Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Bradford Fire Disaster Memorial Day - Joachim Reisner

       It doesn't seem like twenty six years since the Bradford fire disaster in which fifty six people died and over three hundred were injured, but it is.  The tragedy occurred when the old wooden stadium at Bradford City football ground caught fire and spectators were unable to escape the rapidly spreading flames.
     Today was the annual memorial service, held in Centenary Square Bradford.  I went to the service with the intention of taking some photographs for this column, but to be honest I took very few pictures, it just didn't seem right to be taking pictures, sort of intrusive, so I left and went back later for a few shots of the memorial and flowers.
     When I returned there were just three people there, two ladies and the gentleman in the picture, Joachim Reisner, the sculptor who made the memorial.  Mr Reisner is apparently quite a shy person and does not really enjoy having his picture taken so I was pleased when he agreed to pose for this shot.
     Mr. Reisner told me a little about the background of the memorial.  His wife, who is actually English (from Wilsden, near Bradford) was on a Civic visit to Bradford from the German Town of Hamm.  Mr Reisner did not realise that when he switched on his television set  and saw the fire in a news broadcast that his wife was actually in the stadium as part of a Civic visit. His wife took back to Germany the idea of the memorial which is really a gift from the people of Hamm to Bradford.


  1. I like everything about this post. I would probably also have felt a bit uneasy taking photos during that service. And how lucky you were to meet and photograph the sculpor and get his story as well.

  2. An important event to remember! Nice photo with the memorial flowers and great architectural buildings in the background!

  3. How wonderful you were able to have the sculptor in the photo!