Lister Park & Cartwright Hall Art Gallery
Lister Park must be one of my favourite parks I've ever visited. Lister Park is Bradford's top park which was originally the home of Samuel Lister, a successful local business man who was involved in textile engineering during the 19th Century and was business partners with Sir Isaac Holden. Samuel Lister sold his home, formerly Manningham Hall, and estate grounds to Bradford Council during the 19th Centruy and this was develop as a municipal park and Cartwright Hall was added in the early 20th Century.
Cartwright Hall was built in 1904 and is an art gallery. There are a variety of exhibitions to look round and also a cafe (which is temporarily closed at the time of writing). When I visited the art gallery (January 2011), I saw the following exhibitions:
Wycinanki's "The Art of Polish Paper Cuts"
Warhol's "Marilyn" (1967). Warhol is a key member of the Pop Art Movement
Thomas Edwin Mostyn's "The Garden of Enchantment from 'Parsifal'" (1914)
The other highlights are the Mughal Water Gardens, the Park's lake and the Botanical Gardens (There is a Geological Trail available to do). Look out for The Norman Fort at one of the entrances and the monuments of Sir Titus Salt; Samuel Cuncliffe Lister and Sir Isaac Holden (latter at the Cartwright Hall).
I look forward to returning in the summer and to appecriate the bloom and colours.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Bradford City Hall
Bradford City Hall was built in 1873 following a relocation from another part of the city and opened by then mayor, Matthew Thompson. The City Hall was extended in 1909 and 1914 with another council chamber, committee rooms and a banqueting hall. The entrance and staircase (done in baroque marble) were also renovated. The 13 bells were recently replaced.
The exterior design of the building was done in a Venetian style and there is a frieze represents Bradford and its industrial heriage. The frieze's figures represent the wool trade for which Bradford is and was famous for along with other things.
- Historical Travel
I visited Bolling Hall in January 2012. This building has existed since the 1500s and has been home to a number Bradford's important people including Robert Bolling (who fought in the War of the Roses) and Rosamund Bolling (who married Richard Tempest and received the hall part of her dowry).
Bolling Hall was also used as headquarters for the Royalist Earl of Newcastle during the short siege of Bradford when the civil war took place between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians.
The key occupiers were Charles and Caroline Wood in the 19th Century and who rented out space for a nursery to the children of wealthy families and managers of the local Bowling Irons works.
I enjoyed wondering in the house and see how the furnishing and decoration of the rooms differed over the history of the hall. There is an exhibition room highlighting the Tudor/Renaissance Era where there a lot of change in thought.
Rooms are furnished and decorated to give an accurate taste of life at different periods of the house's history, including the Georgian and Tutor rooms.
The admission is free of charge although donations are encouraged. There is a gift shop and hot drinks and confectionary is available.
You get the 624 bus from the Bradford Interchange and check this website for the bus schedule.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Bradford Industrial Musuem
I visited Bradford Industrial Museum (via getting lost with the buses! I got the right bus no. but I went in the opposite direction to Wisbey and Buttershaw instead of Greengates so I had to retrace my steps!). The museum was originally Moorside Mills, built in 1875, and operated as a worsted spinning Mill by John Moore. The ownership of the mill changed hands many times until Bradford Council purchased the Mills in 1970 to create the museum. The museum, known as 'Museum in the Mill' was opened in 1974 and the interesting innovative and informative displays make visiting the museum a popular one.
I enjoyed looking around the exhibits such as the industrial history of Bradford including its status as the 'woollen textile capital of the world' and the city's diversity. I had a look around the permanent displays of textile machinery, steam power engininery, print machinery, train engine and cars.
There is Moorside House or the Mill workers' homes but I didn't get an opportunity, because of time, to look inside but will do on a future visit. The museum hold various events throughout the year where one can ride on a train or see the letterpress printing demonstrations.
When I visited in January 2012 there was the temporarily 'Steam Punk' contemporary exhibition of steampukery fashion.
The musuem is free of charge although donations are encouraged. There is a gift shop and a seasonal cafe (presuming it was because it was closed when I visited!).
