Monday, 28 February 2011

Mirror Pool Progress

     Work is continuing on the city centre mirror pool, now there is something you can actually see taking shape on the surface.   The low building in the background is the Magistrates Court, next door to this stands half of a police station covered in blue plastic sheeting.  I believe the police station cannot yet be fully demolished as the only secure way of delivering prisoners to the court is by an underground tunnel connecting the two buildings.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Pergola - Peel Park

     This new pergola in Peel Park made me think of Summer.  It seems to have been a very long Winter this year, it was still cold and wet yesterday when I took this picture.
     Peel Park was Bradford's first public park, it was funded partly from donations of a thousand pounds each by Sir Titus Salt and Robert Milligan (the first mayor of Bradford in 1847).  The park is one of the districts largest and hosts the annual Bradford Mela in the Summer.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Drinking Fountain - Peel Park

     This drinking fountain can be found in Peel Park, Bradford.  The fountain, which originally stood in the town was donated to Bradford by the 'Band of Hope', a temperance movement founded in Leeds in 1847 with the aim of saving working class children from the perils of drink, the movement believed that easy access to drinking water would keep the poor from consuming alcohol. 
     The structure is mow a Grade II listed building and has recently been cleaned.  There appears to be no water supply to the fountain though, so you may have to go to the pub for a drink!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Libyan Protesters - Bradford

     These protesters, including former Libyan nationals and students were outside of the Alhambra Theatre in the centre of Bradford earlier today.  The group were protesting against the Gadaffi regime and the current unrest in their home country.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Victorian Portrait Studio

     This is a reconstruction of a Victorian portrait studio at the National Media Museum in Bradford.  The studio would have been designed to let in as much natural light as possible and the sitter would have had to keep still for several seconds during long exposure times.  I wonder what a Victorian photographer would make of a tiny modern digital camera.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Geese - Brackendale Mill Pond

     These two birds I think are domesticated geese (I might be wrong as I don't know much about birds).  They are currently living on the Brackendale Mill Pond at Thackley.  The upper mill buildings no longer exist, being replaced by modern housing, the lower mill building has been turned into a modern apartment block, but the mill pond itself remains almost untouched.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Mawson Monument - Undercliffe Cemetery

     This is a portrait of architect William Mawson (1828-1889).  Partners Lockwood & Mawson were the architects responsible for many fine buildings in the Bradford area such as the Town Hall, Wool Exchange and Salts Mill and village.  The portrait is mounted on an Graeco-Egyptian style obelisk which is itself a Grade II listed building.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Protest Against Council Cuts

     These protesters gathered in the town centre on Saturday to demonstrate against proposals by the council to make cuts to public services.  There were several guest speakers including city centre priest Chris Howson pictured here.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Prayer for Bradford

     This banner is erected each Saturday morning in the town centre of Bradford.  A group of volunteers from local churches pray in the street, passers-by may join in if they wish.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Delius Sculpture - Bradford

     This sculpture is located behind the Victoria Hotel in Exchange Square, Bradford.  The work is named 'Quatrefoil for Delius' and is by sculptor Amber Hiscott. 
     The composer Frederick Delius was born and brought up in Bradford, he was christened at St.Peters Church (now the cathedral), educated at Bradford Grammar School, and spent the summer holidays in Ilkley where the family had a second home. The family kept two ponies at Ilkley and the young composer apparently enjoyed pony rides across the moors.
     I'm not familiar with all the music that Delius wrote, but I do like 'North Country Sketches' particularly 'Autumn' and wonder if the sculptor also had this in mind when creating this work.
     It seems Delius wasn't too keen on Bradford as he spent most of his adult life abroad.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Kiosk - Centenary Square

     I have been going to post a picture of this kiosk in Centenary Square for a while now.  The kiosk, which remains open for business, has gradually become encircled by construction work.  When I passed by this morning, this concrete pouring machine had its arm extended right over the kiosk.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Snowdrops - River Aire

     Ten or eleven days ago, following heavy rain, this part of the riverbank was underwater.  These snowdrops seem to have been unaffected by the high water level.  The picture was taken yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Canal Maintenance

     This section of the Leeds & Liverpool canal at Thackley is currently being dredged.  Many of the 2,200 miles of canal in the UK are over two hundred years old and need continual maintenance.  It's amazing how much junk people will throw in the canal, in the few minutes that I stood and watched this dredger, a bicycle frame, numerous bottles, assorted metal containers and various other items were recovered from the canal bed.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Cartwright Hall

     Cartwright Hall is located in Lister Park, about a mile from the centre of Bradford.  It is named after Dr. Edmund Cartwright who was the inventor of the power loom and the combing machine.  The London architect of this art gallery was chosen following a competition which attracted one hundred and seventeen entries for the best design.  Construction began in May 1900 but problems arose almost immediately, it was discovered that deeper foundations were needed after heavy rains caused damage to the original foundations, there were a number of strikes, the joiners were out for sixteen months, the masons for ten, and by the time the plasterers returned, the work had been completed by outside contractors.  There were also problems sourcing some of the stone blocks which weighed three to four tons each.  The building went over budget, the architect refused to simplify the design to save money, the project was finally completed by 1904.
     There were also problems at the official opening ceremony.  When the party of civic dignitaries and local gentry arrived by coach from the town centre, the ceremonial key, specially designed for the occasion, could not be found and a plain key had to be substituted.  A postcard bearing a picture of the occasion was produced shortly afterwards, the caption read 'Presentation of the Gold Key - Where is it?'        

