Sunday, 30 September 2012

Bolling Hall - Prepare To Die!

A terrific display of military weaponry and how to use it at the Medieval Living Event, Bolling Hall.  The chap who appears to be winning is actually recovering from a recently broken foot and that armour he is wearing weighs around six and a half stone (40kg). 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Medieval Living Event - Bolling Hall

The Great Hall at Bolling Hall and a re-enactment of life during the Wars of the Roses by members of Frei Compagnie.  Bolling Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Bradford and was opened as a museum in 1915.  It was used as a base by Royalists to attack the town of Bradford during the English Civil War, the commander was supposed to have been asked by a ghost to 'pity poor Bradford' on the eve of the attack and the citizens were subsequently spared the sword on the following day.  The museum really comes to life during these re-enactments, the chap in the picture is a doctor or surgeon with the tools of his trade spread out on the table, an assortment of fearsome looking instruments and unusual potions.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Peaceful Protest

A peaceful protest against an American made 'anti-Islam' film was held today in Centenary Square. Speeches were made by Muslim community leaders from Bradford and Keighley (and by representatives of the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara) condemning the film but urging peace and restraint.  There was a large crowd present but not a hint of trouble, just speeches and prayers, amen.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Road To Nowhere

This is the riverside path at Thackley after all that rain (it's rained heavily here for days).  I did manage to find a way around this flooded section.  When I reached the other side of the trees on the right there was a chap sat on the riverbank painting a picture, and I thought photography was an eccentric hobby!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wicker Skips - Bradford Industrial Museum

Back in the late 1970's I worked for a textile machinery company, delivering machinery parts to mills around West Yorkshire.  The mills had a distinctive smell to them, a kind of mixture of wool and oil that seemed to permeate the fabric of the building.  The first floor of the Bradford Industrial Museum houses a collection of textile machinery, from early hand operated weaving looms to machines that were in use at the demise of the textile industry in this part of the world.  It also has that distinctive smell, wool and oil, it takes me back thirty five years when I walk through the door. It probably does the same for a lot of people who worked in the mills, and it probably takes them a lot further back than my thirty five years.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The History Of Bradford Speedway Exhibition

The History Of Bradford Speedway Exhibition is running until the end of November at the Bradford Industrial Museum.  Speedway motorcycles, memorabilia and literature relating to the sport and its popularity in Bradford are on display at the museum.  It's all part of Bradford's history and worth a visit even if you were never a fan of the sport (like myself).

Monday, 24 September 2012


Sorry there have been no posts for the last few days as my wife and I have been in Aberdeen for a family wedding.  The venue was a couple of miles outside of Aberdeen but we did manage a quick visit to the town before the wedding ceremony took place.  Unable to find a convenient parking space in the town centre we ended up at a delightful seaside area just  north of the town itsef, complete with fairground, sea-front cafes and a lovely beach with golden sand, and plenty of sunshine as well!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - German Sausage

I didn't manage to see everything at the Saltaire Festival, there was just too much to see in the time I had available.  Some of the food stalls were quite colourful, this German sausage was quite eye-catching.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - Reflecting On Fruit

There were a number of food tents at the Saltaire Festival with demonstrations in the art of preparing food, or in this case, turning fruit into amazing floral displays with nothing more than a sharp knife.  The mirror was mounted on the ceiling of the tent to give the audience a better view.  I took a quick picture after the demonstration when members of the audience went up to the front for a closer look.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - Street Fun

An unlikely combination of music, juggling and er... escapology from this duo at the Saltaire Festival, very popular with the kids and adults alike.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - The Plumhall Band

I really enjoyed this set from the Bradford based Plumhall band at the Saltaire Festival.  The band features Michelle Plum (former member of Chumbawamba) and Nick B Hall performing folk ballads through to out and out rock, very nice.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - Street Band

Onlookers are not quite sure what to make of a very entertaining street band in Roberts Park today.  It's all part of the finale weekend at the tenth Saltaire Festival.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - Giant Hippo?

I've never seen one of these roaming around Roberts Park before, it's quite a sight when you see it approaching through the crowds, and there were some crowds today.  It's the finale weekend of the Saltaire Festival and I can honestly say that I have never seen as many people in the village, moving around became a bit of a problem by mid afternoon.  There were a number of Steampunk enthusiasts at the Festival, but I think this hippo was a real showstopper.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - Roberts Park

Live music at the bandstand in Roberts Park, Saltaire.  This was last Sunday but the main weekend for the tenth Saltaire Festival is the coming weekend with live music, a continental market and a number of other events taking place.  I hope to be there.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Baildon Scarecrow Walk 2012 - Acoustic Trio

I quite enjoyed listening to this acoustic trio performing at the Scarecrow Walk in Baildon at the weekend.  They go by the name of 'The Broken Hearts Club Band', they were very pleasant to listen to, and who needs amplifiers anyway!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Baildon Scarecrow Walk 2012 - Scarecrow Choir

There was some very nice singing from this choir in the grounds of St John's Parish Church on Saturday, with choir members dressed as scarecrows.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Baildon Scarecrow Walk - 2012

Baildon hosted its annual Scarecrow Walk on Saturday and there were plenty of visitors to the village, many of them young children clutching leaflets showing the locations of the scarecrows.  This years main themes seem to have been the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee, not surprising really.  I didn't see all of the scarecrows, but there were some quite clever ones, some very colourful ones, some that were quite bizarre, and some that just put a smile of your face!

