A History of Bradford


Brod ford later known as Bradford was first settled in Saxon times and by the Middle Ages was a small town centered on kur gate Westgate and I've gate by 1800 it was a rural town of 16,000 people with a solitary steam-powered mill most wool was spun and woven in local cottages and farms but over the next 50 years it became the fastest growing industrial town in Britain the ironworks at low Moore and bowling were huge and they exported products all over the world via the Bradford Canal quarrying was hugely important the streets of London were said to be paved with gold due to the color of the Yorkshire sandstone exported from Bradford industrialization of textiles followed in the wake of coal iron and stone and by 1850 there were a hundred and twenty-nine mills and a hundred and seventy-five thousand people in the neighbourhood but in 1850 there were no sewers the Canal Basin bubble with raw sewage in hot weather 50% of children died before their first birthday and the graveyard around the parish church was so full it disgorged its corpses on to church bank during landslips however the second half of the 19th century brought improvements in sanitation and housing bradford was incorporated in 1847 and fifty years later officially became a city much of the wealth being generated at the time was used to create imposing buildings such as the town hall the wool exchange Kerr gate market a huge range of supporting industries such as communications and financial services evolved the chemical industry supplied among others ripley's bowling dye works the largest piece dye works in the world the printing industry produced literature in dozens of languages that promoted Bradford products all over the world in 1893 Bradford made a major contribution to British political life when the Independent Labour Party was formed after a bitter strike at Lister's Manning and mills at the same time Bradford played a major role in social reform pioneering school meals public libraries baths and medical examinations and taking a major part in educational reform Brantford City Football Club achieved its highest honor by winning the 1911 FA Cup the FA Cup itself was made in Bradford by John Enrico fatter Eenie in 1912 he promoted his jewelry business through advertising offering to deliver items by post the business took off moved to Groton Road and is now part of the world's largest home shopping company engineering originally developed to service the Mills and went on to create their own innovative products such as jarred cars and Scott motorcycles and most of the country's television sets were at one time made in Bradford by Baird's on the 1st of July 1914 Bradford soldiers from the Prince of Wales owned West Yorkshire Regiment advanced to the German frontline in just one day's offensive 515 of 775 soldiers were killed or injured the Bradford Powell's as they became known went on to see frontline service throughout the war since the 1760s when Irish people first came to work here the city has welcomed many nationalities most came for economic reasons such as the European merchants who built little Germany in the 19th century others arrived for political reasons Jews fleeing anti-semitism in Europe in the 1930s all those displaced by the Second World War such as the poles Ukrainians and Baltic Nationals the last significant group to arrive came in response to recruitment campaigns in the 1950s men from the Asian subcontinent came to work the newly introduced nightshift in textile mills and were later joined by their families other smaller groups include West Indians who came to staff the newly expanding health service and public transport system in 1966 the University of Bradford was established and could trace its history through Bradford Technical School to the Mechanics Institute of 1832 David Hockney became one of the most famous artists in the world during the 1960's becoming an icon of the era he continues to produce highly acclaimed work and displays recent works in the 1853 gallery in salt air the 1970s continued the filmmaking tradition with the railway children and Yanks both featuring the Keith Lee and Werth Valley Railway but the 1970s were also the period when the economy went into a sudden and severe decline and heralded the beginning of a difficult time for the district the city's dominant textile industries were hit by increased competition new technologies and imports from low-wage economies 63,000 jobs were lost in textiles and engineering causing unemployment to rocket to 16% in 1985 Bradford City were playing Lincoln City in front of a crowd of 10,000 at 3:44 p.m.


Flames appeared for the first time and the Bradford City fire disaster was just beginning in a bid to kick-start the economy a program of European grants were used to revitalize the city's infrastructure as part of this program the Science Museum opens the National Museum of Photography film and television which quickly establishes itself as the most popular museum outside London during the 1980s the economy diversified away from manufacturing and for the first time the service sector became the principal source of employment the electronics industry has established the city as the largest electronics manufacturing center in the region Brantford has developed as a multicultural society and nowhere is this more visible than during the annual Bradford Festival which includes the Mahler Europe's largest gathering to celebrate Asian music dance and culture the 1990s finally see confidence return to the city sixties developments are designated for demolition as major new city center developments a planned which will give the city an attractive new shopping center major investments in the retail and leisure industries see new pubs and clubs opening to make Bradford the place to be for a good night out these new architectural features will join the changing landscape which includes traditional Yorkshire Mills modern office blocks and the golden domes of the district's many mosques movie star pierce brosnan reopens the national museum of photography film and television after a 13 million pound refurbishment designed to keep it at the top of the list of Britain's best museums the national provincial Building Society is taken over by the Abbey National who proved their confidence in the city by building a new headquarters here Bradford Bulls the rugby league team achieved glorious finalists in the Challenge Cup in 1996 and 97 and were Super League champions in 97 Bradford City joined their winning ways by making it into the Premiership for the 99 2000 season whatever the future holds for Bradford it rests upon the energy vitality and infused gasm of its people and the strength and diversity of the multi-ethnic communities which make up the district

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