There was a bit of a party atmosphere in Centenary Square today as Bradford hosted its annual Pride celebrations. The event drew quite a large crowd, families as well as members of the gay and lesbian communities. The sunny weather seemed to put everybody in a good mood, the spectators are singing along at this point and I probably spent a little longer at the side of the stage than I intended to, I was temporarily deaf for a short while afterwards.
This beautiful white horse took part in the Lord Mayors Carnival Parade last week. The owner of the horse was also at the Naqshbandia Parade the previous week although I did not immediately recognise him as he was wearing a coachman's uniform at that event. I will post a picture of the carriage and horses in a day or two.
It looks like the cold weather we have been experiencing over the last five or six weeks has finally gone, it has been pleasantly warm here for the last two or three days. I took the opportunity yesterday to visit the Five Rise Locks on the Leeds/Liverpool canal at Bingley, luckily, there was a boat descending the locks and I was able to get a picture of it leaving the bottom lock. When I last visited, over the winter period, the lock gates were being replaced and it was possible to walk along the bottom of the drained locks (along with several hundred other people who also turned up for the open day) which was quite an experience. I believe the gates last around thirty years, so I probably won't be around when they next need replacing.
I sometimes arrive early when there is a big event on in the town centre and just have a wander around. I had initially thought that this figure was Count Dracula. I had approached from the direction the picture was taken from and didn't realise that it was actually the Queen until I went around to the front. I believe that the platform was raised during the Carnival celebrations on Saturday, but I actually missed this part of the event.
Mayor of Bradford Naveeda Ikram in a procession heading for Bradford Cathedral on Saturday morning. After a Civic Service of Thanksgiving the Mayors procession then joined the carnival parade and the festivities in the town centre.
These giant musicians and opera singers took part in the Mayor's Carnival Parade yesterday, sixteen foot tall and quite impressive I thought, these two youngsters weren't too sure though, they didn't seem to want to go any closer.
Over 1300 schoolchildren took part in the Lord Mayor's Carnival Parade today. The theme this year was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee so there was plenty of red white and blue on show. I took this picture from the top of the pavilion as the head of procession made a circuit of the mirror pool and then proceeded to the city centre via Centenary Square.
I didn't notice at the time I took the photograph, but this picture reminds me a little of the paintings of L. S. Lowry and his 'matchstick men'. It's taken from the studio area of the Impressions Gallery which overlooks the Mirror Pool.
This is Ian, reciting one of his poems. I saw Ian watching the Naqshbandia parade on Sunday, he was still there as I walked back to my car afterwards, so I stopped for a chat. Ian writes poems, poems about schizophrenia, living rough and life in a psychiatric hospital, so he hasn't had an easy life. The poems were very powerful, spoken from the heart, and well delivered by Ian, I was impressed.
This is talented singer/songwriter Jasmine Kennedy playing at the Lister Park Bandstand on Sunday. Jasmine has played at the Bingley Music Live festival, the Bradford Mela and the Saltaire Festival as well as numerous smaller gigs over the last couple of years. There wasn't much of a crowd on Sunday due to the cold blustery wind whistling around the park. If you want to know more about Jasmine you can catch up with her on Facebook.
A parade took place through the streets of Manningham on Sunday organised by the Naqshbandia Mosque in Tile Street. The procession is an annual event and can be seen here turning into Victor Road with Manningham Mills in the background. The Mosque is very keen on community relations and is also the base of a charity which supports activities such as Intercultural Football Tournaments and a deaf youth club.
It was the Bronte Vintage Gathering at the weekend, vintage cars, motorbikes, commercial vehicles and traction engines. My kids would have loved one of these scaled down traction engines, one that you could actually sit on and drive around, they both had Mammod traction engines when they were little, in fact I still have them in the house somewhere. I had thought that all these scaled down traction engines were built by steam enthusiasts, but apparently some were built by the traction engine manufacturers themselves. They were sent, along with a sales agent to far off places such as Africa. The smaller version was much easier to transport and was used as a kind of demonstrator for the full sized machine, and to show the customer the kind of workmanship the manufacturer was capable of.
