Sunday, 31 July 2011

Skyride 2011

I went along to the second Bradfiord Skyride Event today. A four mile route between Peel Park and the Little Germany area of Bradford town centre was closed to traffic for most of the day. The aim of this family friendly event is to increase the number of people cycling in the UK by one million by the year 2013. The picture shows some of the young participants on the start line in Peel Park. Was the event a success? Well the youngsters certainly enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, (I took my folding bike along with the intention of doing one lap and ended up doing four laps) so yes, I would say it was a success!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Leeds Liverpool Canal - Dobson Locks

The Leeds-Liverpool canal is the longest canal in the North of England at one hundred and twenty seven miles and has a total of ninety one locks. The first section of the canal was opened in seventeen seventy three but it was another forty six years before the canal was fully completed and the cost was five times the original estimate. This two-rise staircase lock is at Apperley Bridge and was completed in seventeen seventy seven and is now a Grade II listed structure. The boat in the picture is much wider than the usual boats, I think it is referred to as 'wide beam' which limits the canals it can be used on, many of the canals in the UK are much narrower and can only take 'narrowboats'.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Samuel Cunliffe Lister - Lister Park

This white marble statue of Samuel Cunliffe Lister stands in Lister Park. Lister was a wealthy mill owner who played a key role in the development of the textile industry in Bradford, he also donated land for the construction of Manningham Park, or Lister Park as it is also known as.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

National Youth Circuit Race Championships - Sharp Bend

Another picture from the National Youth Circuit Race Championships on Sunday. This was a very tricky part of the course, a sharp bend after a fairly steep descent, this caught one or two of the riders out.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

National Youth Circuit Race Championships - Lister Park

Bradford's Lister Park hosted the National Youth Circuit Race Championships on Sunday. There were around three hundred and fifty young cyclists competing in events throughout the day. I was quite impressed with the professional approach these young, and in some cases very young riders had, there were one or two incidents where riders came off their machines, picked themselves up and carried on racing. I was also impressed with the local Army Cadets who gave up their time to act as stewards on the circuit. On a personal note, I found out that cycle races are quite difficult to photograph. The nice sharp pictures I took looked, well, nice and sharp, but totally lifeless. The pictures showing subject movement had a lot more life in them but looked, well, a bit blurry. On balance, I think I prefer the blurry ones, like the one above.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Strange Fruit - Step Up Bradford

I enjoyed the performance by Melbourne based performing arts company Strange Fruit (as I did on their last visit to Bradford, the header picture for this blog is from their last Bradford performance). The artists perch on top of fifteen foot high poles which flex and sway above the audience in a kind of aerial ballet, quite spectacular.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Axial Dance - Centenary Square

This 1960s scooter was the centrepiece for a dance routine by Axial Dance in yesterdays Step Up Bradford event.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Wired Aerial Theatre - Centenary Square

The Step Up Bradford event was held in Centenary Square today. There were various live performances including this one, a kind of slapstick comedy performed partly on the stage and partly in mid-air, very popular with the audience. The Step Up event itself is the Bradford district's celebration to mark one year before the start of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Princes Way - Bradford

It's surprising how much better a town centre looks with a few flowers and trees in it. This is the view from the Jacobs Well roundabout looking towards the Alhambra theatre in the centre of Bradford.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Five Rise Locks - Bingley

It's quilte interesting to watch the boats working their way up the Five Rise Locks at Bingley. On this occasion there weren't any boats so I had to look around for something else to photograph. I think this picture looks a bit like one of those Victorian post cards, the white car parked in the lane spoils it a bit, but the scene is probably the same as it was a hundred and fifty years ago.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Poppies - Cliffe Castle

I had a wander around the grounds of Cliffe Castle near Keighley at the weekend and came across a wild flower meadow. It was raining heavily at the time, not ideal conditions for taking photographs, but the colours of the flowers were quite striking, so here are some bedraggled looking poppies.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Luke Hirst and Sarah Smout - Aire Do

I really enjoyed the set by Luke Hirst and Sarah Smout. The duo write their own material and the combination of guitar, cello and excellent vocals made for a very enjoyable session at the Aire Do on Sunday.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Aire Do

There was heavy rain at this music event yesterday which was held in the grounds of Cliffe Castle near Keighley. As you can see from the picture, the crowd of spectators was a little on the small side. The weather did improve a little as the afternoon went on, and more people did turn up and seemed to enjoy themselves despite the heavy showers. As for myself, I spent most of the afternoon in a nearby marquee listening to acoustic musicians, out of the rain.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sealed Knot Society - Bolling Hall

Bolling Hall has been taken over by the Earl of Newcastle's Regiment of Foote this weekend in a re-enactment of the events leading up to the siege of Bradford in 1642. Members of the Sealed Knot Society, which is the largest re-enactment society in Britain gave very entertaining outdoor demonstrations of pike, musket and canon, whilst indoors typical food from the period was being prepared. A word of warning though, if you attend one of these events, the canon fire can be incredibly loud, I was sat in my car and almost spilt a cup of tea when the canon was fired for the first time!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lister Park - Further Upstream

I know I posted a picture of this stream in Lister Park only a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get this far upstream on that occasion, so here's another picture.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Pontefract Liquorice Festival

I visited the West Yorkshire market town of Ponterfract earlier today. The town lies about twenty five miles East of Bradford and is famous for the growing and production of liquorice, it also holds an annual Liquorice Festival. These two gentlemen were out on the street selling the very latest high technology information storage devices to the general public. I was quite impressed with their sales patter, but came away without buying anything.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Through The Round Window

This picture shows the domes of the Alhambra Theatre and the Odeon Cinema and was taken through one of the 'portholes' in the Camera Lucida sulpture which stands in front of the National Media Museum.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Lamb Inn - Oxenhope Straw Race

Contestants in the Oxenhope Straw Race leaving the Lamb Inn after downing a quick beer.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Elvis at the Oxenhope Straw Race

As well as taking part in the race, Elvis and his band managed to put in a couple of performances at the Oxenhope Straw Race.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Oxenhope Straw Race

The village of Oxenhope lies about nine miles West of Bradford and is probably best known as the terminus for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The village is also famous for its annual Straw Race. Contestants in the race have to down a pint of ale at each pub in the village whilst carrying a large bale of straw, not an easy task as there are some seriously steep hills to negotiate. The event is to raise money for local charities and most individuals and teams compete in fancy dress.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Camera Lucida - Tim Head

This sculpture stands in front of the National Media Museum in the centre of Bradford and is by artist Tim Head. It was commissioned by the museum with support from Bradford Metropolitan Council and the Yorkshire Arts Association. I find this sculpture quite difficult to photograph, this is probably my best effort so far. I don't usually mess about with the colours but I have tinted the picture blue and darkened the corners a little on this occasion.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Bradford Pals Commemoration Service

A service was held today to commemorate the sacrifice made by 'The Bradford Pals' on the first of July 1916 at the battle of the Somme. More than seventeen hundred men from the Bradford area were killed in the first hour of the battle, a battle which dragged on until November of that year without making any significant progress. The 'Pals' were soldiers that had volunteered together, trained together and had then been formed into battalions of soldiers from the same locality.
The picture was taken at this mornings service near the Bradford Pals Memorial Stone.