Essex HMVA - 2013 Show Reports
Enclosed in a very modern building, the Leeds Armoury is spread across 5 floors with galleries leading off from each side of a central atrium. Each gallery has a separate “theme” which sets out the displays most associated with that area of weaponry. Some of the displays I found to be a little confusing, as there seemed to be a bit of a jumble as to what period was being represented. What also struck me was the fact that due to the many interactive media displays constantly playing on a loop, the galleries were very noisy. There was a good display of WW1 armoury but I felt that the WW2 items were slightly lacking as was some of the later equipment. The most impressive part was the Oriental Halls with the elephant’s armour looming large in the centre.
There are plenty of security staff dotted around the site, some of whom are at times perhaps a little over-zealous. Lots of the display areas feature very low lighting levels, and with this in mind, taking photos proves to be tricky, however using a flash when taking them is not permitted (even though there is a distinct lack of signs telling you this) and they like to tell off unaware visitors. Sometimes, there seemed to be more staff than visitors, as in the weekday I visited other than some school groups it did not seem particularly busy.
I’m not sure I would make a special visit again to see the armoury, but it’s worth a look if you are in the area, as the admission is free.
Report By David Smith, Pictures from Russell Pacy