Monday, 10 September 2012

High Royds Hospital Chapel - Heritage Open Day

Just an open space really, but the final resting place of 2,858 former patients of the nearby High Royds Hospital.  The hospital was opened in 1888 as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum and took in mentally ill patients normally kept in prisons and the workhouse.  Patients would expect to stay at the institution until they died and would then be given a pauper's funeral at this burial ground.  There were no headstones, and probably no relatives present at the funeral as patients were largely abandoned when taken in at the hospital.  The last burial took place in 1969 and the hospital finally closed in 2003.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Saltaire Festival 2012 - Dog Show

There was plenty of activity in Roberts Park today.  The tenth Saltaire Festival runs until Sunday, September 16th and this dog show was just one of the festival events.  I'm not really a dog person, but I did enjoy watching these fine looking animals being paraded up and down the arena.  The photograph looks a little on the dull side, it managed to rain mid afternoon, just a little shower, but enough to send people heading for home.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Bradford City Hall - Heritage Open Day

There was great fun in the former law courts at City Hall today in re-enactments of criminal prosecutions from the 1950's.  The entertainment was all part of a heritage open day at City Hall where visitors could explore this historic building and see areas not normally open to the public.  The chap on the far right of the bench is Lord Mayor cllr. Dale Smith taking part in the proceedings.

Curious Crow

I don't usually take pictures of birds, you need a lot of patience and need to be able to identify the different species, I think this one may be a juvenile crow or rook.  It was taken on a footpath near the river Aire with a telephoto lens. I didn't really need to use a long lens as the bird gradually came closer and closer, I think it was curious about the noise the camera was making, until it was actually too close for the telephoto lens I was using to focus.  I have never experienced this kind of behaviour from a bird before.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Rushbearing Festival - Bradshaw Mummers

The Bradshaw Mummers performing at the Rushbearing Festival at Sowerby Bridge.  The actors are known as 'mummers' and perform traditional folk plays generally on the theme of  the triumph of good over evil, very popular with the youngsters.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rushbearing Festival - Uppermill Brass Band

Uppermill Brass Band leaving St Patrick's Church at the Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival.  I think the Whit Friday Brass Band Contests at Saddleworth may be worth a visit next year, it's not near Bradford, not even in Yorkshire (although I believe it was at one time), it's over the border into Lancashire and an area of mill towns and villages.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Rushbearing Festival - Persephone Women's Morris

Persephone Women's Morris, Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival, at the Maypole Inn, Warley.  According to their website, Persepone are a North West (old Lancashire and Cheshire areas of England) processional morris side.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Rushbearing Festival - The Powderkegs

The Powderkegs, Border Morris dancers from Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire performing at the Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival.  I think we were at the White Horse Inn at this point, I'm not entirely sure as I'm not really familiar with the area.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Rushbearing Festival - Sowerby Bridge

I spent yesterday at the market town of Sowerby Bridge in the Calder valley, around ten miles south-west of Bradford.  The town hosts an annual rushbearing festival weekend, and I can honestly say that I have never seen anything quite like it.  The festival has been held in the town since 1977 but is a revival of an ancient custom in the area of carrying rushes to church to lay on the earthen floor.  A sixteen foot high rushcart with a maiden perched on top is hauled by a team of local men wearing clogs, black trousers, white shirts and decorated panama hats up and down some seriously steep hills, stopping off at local churches, and local pubs along the route where there is much dancing and general merriment.  The rushcart is followed by a procession of clog dancers, sword dancers and musicians who entertain the crowds at each stop.  I must say that I really enjoyed the day and was exhausted at the end of it, and I wasn't even pulling the cart.  I'd just like to add that the tankards you can see hanging from the belts of the haulers are not just there for decorative purposes!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Manchester Road Bridge

It was the official opening of the new Manchester Road Bridge today.  The structure replaces an existing bridge and joins together a community divided by one of the busiest routes into Bradford.  The bridge is both pedestrian and cycle friendly, having gentle gradients, and is actually part of the National Cycle Networks Route 66.  I took the picture yesterday as workmen added a few finishing touches to the 210 metre long structure.