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Life in Beeston five years on from the London bombings
A community event in Beeston
A colourful community event in Beeston

What is life like in Beeston five years on from the London Bombings?

Local residents Ed Carlisle and Mahboob Nazir talked with BBC Radio Leeds's Alice Bailey.

The south Leeds area of Beeston gained an unwanted nationwide reputation in 2005 with the revelation that it was home to several of the London bombers.

Consisting mainly of terraced housing the area struggled to halt a gradual decline that started in the 1960s.

Much closer community

In the interview Ed who says "Hand on heart I love Beeston" explains how some people expected the area to implode following the events of 2005 but he asserts:

"The community really pulled together. We are a much closer community than we were five years ago."

Mahboob says, "Beeston for me is a home where there's a family, you have ups and downs. Good things happen, bad things happen but you learn to overcome them."

Mahboob also explains the shock he felt following the revelation of links between his home and the bombings. He found it initially hard to believe what had happened.

Urban sprawl

Beeston is just a couple of miles from Leeds city centre and is home to Leeds United's Elland Road ground as well as the John Charles Centre for Sport.

The name is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 and grew into a mining village overlooking Leeds, that was gradually surrounded by the city's urban sprawl.

During World War II Beeston was on the receiving end of several air raids.

Three main factors in the area' decline between 1960 and the 1990s were highlighted in an overview by Leeds City Council.

- The building of the M621 motorway through the heart of Beeston and Holbeck bisected the area and disconnected it from the city centre

- The decline of manufacturing industries in and around the area, particularly in Hunslet, led to the communities suffering significant levels of unemployment.

- The housing stock needed replenishing.

This spiral of decline meant mounting crime and empty properties.

Despite its difficulties Beeston remains one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan areas in Leeds.

Let us know if you have a view on life in Beeston leeds@bbc.co.uk

You say

I was born in Beeston in 1965, my memories of the 70's were good - I remember the army coming to Cross Flatts park for an exhibition-it was spectacular. In the late 80s you could sense a drug/crime atmosphere creeping into the area, started to see strangers wandering about whereas before you seemed to recognise everyone.

People started to sell up and the new people were not usually from the area, before this time, people that sold their homes tended to upgrade to a better house but still stayed in Beston. so by the end of the 80s if you hadn't escaped Beeston you were doomed to stay in an area without any community feel and were trapped with falling house prices.

My ENTIRE family have fled Beeston and it's a shame as it goes back at least six generations. I sometimes pass through to make a sentimental visit and it just depresses me. I actually do have a common nightmare of buying back the family home- it's that bad.
Ste Holmes

Bombs over Beeston
09 Oct 09 |  History

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