Saturday, 31 December 2011


It's the end of another year. I don't know about everyone else, but I tend to look back over the previous twelve months highs and the lows and see if I can do things any better in the next twelve months. I've enjoyed doing the blog, although I haven't managed to post every day as I had intended, I've made a few small changes to the layout (a major feat for me as I am not good with computers) and I've met lots of nice people when I've been out with my camera, people that I wouldn't normally have met. As for next year, I don't know, I'm still thinking! Anyway, enough of me, a Happy New Year to everyone!

Friday, 30 December 2011

City Park?

This is another view of the new Bradford mirror pool. The official name for the pool, or the pool and its surrounding area is City Park, not a very exciting name really. There is some talk (in the form of letters to the local paper) of giving the project a more interesting name, but it's probably too late in the day now, City Park has already gone up on one of the walls overlooking the pool.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bradford Mirror Pool Almost Finished

The barriers surrounding the new Bradford mirror pool have finally been taken away. There is still some construction work continuing at the site, but the pool area itself, on the left of the picture seems to be finished, although there was no water in it when I took the picture. The water can apparently be drained into an underground storage tank so that the pool area can be used for outdoor concerts and other events.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Weaving Loom - Bradford Industrial Museum

I had a look around the Industrial Museum the other day. A party of schoolchildren were being shown around the museum at the same time, they were fascinated by this model of a child at work. The teacher explained to them that at one time children worked in the mills around Bradford, the kids were really interested, probably because the child worker would have been around the same age as the young visitors. I wish history lessons could have been more like this when I was at school, instead of all those dates, dates of important battles (the ones that we won), the year the Magna Carta was signed (it didn't matter what was in it, as long as you could remember the year that it was signed in), dates, dates, dates, important I know, but nothing you could really relate to.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Steam Punk - Bradford Industrial Museum

An unusual exhibition is running at the Bradford Industrial Museum at the moment with Victorian machinery alongside steampunk exhibits. I had a vague idea of what was meant by the term 'steampunk' before I went to the exhibition, it's a sort of fantasy world of futuristic gadgets and costumes but set in the Victorian period of steam power and early electrical gadgets. The picture of the phone is part of one of the exhibits, the thing is, there were still some of these phones in use when I was a lad, (I will have to stop using that phrase, it makes me sound like one of Monty Pythons Four Yorkshiremen ) which probably means I'm a museum piece myself.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

On And Off The Bike

This is one of the competitors at the National Trophy Cyclo Cross Event held in Bradford at the weekend. The riders have the ability to hop off the bike whilst still moving, sling the machine over their shoulder to negotiate an obstacle and then jump straight back on again, all done seamlessly, and at a running pace, very clever!

Anyone who is interested in cycling may find interesting.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Cyclo-Cross - Peel Park

Peel Park in Bradford was host to round five of the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross event today. It's the first time that I have been to a cyclo-cross event and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather was poor, it was raining heavily, it was cold and it was dark, which perversely makes an event like this more interesting. It means lots of mud, more slipping and sliding and more jumping on and off the bike, it's a really interesting spectator sport. The picture shows a competitor in the first race of the day, the veterans event.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Top Withens - Haworth

We have had our first winter snowfall here in Yorkshire recently, it didn't snow very much and it didn't stay long on the ground and unfortunately I didn't manage to get out and capture it with the camera.

The picture above was taken two or three years ago when I had my film camera and shows the ruin of Top Withens (or Top Withins) which is believed to be the Earnshaw house in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. The building has been unoccupied since 1926 and I can quite understand why, it's usually cold, wet, and windy at this location, the clouds seeming to cling to the hilltops. I'm hoping to walk the Bronte Way this winter, it's approximately 40 miles long and passes through the Bradford area on its way from Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley in Lancashire to Oakwell Hall in West Yorkshire. I will be doing the walk in short sections over several weeks which should give me plenty of time to take pictures along the way and write a little bit about them.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bradford Town Hall - Model

I took this picture earlier in the year when I visited the Town Hall in Bradford, it was the first time I had actually been inside the building even though I have lived in the Bradford area all my life. The model is a very nicely made and very detailed replica of the Town Hall itself, so it's a Town Hall in a Town Hall. If this was the real Town Hall, I would be stood in, or near the edge of the newly constructed and almost completed mirror pool, and there would be, at a guess, a reflection of the Town Hall in the water which should make a nice picture, I will have to wait and see. The model is, as I have said, very nicely made and very detailed, could there possibly be an even smaller model of the Town Hall inside this model, hmm...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Busker - Haworth

