and Matthew Hoggard all learned to play in Pudsey. One of the 19th century Yorkshire cricketers John Tunnicliffe was born in Lowtown.
Pudsey's historic town hall is benefiting from a new, energy-efficient lighting project to highlight its most interesting features. The multi-coloured lights can be changed to offer 255 different scenes.
During the Easter weekend 2009, the Pudsey Business Forum launched the Pudsey Shop Local campaign. The campaign is to encourage local residents to shop more in Pudsey Town Centre. As part of this campaign they have launched a directory of all local shops.
There are many community groups working for the benefit of Pudsey, and their aim is simply to make their town a more attractive and interesting place to visit. One of these groups, established in 2002 is Pudsey in Bloom.
During the Industrial Revolution Pudsey was said to be one of the most polluted areas of the UK due to its position within a slight valley and between the two industrial cities of Leeds and Bradford. As a result whichever way the wind blew Pudsey would become covered in thick soot. The temperature inversion created by being in a valley led to the soot becoming trapped leading to dense smogs in the area. This is believed to have led to jokes that Pigeons in Pudsey park flew backwards in order to keep the soot out of their eyes.
There are several recreational parks in Pudsey, the largest is Pudsey Park; features include Pets Corner, aquarium, bird houses, tropical greenhouse, a "Pudsey Bear" (made of vegetation) and a large play area for children. The park hosts the new West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre. There is also Queens Park where the Pudsey carnival is held once a year.
Pudsey's market operates on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and has recently been refurbished. Pudsey has also seen the introduction of a monthly farmers' market with a range of stalls selling meat, fish, dairy produce, organic fruit and vegetables, delicatessen and craft-ware.
Pudsey town centre has many amenities and a shopping centre which include many high street chain stores and independent retailers. In keeping with many affluent areas it has its fair share of banks and estate agents. Following the closure of Kwik Save supermarkets across the country, Pudsey's store has been bought by Sainsbury's. Until the administration of the group, Pudsey had a Woolworths situated on Church Lane. It is now a B&M Home Bargains store.
There are three high schools situated in the Pudsey boundary: Crawshaw, Priesthorpe and Pudsey Grangefield, which is currently undergoing an extensive redevelopment programme which sees a whole new state-of-the-art school building constructed adjacent to the current site. The front grammar school building, opened in 1911 and a prominent landmark of Pudsey, will be converted into flats and not demolished, unlike the rest of the school, due to its listed building status.
Pudsey is also now home to an established Indian Sikh and minority Hindu and Muslim community.
Pudsey's business community have recently introduced a Loyalty Scheme, aimed at local shoppers. The loyalty scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, encourages shoppers to collect stamps from a number of local shops within the scheme. Once enough stamps are collected on a card it can be submitted for a monthly draw, where the winner receives vouchers that they can spend in any of the participating shops. There are currently 50 retailers taking part in the scheme.
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