This is a member of the Nigeria Olympic Boxing Team being egged on by his team mates to pose for a picture with this ferret. The little polecat had been brought along by a visitor to the Olympic Torch event in Centenary Square on Sunday and I don't think the Nigerians, who are training in Bradford for the Olympic Games, had seen one before. The ferret was perfectly happy being handled, but the handler in the picture was, shall we say, a little bit apprehensive. I'd just like to add that it is perfectly normal practice here in Yorkshire to walk around with a ferret on a lead.
Two generations of veteran at the flag raising ceremony yesterday, Keith Benson who has served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq and Royal British Legion Service Secretary Jim Hargreaves MBE.
Members of the Royal British Legion were taking part in a flag raising ceremony this morning in Centenary Square. The flag raising event, which takes place throughout the UK and overseas marks the beginning of a week leading up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30th June, and is aimed at raising the awareness of the contribution made to the country by former servicemen and those currently serving in the armed forces. I'm hoping to attend the Saturday event in Centenary Square where there will be a drumhead service.
Thousands of people turned out today to see the Olympic Torch on its journey through Bradford. I had to go a little bit out of the town centre to get a clear view. This is the torch being carried down the normally very busy Manchester Road.
I went along to the Manor House Museum in Ilkley this afternoon for a talk by photographer and film maker Simon Warner. Simon is currently artist in residence at the museum for the final year of the Watershed Landscape Project, a three year undertaking exploring the South Pennine uplands and its influence on writers, artists and poets, its ancient history, its flora and fauna, and its reservoirs which supply much of the drinking water for the industrial areas on both sides of the Pennines. I went to one of Simon's talks earlier in the year, the subject was Bradford Beck, a fascinating history of the beck and how it came to be buried beneath the city centre, today's talk was equally interesting.
There is currently an exhibition at the Manor House Museum 'Moor Views' (until 1 July 2012), artwork, literature, historic objects and photographs from a recent photography competition all connected with the South Pennine uplands. I believe there will also be an exhibition at the Bronte Parsonage Museum later in the year on the history of the ruination of Top Withens with input from Simon.
Positive Bradford Day took place today in Centenary Square in the centre of Bradford. As the name suggests, the aim of the event is to promote Bradford, the good things things that are happening in the City. A combination of music, dance, food, stage performances by local schoolchildren and lots of information about local voluntary organisations made for a very informative and entertaining afternoon. The weather wasn't very good, heavy driving rain and strong winds (a bit of a recurring theme lately). I took the picture above when I nipped into one of the tents to escape the rain, a group of (Bradford) Punjabi musicians were drawing quite a crowd, these are two of the band.
I know I have already posted a picture of Ponydance from their superb stage performance on Saturday, but Sunday's performance was even better, down at street level, and with the audience only feet away. I believe the group are from Belfast, there are some clips of their performances on You Tube.
The main imove and Games In The Park event took place on Saturday, but the fun continued on Sunday on a smaller scale in Centenary Square. Members of the audience were encouraged to take to the mat and show imove dancer and choreographer 'Bobak' (on the left) some of their favourite moves. Bobak is having a 'dance off' with a local breakdancer (I think his name is Phillip), I can't tell you who won, let's just say it was a draw!
Performers from the Northern School Of Contemporary Dance in Centenary Square on Saturday. They were heading for the mirror pool where they performed a kind of balletic dance in the water, unusual, unexpected and fascinating, I've never seen anything quite like it before.
This is one of the entertainers at the imove event yesterday. I recognised hin from a previous event in Centenary Square, his name is Paedah and he's from Dublin (I was curious about the name and looked it up on the Internet, apparently it's a variation of Paeda and it's Anglo-Saxon). He says he loves coming to Bradford and thinks the mirror pool is a fantastic place, he did add that he was a bit worried about getting his shoes wet though!
This was part of today's entertainment in Centenary Square, imove artists bringing the art of human movement to the city of Bradford. The day was a combination of 'Games In The Park', traditional games for younger children and 'imove' artists performing on stage and around Centenary Square and the mirror pool. I've had to respect the wishes of the organisers for me not to publish any pictures of children taking part in the event, but there was still plenty to photograph, as you can see.
I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow when there will be a 'Games in the Park' event in the centre of Bradford. Local children have been invited to take part in traditional children's games in Centenary Square and there will be displays of free running and dance. The only cloud on the horizon (literally) is the heavy rain forecast for the day. The picture shows a member of Urban Freeflow practising before the Mirror Pool opening event in March.
This was taken about three weeks ago. I wondered what all the commotion was in front of City Hall and went to investigate. I initially thought it must be a really big news story as there were film cameras there and lots of photographers in the square. It was a really big story, a press announcement, but not a real one, and the photographers were actually 'extras', a scene from the television series DCI Banks was being shot on the steps of City Hall. I was politely asked not to take any pictures during filming so here is a picture of some of the crew taking a break.