I haven't been able to get out with the camera much recently, so I'm struggling a bit for pictures for the blog. This busker was in the main street a Haworth two or three weeks ago, I stopped to listen for a few minutes, he was pretty good. His mame is Jonny Walker and he has a pages on myspace and facebook.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Mirror Pool Testing

This is Bradford's very expensive mirror pool which is still under construction. The project has gone way past its completion date and has also, I believe, gone over budget. The pool features more than a hundred fountains, has some kind of high-tec lighting system and can be drained and used as a public space for concerts and other events. The pool is expected to be officially opened in January although some further work may be needed to fully complete the project. What do the people of Bradford think of the pool? Well, when I take pictures of the pool someone will invariably stop and ask me what I am doing, which gives me a chance to ask them what they think of the new water feature. Generally, according to my un-scientific survey, the people of Bradford are underwhelmed by the whole thing. Personally, I think it should be pretty impressive when it is finally completed and good for the city as a whole. The picture shows the fountains being tested by the contractor. One thing does puzzle me though, the artist's impression of the completed project shows a 'Y' shaped walkway across the pool, but I can't see any evidence of it in the picture I have taken.

Friday, 2 December 2011

All French Walk With A Baguette

The sticker on this city centre mail box has got me baffled, does it have a hidden meaning, or does it mean simply what it says?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Rappin' Skateboarder

I stopped for a chat with this city centre skateboarder the other day, he loves rap music, and he loves skateboarding, he's just explaining to me what he likes so much about the music. He asked me what I do with my pictures, I told him about the blog, how I try and post a picture a day of Bradford and its surroundings. I asked him what he thought of Bradford, he paused a moment and then said "well, I suppose it's OK if you're a photographer and you like taking pictures of decay". I hadn't really thought about it, but there is an awful lot of decay in Bradford. I tend to concentrate more on the positive aspects of the area, but maybe I should include some of the negative, some of the decay.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Day Of Action - Centenary Square

A large crowd gathered in Centenary Square this morning to protest against proposed government cuts to public sector pensions. Some of the protesters had marched from the Bradford Urban Garden and through the city streets before arriving at the TUC organised rally.
Union officials made speeches from the steps of City Hall to a crowd that was attentive, good-humoured and, er, just a bit noisy!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Strike - Bradford

Thousands of public sector workers across the country are expected to be on strike tomorrow. A large number of supporters of the strike are expected to attend a rally in Centenary Square organised by the Trades Union Congress. I'm hoping to attend the rally and may be able to put some pictures on the blog tomorrow.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Skipton Santa Fun Run

The weather was bright and blustery for The Great Skipton Santa Run today. The market town of Skipton is located about twenty miles West of Bradford and holds this Santa run to raise money for charity. The runners, several hundred of them, start their run from a nearby park and then head for the town centre. The picture shows some of the runners passing through the churchyard at the top of the High Street. This years charities are the Sue Ryder Hospice, the Martin House Hospice for Children and the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Bradford Chorale - Bradford Industrial Museum

A Victorian Christmas market was held at the Bradford Industrial Museum today. Eighty stalls selling Christmas gifts were located around the museum with stallholders, staff and entertainers wearing Victorian costume. Members of the Bradford Chorale provided the Christmas carols, and beautifully sung they were too!

(Apologies for the quality of the picture, it was taken on my old compact camera which doesn't work well in low light).

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ice Sculpture - Kirkgate

This is one of the exhibits on the ice sculpture trail at last Saturdays Fire and Ice event. This one was in Kirkgate, one of the busiest shopping areas in Bradford.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Breakdancing Santas - Fire and Ice

A pair of breakdancing santas battle it out against local crews in Centenary Square. The Fire & Ice event at the weekend was really good fun. Who won in the battle of the breakers? Well I'm going to be diplomatic here and say it was a draw!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Fireworks Display - Fire And Ice

A large crowd gathered in Centenary Square for this spectacular fireworks display on Saturday. The display preceded the Christmas lights switch on and was part of the Fire & Ice event.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ice Sculpture - Fire And Ice

This ice sculpture was part of an ice sculpture trail around the town centre on Saturday. I've never seen one of these sculptures being made before, from a solid block of ice to the finished article takes quite a while so I kept returning to see how work was progressing. The finished article was quite impressive but I don't think it will have lasted very long, the weather has been fairly mild for the time of year.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas Crackers