You can get bus no. 645 (Greengates bound) from Hall Ings in Bradford City Centre or you can get the hourly bus no. 660 which stops outside the museum from Bradford Interchange. Please check the website for both bus schedules.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Centenary Square & City Park
Bradford City Centre is undergoing an extensive regeneration programme including Centenary Square and City Square. It features a large made water fountain park, the largest in the UK, and is almost completed. An official celebration is scheduled for 24th March 2012.
The six acre park is public space availalbe for people to relax and play. There is also restaurants, cafes, bars and a new art gallery. I was very impressed with the regeneration in the city centre. I look forward for the Council and business to issue/invest in the neglected former Odeon Cinema, the building facing the park, which stands out like a sore thumb in the regenerated landscape!
- Arts and Culture
Bowling Park is a municipal park near Bolling Hall in South East Bradford and not far from the city centre. Bradford Council purchased land of Bolling Hall's grounds where this land had been mined for coal and ironstone in the late 19th Century. The park since 1880 had been developed and a bowling green, tennis courts and a children's playground were added.
You can get bus no. 624 from Bradford Interchange and here is the website for bus schedules.
- Family Travel
BRADFORD CITY HALL
Bradford town hall was opened on the 9th September 1873 and it stands tall and proud in the heart of Bradford city centre.
The building was designed by a local architect firm, Lockwood and Mawson. The previous town hall had been at the fire station in Swain street.
The cost of the town hall was £100,000 and was built by John Ives and son, a Shipley firm.
The original building was 275 feet long and 70 feet high with a 217 foot tower.
The tower was designed with the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence in mind. The tower contains 13 bells and the total weight of the bells is 17 tons.
The council decided that this wasn’t big enough so it was extended in two parts. Part one extended the building to include a new council chamber, committee rooms and a banqueting hall. This extension was opened in September 1909.
The second phase of the extension was completed in 1914 and included a new entrance and staircase.
In 1965 the Town Hall had a £12,000 facelift and became known as City Hall.
Due to decay the bells in the tower stopped chiming in 1992. Money from the national lottery helped restore the bells in 1997.
The bells toll every 15 minutes.
The tower has two flag poles and flags are flown on certain days throughout the year.
If a prominent citizen of Bradford dies the flag is flown at half-mast until the funeral of the person. The bells of the tower would also ring for an hour when the council receive news of the death and for an hour at the start of the funeral.
The welsh flag is flown on “St David’s day” and the Australian flag is flown on Australia day
The flags are flown on royal visits to Bradford as well as on Royal birthdays, weddings and coronations.
Around the building there are thirty five statues of the Kings and Queens of England. Amongst the Kings and Queens is a statue of Oliver Cromwell who ruled England between Charles I and Charles II. The statues appear in chronological order apart from the two great queens, Victoria and Elizabeth I, who stand each side of the main entrance.
Tours of City Hall are available for groups and individuals. These can be tailored to your needs, including tours to help 'sell' the area to visiting business people, or for helping local schoolchildren with their studies.
1997 was Bradford City's centenary, and major development work was carried out to create a new Centenary Square in front of City Hall. The area is pedestrianised with seating and a large open paved area directly in front of the main entrance.
More work has been carried out in Centenary square in recent times with a pond with fountains and new lighting around the square.
Even though you can walk around the square and enjoy the fountains (they light up different colours at night) there is to be a GRAND OPENING DAY on the 24th March 2012 between 2pm - 7.30pm.
The entertainment will include stilt walkers, acrobat free runners, music and dancing, street theatre and the grand finale of fireworks with a laser and light show.
the photographic museum
Has free entry, although you pay for the IMAX if you wish to view it, and you can fill half a day browsing round the musuem which covers film and TV as well as photography. Some displays are interactive and the shop sells some interesting gifts as well!
- Museum Visits
National Media Museum
Popular among children and adults the National Media Museum, NMM, is a great day out for everyone. Located in the city centre it is a modern building with lots inside. Over the last few years it has expanded to hold an IMAX 3D cinema with special feature film such as Sharks 3D aswell as new releases. Every few months they host different exhibitions normally featuring local artists but recently they have had a video games special, lasting 4 months, on the different games consoles from Socrates to the more modern XBOX 360.
Permanatly in the museum is TV heaven which holds receords of rare programmes which you can watch in your own private booth with headphones. there are hundreds to choose from, from the first episode of Brookside to original tapes of big brother aswell as cartoons from the 60's. There is also some great views of the city centre from the top floor.
