Object of the week- Carnival suit
An outfit well and truly fit for a king, this eye-catching suit took pride of place at one of the city’s most colourful cultural celebrations.
Worn when Leeds West Indian Carnival celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017, the suit is currently on display at Leeds City Museum as part of an exhibition exploring the stories of those who have come to Leeds to make a new life.
Simon Namsoo, originally from Trinidad, performed in the suit that year, taking on the role of King David Oluwale in a special tribute to the tragic story of a man who migrated to Leeds from Lagos, Nigeria.
David Oluwale, who was homeless, drowned in the River Aire in 1969. Two policemen were convicted in 1971 of assaulting him but acquitted of his manslaughter. Despite being homeless, David was known for always wearing a suit.
The suit is on loan from the David Oluwale Memorial Association charity, who had it made to recall David’s happier time in Leeds and celebrate his Nigerian roots.
The exhibition also features a huge range of objects exploring the stories of those who travelled to Leeds to make a new life and the impact they have had on the city.
Other items include a collection of toy houses brought to Leeds by Eva Mitchell from former Czechoslovakia in 1938 also feature, one of the only toys she was allowed to bring.
Amar Singh Deagon, a carpenter born in India, came to Leeds in 1966 and worked in construction across Yorkshire, including the building of Leeds Crown Court. His passport, reference letter and photograph are also on display.
Ruth Martin, Leeds City Museum's curator of exhibitions, said: "Each of these people have told us their individual story about how and why they have come to call Leeds home today. Some have overcome unimaginable adversity, whilst others have travelled here in search of opportunity.
"Together, they paint a picture of a city built by immigrants, a place which has thrived economically and flourished culturally because of those who travelled here with a dream of making a new home for themselves and their families.”
A City and its Welcome: Three Centuries of Migrating to Leeds will be at Leeds City Museum from July 12 until January, 2020.
For more details, please visit: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/leedscitymuseum/leeds-migration-stories