These two Christmas crackers were definitely crackers at yesterdays 'Fire and Ice' event in the town centre. I believe the town council wisely spent their budget on entertainers rather than a big celebrity act to switch on the Christmas lights, there was certainly plenty to entertain shoppers throughout the afternoon.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Fire And Ice - Bradford

The start of festive shopping in Bradford has been marked by a Christmas light switching on event today. The entertainment included ice sculptures, street entertainers, a dramatic fireworks display, and this large mobile robot which reminded me of the Terminator films, a bit unusual and a bit scary, it actually frightened some of the younger children as it made its way through the streets.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


These shrubs stand at the entrance to an office block in the city centre, I don't know who looks after them, but they seem to be doing a good job with the box trees.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Newsagent - Ivegate

This newsagents shop is in Ivegate in the centre of Bradford, the items in the window are, I think, hookah pipes.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Northcliffe Park

The main entrance to Northcliffe Park is situated on the busy Bradford to Keighley road at Shipley. The upward path from the park gates takes you away from all the traffic noise, past playing fields and allotments and onto this high ground, very pleasant, even on a dull autumn day.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

A dull and damp but not particularly cold morning for the remembrance day parade and wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Bradford. The picture shows the parade returning to Centenary Square and City Hall after the ceremony.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scroggling The Holly - Haworth

The start of Christmas shopping was marked by a 'scrogging the holly' event in the main street of Haworth today. Local children were accompanied by a stout gentleman called a 'beagle' to the church steps. Apparently a beagle was an officer of the law before we had policemen.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Delius Sculpture

I was taking a look at the Delius Sculpture in Exchange Square the other day and I noticed that you could see a reflection of leaves on a nearby tree in the glass panels. The sculpture itself is based on a skeletal leaf.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Stage Door - St. Georges Hall

I was passing St. Georges Hall in the centre of Bradford earlier today and noticed that the stage door was looking a bit tatty, in need of a coat of paint, and that the step was quite worn. How many people, I wondered, must have crossed that threshold since the building was opened in 1853, famous people, John Barbirolli, Janet Baker, the rock group Genesis. I remember Genesis coming to Bradford, it must have been in the late 1970's, they were probably the biggest rock band around at the time, fans queued all night for tickets, it was a really big thing. I used to sit at the bar in a pub opposite St. Georges Hall, the manager of St Georges would sometimes come in for a drink. Shortly after Genesis went on stage he came in for a drink, astonished pub-goers wanted to know why he wasn't watching the concert. He replied that he did not like pop music, any kind of pop music and that he would rather listen to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf any day of the week, he really didn't like pop music, any kind of pop music, not even Cliff Richard.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Patient Gull - Whitby

The gulls at Whitby can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance. This one was quite patient, it waited next to this couple eating fish and chips until eventually the chap turned and offered the gull a piece of his lunch, naturally the bird accepted.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Whitby Goth Weekend

I visited the seaside town of Whitby at the weekend for one of the twice yearly Goth events. Goths from all over the country gather in the town to parade up and down the narrow cobbled streets, posing from time to time for the large number of photographers also at the event. I've been to these Goth events before, and you do see some unusual things, like the babies in the picture. They are not real babies, they look just like real babies, you think they are real babies, but they are not, they are incredibly lifelike dolls, creepy or what!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Anti-Capitalist Protest - Bradford

Not exactly on the scale of the London protest, but Bradford has its own anti-capitalist demonstration in Centenary Square. The picture was taken last Sunday morning, there may be more tents there now.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Autumn Colour - Lister Park

It doesn't seem long since I was stood in this spot looking at spring flowers, and now it's autumn, I don't know where the summer went. Still, autumn is a nice time of year, and there should be a few more weeks before the trees lose all their leaves, so we may as well make the most of it.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

BMX Bikers - Belle Isle Road

I was driving back from the Halloween parade at Haworth on Sunday when I spotted these BMX bikers practising at the side of the road. I'm no expert on BMX, but these lads looked pretty good at it.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween Parade - Haworth

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours in Haworth this afternoon. A Halloween parade was taking place in the village, starting at the bottom of the cobbled main street and working its way up to the church steps at the top of the street. The kids taking part in the procession seemed to really enjoy it, so did the spectators, and so did I, I'm a big kid really!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Jogger - Lister Park

Lister Park is popular with joggers, some completing just one lap of the park, others managing three or four laps and looking like they have just had a good workout, and then there are the super fit, like the runner in the picture, lap after lap and not even out of breath.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What's Your Hobby?