My wife and I spent a couple of hours in the in the town of Ripon on our return journey from Berwick-Upon-Tweed last week. The town is around thirty miles north of Bradford and has a really interesting cathedral. This is the reredos which stands behind the high altar, created in 1923 by Ninian Comper and depicting contemporaries of St Wilfrid.
I like old cars, especially Rover cars, and especially this model, the P6. I think it's because it was such a desirable car back in the late 1960's and early 1970's when I was growing up, in fact my uncle owned one of these cars and I used to polish it for him in the school holidays, it would take me all day to do it properly, the job paid £5, quite a lot of money back then. These two Rover cars were on display at Oakwell Hall last Sunday. I'm not usually keen on red for a saloon car, or green for that matter, but I thought red and green suited these old P6 Rovers just fine.
These young drama students were taking part in a fund raising walk along the Leeds-Liverpool canal on Saturday. I didn't manage to get much in the way of information from the group, the heavens opened as soon as I got my camera out and I had to run for cover. I believe they were walking all the way to Leeds, quite a distance, especially in the pouring rain.
There was some welcome sunshine this afternoon in the grounds of Cliffe Castle at Keighley where the Baildon Ukulele Club held a fund raising concert for the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice. A surprisingly eclectic mix of music was performed by the Baildon based Ukulele Club, from George Formby hits to the Kaiser Chiefs 'Ruby'. Here the crowd are singing along to a duet with club members Richard and John.
I was really looking forward to the Bradford Mela today, a celebration of South Asian Culture with street theatre music and dance. Unfortunately the event was cancelled at the last minute due to ground conditions at Peel Park. Due to the heavy rain we have had over the last couple of weeks and with more to come, it was considered unwise to allow the event to go ahead. I had a quick look back and came up with this picture from the Mela in 2010. I'm going from memory here, but I think the performer had flown from Pakistan especially for this performance which involved balancing a number of those vessels on top of her head (I can't remember how many, but it was a lot).
This was taken a few days ago at the Diamond Jubilee Big Lunch in the centre of Bradford. The little girl at the front of the stage is holding a stick, it was a flag, the rain was just so heavy that the flags disintegrated within minutes.
I missed all the exitement last week down in the centre of Bradford as I was away on holiday. The famous (or is that infamous) hole, a huge depression in the city centre, intended to be a retail development but abandoded after the foudations were excavated some years ago, was occupied by a group of protesters attempting to bring attention to the situation. The protesters were still there yesterday. The saga goes on.
On Monday I went along to a barbecue and family fun day in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at the Al Mahdi Mosque in Rees Way Bradford. My original intention was to take pictures of the Jubilee festivities but I was invited into the mosque and given a full tour of the building by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community member Ruhan. I must confess that I knew nothing about the Ahmadiyya Community and was grateful for the information given to me by Ruhan. Briefly the Ahmadiyya Community has members in 197 countries around the world and believes in non violence, racial equality and respect for all religions. It was the first Muslim Ccommunity to be established in the UK in 1913, and it has its own global satellite TV station. The Community raises money for charities both in the UK and abroad and has also translated the Qur'an into 67 different languages. The mosque itself is built into a hillside overlooking the city and has extensive views over Bradford to the hills beyond. The picture shows Ruhan greeting visitors to the mosque.
I know it's not a technically brilliant image, but I seem to prefer pictures with a bit of movement in them as opposed to sharp but 'static' looking pictures. It's one of over 2,000 beacons lit throughout the UK to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, this one is at Birk Hill, Thackley, on the North side of Bradford.
I stopped off at my local cricket club this morning where Diamond Jubilee Celebrations were in full swing. This is the ladies tug of war competition, as you may have guessed, which was just one of the events taking place throughout the day. Thankfully the weather was a big improvement on the relentless heavy rain of yesterday.
Unfortunately it rained, heavily, at the Jubilee Big Lunch earlier today in the centre of Bradford, even my normally waterproof waterproofs left me feeling a little soggy. The entertainers worked extra hard though, bands playing music from the late 50's up to the 90's and enthusiastic (but very wet) street performers providing the 'feel good' factor, in fact, I'm still 'feeling good' as I hang my wet clothes up to dry, so they must have done a good job!
It's quite a popular pastime to walk through the centre jets of the new mirror pool in Bradford. I believe the flow of water is reduced a little when there are people about. I haven't been through myself, but I can tell you that I got quite wet enough just taking the picture!
I've been away for a few days, up the East Coast to Berwick-upon-Tweed, also venturing over the border into Scotland and St Abbs where this picture was taken. It's a bronze sculpture by Jill Watson and as you can see it depicts women and children looking out to sea. It is one of a number of sculptures placed along this coastline to commemorate the East Coast Fishing Disaster of 1881, known as Black Friday, where a hurricane struck the coast causing the deaths of 189 fishermen at sea.