This group of walkers completed the last leg of the Bradford District Fair Trade Way yesterday. The walk links the Fairtrade villages and towns of Bradford, Bingley, Shipley, Baildon, Burley, Ilkley, Haworth, Denholme and Thornton. I think the walkers were a bit ahead of schedule as they arrived in the town centre earlier than I anticipated and I nearly missed them.
Volunteers were out and about in the city centre today raising awareness of the Fairtrade movement as part of World Fairtrade Day. Buying Fairtrade produce ensures that farmers and workers in developing countries receive a fair price for their goods, better working conditions and a premium to improve the community that they live in.
On this day in 1985 fifty six people lost their lives in a fire at Valley Parade, the home of Bradford City football club, many more were injured. Today a memorial service was held at the Bradford Fire Disaster sculpture in Centenary Square. I attended the service last year and took few pictures, this year I took more pictures, but to be honest it felt intrusive, even though there were other photographers and a TV crew there, it just felt, well, intrusive.
The National Media Museum is probably an easier name to remember than The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, its former name. The museum houses a large Imax cinema and two smaller cinemas, two exhibition galleries, a whole downstairs floor on the history of photography and historic cameras, a gallery on the history of television, and more recent exhibits on computer gaming and the internet, so the current name is probably more apt than the former name. The picture shows the balconies overlooking the foyer area of the museum.
This charity event, held yesterday in the centre of Otley was immense fun for participants and spectators alike. Teams of stretcher bearers carrying a patient followed a route through the town centre, stopping off at each pub along the way (and there are a lot of pubs in the centre of Otley) to down a quick drink. It was all good fun and raised money for Cancer Research. The team in the picture were, I think, the only family to enter the race and were being directed to the next pub by a helpful member of the public.
Brightly coloured boats converged on the town of Skipton at the weekend for the Skipton Waterway Festival. Many of the boats were decorated with Union Flags as this year is the Queen's diamond jubilee and the Olympic Games are also taking place. I went along fairly early in the morning, before the crowds arrived and managed to take some quite nice pictures. I liked this one, Rosie & Jim, the other two boats are Bill & Ben, but Ben unfortunately drifted across to the right so you can't see his name.
These unusual carved entrance doors are actually on a modern building in Centenary Square. I haven't looked closely at them before, and I am no expert on Islamic architecture, but they do look like they are genuine old entrance doors.
The city of Hamm is the destination of these cyclists. The team will be setting off from Bradford next month on a return trip to the German city to raise money for a local charity which works with young disabled people http:/www.justgiving.com/bradfordsports/raisemoney/. In the picture are also David Ward, MP for Bradford East, Hilary White from Bradford Disability Sports and Mayor of Bradford Naveeda Ikram. My thanks to the other photographer present who set up the shot.
We seem to lag behind other countries when it comes to saving energy, so it was good to see solar panels being used to supplement the power to the stage at the Mayday festivities last Saturday. The sun even made a brief appearance as I took the picture.
This 1960's Ford Anglia van was in the Bradford Urban Garden on Saturday. The owner is a bit of a Ford Anglia fan as he also owns two Anglia cars, he is also an Odeon Cinema fan and is keen to see the building saved from demolition. The posters draw attention to the plight of the cinema and urge people to vote for Odeon supporting candidates in the local council elections.
Bradford punk rockers the Drastics at the Bradford Urban Garden on Saturday. I was around in the heyday of punk rock, but it kind of passed me by, I was into other things at the time, cars, motorbikes and drinking beer mainly, punk rock was there but it never really had any influence on me. I did enjoy this performance by the Drastics on Saturday though, it had a kind of raw energy that seems to be missing in a lot of music these days.