I have often wondered what people get out of their hobbies. Take fishing for example, all that time sat waiting for a fish to bite, or not to bite, or take my daughter's hobby of cross-stitching, all those hours spent with a needle and thread. A less common hobby is the static engine, the owners of these engines like to display them at car shows or other events like the one at Ingrow Station on Sunday. The owner will generally start the machine up in the morning and then sit behind it all day, reading a book, drinking tea, or just staring into space.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Brian Blessed?

This was one of the participants in the Bronte Tractor Run on Sunday, quite a character really, he reminded me of the actor Brian Blessed, he even had the same kind of laugh!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bronte Vintage Tractor Run

The Bronte Tractor Runs Group raise money for charities such as the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Sue Ryder Hospice. Around twenty tractors took part in one of these events on Sunday. The group assembled on the outskirts of Haworth before heading out on moorland roads to Hebden Bridge and then returning to Haworth later in the day, collecting money for charity on the way. The beautifully restored tractor in the picture was made by International Harvesters and could possibly have been made at their Idle, Bradford factory.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Posforth Gill

My apologies to any regular visitors to the blog as I haven't been posting much recently due to work pressures. This little waterfall is just off the main footpath from Bolton Abbey to Simon's Seat and is one of my favourite places in the Yorkshire Dales. The picture was taken a few years ago on film and although I have returned to the same spot year after year I haven't been able to capture the scene as well as on this first attempt. I'm hoping to get the blog back on track soon with subject matter a bit closer to home and a bit more up to date, but hope you don't mind the little autumnal interlude.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

March for Jobs

Jobs are a bit hard to find at the moment, particularly for school and college leavers. This young man is taking part in a five week march for jobs, starting in the North East of England and finishing in London on the 5th of November in a recreation of the Jarrow march of 1936. Youth unemployment, high university fees and a feeling that young people in general are being neglected by the government are some of the reasons for this present day march.
The photo was taken in the market square at Ripon in bright sunshine. A couple of hours later I drove past the marchers on their way to Harrogate, the weather had deteriorated into torrential rain and gale force winds, and boy did they look wet, I mean really wet!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Bradford Grid - Bradford Urban Garden

An exhibition of photographs taken in the bradford area is currently on display in the Bradford Urban Garden. A group of amateur and professional photographers have created images using the family albums and personal recollections of Bradfordians as their inspiration. The project is ongoing and a map is being used to document the area grid square by grid square.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bradford Hungarian Cultural and Social Centre - Diane Bielik

I visited the old Hungarian Club at Walmer Villas in Manningham on Sunday. The club closed down around a year ago and is this month hosting an exhibition by Photographer Diane Bielik. The photographs were taken at the club in the final months before its closure and are displayed as large posters pasted directly onto the walls of the rooms. I didn't want to show any of the photographs for copyright reasons, so here is a picture of the hallway of this fine old building.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Bradford City Run

The third annual Bradford City Run was held today. The half marathon started in the city centre and followed a route which took the runners through the streets of Bradford and out into the countryside before finishing at Cartwright Hall in the grounds of Lister Park. Here is one of the front runners crossing the finishing line.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Biker Protest - Eyre Square, Galway

I'm a long way from home for this post, Southern Ireland in fact. I was visiting relatives there at the weekend and came across this biker protest in Eyre Square, Galway. The bikers, around a hundred of them, were protesting against new EU safety regulations for motorcycles which the bikers feel will affect the enjoyment of their hobby. The protesters are pictured here leaving Eyre Square and heading for Athlone.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Saltaire Festival - Kwame D

This band brought a mixture of soul, reggae and blues to the Saltaire Festival. The band go by the name of Kwame D and I think they are a Leeds based outfit. The weather wasn't all that good over the weekend, (you can see the rain on the monitor speakers), but the skies did clear and the band actually finished their set in brilliant sunshine.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Saltaire Festival - Revellers

I can't tell you who the band were, my programme didn't quite tie up with the acts on stage, but I can tell you that they were pretty good. Some of the audience must have also liked the band as they were up and dancing in front of the stage.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Saltaire Festival - The Peace Artistes

The Peace Artistes are a fifteen to twenty strong brass and percussion street band seen playing here at the Saltaire Festival. The band were originally formed in 1983 in Bradford to perform on marches organised by the peace movement and currently play at carnivals and festivals all over Europe.