The core of the museum is to teach people the art of making television and animation and children can learn about what happens behind the scenes aswell as making their own scene with narrated instructions and playback so they can see their work. Different things to do also include reading the local news from autocue to walking with dinosaurs and the teletubbies.
The museum is free to enter but donations are welcome and when requested tour are available to get the most from our visit. The museum also has a gift shop and cafe aswell as meeting rooms for large groups.
Open Tue - Sun 10 - 6
Hope you enjoy your visit... a must see for everyone.
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Watch the City Lights
The fringes of the city spread out from the valley floor over the slopes beyond the ridges. It is a great experience in this area to drive on a hilltop road and watch the city lights down in the dales.
From Manchester driving to east-north direction for about an hour we got to Bradford. The Britian Movie Museum and the biggest film cinema in all England are built here. Many new techniques, like big screen (5 floor building high, 10 times area than common), 6 channel surround stereo, very big film projector (size like a car), seats without obstacle, etc.
When we watched film in this cinema we were shook by scene on the screen and can?t help to cry and to move body of ourselves!
Due to overcrowding in the churchyard of St. Peter where bones were coming to the surface it was necessary to build a new cemetery on the outskirts of Bradford. A group of businessmen formed a Joint Stock Company to run a private cemetery in Undercllffe in 1849. The businessmen agreed that the best site for the new cemetery was in the Undercliffe area on the outskirts of the town. In 1851 one hundred acres of the Undercllffe Estate was put up for auction. Five days before the auction in July, thirteen well known non-conformist businessmen agreed to buy Lots 13 and 14, a total of 26 acres. Those signing the agreement included Henry Brown, Robert Milligan, Titus Salt, William Rand and Edward Ripley. John Horsfall bought the land for £3, 400, the cost being divided equally between the thirteen men. The site was on the crest of Undercliffe Hill overlooking the town and the townships of Eccleshlll, Idle and Shipley. Undercliffe Cemetery was to become a reality.
The first registrar was William Gay, he was paid £130 per annum. John Dale was appointed architect and Joseph Smith was the Land Agent.
The Bishop of Ripon consecrated the cemetery in 1854. The first buriel took place in March of that year.
when the old Quaker graveyard in Wakefield Road was closed the Society of Friends purchased a small section in the newly opened cemetery at Undercllffe. They re-buried the remains of the Quakers in one large grave.
Many wealthy people in Bradford bought plots in the cemetery during the 19th century, these inclided many mayors including the first Robert Milligan. In the centre along the main promenade are the family monuments.
During the first year 187 burials took place. During the 20th century buriels in the cemetery were becoming less regular due to the increase in cremations. By the 1960's the Cemetery Company was experiencing increasing financial difficulties. The losses of the Company were increasing and the number of internments in 1976 was just 72. The following year the Company went into liquidation.
The site was acquired by a property developer in 1980. The Friends of Undercliffe Cemetery was formed who pressurised Bradford Metropolitan Council to purchase the site in 1984. It was then declared a conservation area. In 1985 a new Limited Liability Cemetery Company was formed. The new Company achieved charitable status and has since become the Undercliffe Cemetery Charity.
We had a relaxing and quiet walk around the cemetery, some of the graves are a bit over run but the historic core is well maintained and quite impressive.
At the top of the hill is the smith monument.
Although there are no famous people buried here there is a puppet theatre proprietor who performed for Queen Victoria by the name of Walter Calver. There are also many former mayors of Bradford.
National Museum of Film, Photography & Television
One of my favourite museums as it is about photography. There is always a photo exhibition of some sort. Apart from that, there is a room where YOU are the newsreader and several other exhibitions on moving images such as film and TV. There is also an IMAX cinema with films about space, Earth or similar.
Saltaire - World Heritage site
Sir Titus Salt was a christian industrialist who believed his workers in the factory along the river Aire in Bradford needed a better life to be productive. He thought they would have a better life without drinking alcohol in pubs and the like but this is the only thing he went wrong with if you ask me. Apart from that, he created modern housing, a shop and an art gallery for his workers and since the factory has long since closed, it has been turned into a sight for all to see and recognised by the UN which has recently made it a World Heritage site.
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