Monday, 14 February 2011

Haworth - Ornate 'A'

     The inscription on this gravestone in Haworth churchyard was one of a number of interesting items kindly pointed out to me by the gardener there.  His theory is that the embellished letter 'A' was a kind of signature or trade mark of the stone mason.  The gardener tells me that he has worked on a voluntary basis at the churchyard for around three years and enjoys talking to the many visitors.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Oxenhope Station

     This steam locomotive, pictured at Oxenhope Station is a visitor to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Steam Gala Weekend.  The locomotive, which is normally housed at the East Lancashire Railway at Bury was built in 1945 and is one of twelve preserved examples.  It was withdrawn in 1968 when British Rail ended its steam service.
     The Keighley to Oxenhope branch line was opened in 1867 and paid for by local mill owners who needed to bring coal up the valley to power their mills.  The line joined the Bradford/Leeds to Skipton line at Keighley and  initially ran under a franchise agreement with the Midland Railway.  It closed in 1962 and was purchased in 1968 from British Rail by a group of rail enthusiasts.  The station at Oakworth was used in the making of the classic film 'The Railway Children' starring Jenny Agutter. 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Valentines Day Market - Darley Street

     A Valentines Day market has been held in the town centre over the last three days.  When I visited today some of the vendors seemed fairly busy selling items such as luxury chocolates, flowers and jewellery, other vendors, selling peculiar items such as car screen wash, not so busy.  I had to stop and take a few pictures at this stall as the display was just so colourful.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Bradford Bus

          This old Bradford City Transport bus was parked in front of Haworth Station today.  The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is holding its annual steam gala weekend in which extra steam locomotives are run on the preserved branch line.  This bus has an unusual history though, it was originally bought new by London Transport in 1947 and carried passengers around the Capital for eleven years before being bought by Bradford City Transport, it is now preserved in their livery.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Clock Tower - Bradford Town Hall

     This is the clock tower of Bradford Town Hall.  The Town hall was designed by a Bradford firm of architects and built by a local building firm, it was opened in 1873 having taken three years to build.  The Italianate clock tower contains thirteen bells weighing in total seventeen tons and has an overall height of two hundred and seventeen feet.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Forster Square Station

     Trains leave this station to Leeds, Ilkley, Skipton and beyond.  It's not much of a station really, three platforms, a ticket office, a tiny shop and a few vending machines, a bit sad really.  There are proposals to build a rail link to Bradfords other station which lies on the opposite side of town, although this sounds like a good idea, it could be a long time before anything happens, the plan was first put forward around a hundred years ago.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Midland Mills Bradford

        This McDonalds sign stands on the car park of Forster Square Retail Park in Bradford.  Just beyond the sign you can see an old mill building with an unusual weather vane on top. The mill formerly belonged to British Mohair Spinners, so I'm guessing that's an Angora goat up there.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Swollen River Aire

     We've had nothing but wind and rain for the last few days.  This is the River Aire at Thackley on the outskirts of Bradford.  The river level is quite high at the moment, not the highest I've ever seen it, but not far off.  About a hundred yards downstream from here there was at one time a ford, a metal footbridge now spans the river at this point.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Darley Streeet Musicians

     I was in the town centre the other day and could hear some music in the distance and went to investigate.  A four piece band were on the corner of Darley St. and Kirkgate with an unusual line up consisting of accordion, two trumpets and a kind of tambourine, the funny thing was, it didn't sound at all bad!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Toothy Fish

     This fish, made from coloured pebbles is part of a water feature, a sort of fountain which can be found near City Hall in Bradford.  At the moment there is no water flowing, it may have been switched off for the winter, or simply may not work at all. 

Friday, 4 February 2011

Joseph Priestley Memorial

     This is a detail from the carved memorial tablet of Joseph Priestley, the chief engineer of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal Company.
     Work on the canal began after an act of parliament was passed in 1770, but the project was not fully completed until forty years later. The canal carried coal and textiles across the Pennines and through Lancashire to the port of Liverpool.  Bradford had its own link to this canal.                   
     The memorial can be found on the wall of Bradford Cathedral.  I don't think you need me to tell  you which one of the three figures is Mr. Priestley!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Assorted Ducks

     I had been for a walk around Manningham Park, I was looking for something colourful to photograph, snowdrops or winter flowering shrubs, or failing that possibly a picture of the ducks.  Ducks in public parks are usually quite approachable and easy to photograph, or so I thought.  I had recently read a magazine article on how to approach wildlife without causing panic, 'walk at the speed of a grazing cow' it said.  These ducks must have had a bad experience with a 'grazing cow' at some time as they immediately became suspicious of me and ran en masse for the lake.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Anish Kapoor Sculpture

     This sculpture by Anish Kapoor called 'Turning the World Inside Out' is on display at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford and is part of its permanent collection.  This impressive sculpture stands five or six feet tall and has a dimple in the top.  The sculpture has a highly polished, almost mirror like metal surface which is also populated with the fingerprints and handprints of people who couldn't resist touching (almost had to touch it myself)!  The little sign on the floor says 'please do not touch'.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mirror Pool - Work Progresses

     There seems to be plenty of activity on the construction site of the new mirror pool.  It's been a month since I last had a proper look and there's still not a lot to see on the surface.  The pool will have a surface area of 4,200 sq. metres and contain 100 fountains so it should be quite impressive when it's finished.