A long Wait to honour musician

A MUSICIAN who died in 1858
was being honoured today by
his modern-day counterparts.
   Dressed in 17th century cos-
tume and playing authentic
17th century instruments, the
Leeds Waits were processing
through Beckett Street Ceme-
tery to the graveside of Thomas
Crawshaw, last of the old cor-
porate waits.
   ‘Waits’ were official town
musicians and they existed in
Leeds from at least 1530 until
their demise in 1835, patrolling
the streets, playing at civic
occasions and hired by private



Thomas Crawshaw contin-
ued as a musician and music
teacher for a further 23 years
until his death aged 74.
   He lived in Harper’s Yard,
off Kirkgate (alongside the
Duck and Drake pub).
   The Leeds Waits tradition
was revived in 1983 by Alan
Radford and other enthusiasts.
   Dr Radford said: “Press
reports show that musical hon-
ours were paid to Thomas
Crawshaw at his funeral in
November 1858, and we have
long wanted to recreate that
event. Thanks to the help of
Friends of Beckett Street Ceme-
tery and Leeds City Council, we
shall he doing that.”