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The members of the Hamara Cente talk about Leeds when they arrived and some of the changes they have seen
Town Street, Wesleyan Church
Name: Town Street, Wesleyan Church
Description: Town Street, Wesleyan Church
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Location: NowThen
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Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Cross Flatts Park
Name: Cross Flatts Park
Description: Cross Flatts Park
Collection:
Location: NowThen
Reference:
Contributor: West Yorkshire Archive Service
Rights: West Yorkshire Archive Service

What is the biggest change since you arrived in Leeds?

I think on the physical appearance, it's much cleaner now. The cobbled streets have disappeared and the smog has disappeared. The gas coming in, because back in the seventies it was all coal fires, no gas fires, that seems to have disappeared. People having baths in the street have disappeared too.

Arshed Lodhi

That time I think the streets were so clean. It was clean. I know they were burning coal fires and all the smoke going up, but think not much traffic then.

Fazal Ahmad

 I think the environment has changed, like machine wise we got everything all the facilities that we need for day by day life. Like in the housekeeping we got everything, you don't have to work hard in the house. You just use vacuum cleaner, gas cooker, washing machine or tumble dryer. Also we are so adjusted to here now we feel it easy life in this country than back home.

Nisar Ahmad

When you first came to England what was your first impression? What did you think?

Scared. I was scared. I've never seen anything like this before, like airport, not in Pakistan. Here people are so different. It was alright. The people were alright. If you come to a community and somebody smile at you, welcome you, you feel happy. If somebody stare at you, you don't feel happy, you don't feel comfortable. I said at that time people were so friendly.

That time was safe, very, very much safe. Now that has changed. Now in Cross Flatts Park, we've been telling police that it is not safe for famililes to go to the park and now they realise it's not safe. Before, 30 years, 25 years ago you could walk in middle of night in the road or in the park and nobody bothered.

Fazal Ahmad