Once again our region has been chosen to feature as the backdrop to heritage filming. Bradford and Yorkshire are key areas chosen for some great television and film productions. The most recent is the remake of the popular classic All Creatures Great and Small , based on the hilarious and uplifting best seller books by James Herriot about the novice vet from Glasgow who settles into a veterinary practice in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s.
The current village of Darrowby is essentially Grassington and Mrs Pumphrey’s palatial home is Broughton Hall Estate near Skipton but Bradford District makes its appearance in the use of the wonderful Worth Valley railway line, Oakworth and Keighley Worth Valley stations for all things rail related.
Of course Bradford District is no stranger to filming from films such as Room at the Top and Billy Liar of the 1950s/60s to Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, the Railway Children and Peaky Blinders. The list is a long one and starting earlier through the decades. Bradford’s City Hall, its centre, and local towns and villages have become firm location favourites for heritage sites and atmospheric shoots. Heritage buildings like Little Germany’s former 19th century wool merchant district have been used for a Hindi horror movie in 2013, when the streets doubled as 1920s London, and most recently for Gentleman Jack, Downton Abbey and the Netflix history of football in the North of England, The English Game. The model village of Saltaire too is a popular venue for period streets, shop fronts and terraced housing and The English Game crew made full use of these as a film location. Also on football, let’s never forget the Ripping Yarns’ episode Golden Gordon (1979), also filmed locally, about the trials of footy fan Gordon Ottershaw in his support of the worst team of 1935, Barnestoneworth United, starring Michael Palin. The diversity of the townscape has also attracted Bollywood film makers, Bombay Stores was used for the film Karachi, a comedy drama, in 2015:
If you would like to follow some inspirational tours of award winning filming in our region check out the site for Filmed in Yorkshire: https://filmedinyorkshire.co.uk/ and see where it takes you in our very own district. Why not plan your own trail, taking in your favourite films and TV series.
James Herriot’s Vet novels and non-fiction about the glorious dales are still available for loan in Bradford Libraries, just click and collect:
Books on cinema and film are also available for loan, such as Made in Yorkshire by Tony Earnshaw and Jim Moran that includes in-depth accounts of more than 30 films and looks at the history of filming in this beautiful county.
Of course no conclusion can be reached without a reminder of the National Science and Media Museum https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/ and also that Bradford has been internationally recognised as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film, a permanent title, and in part attained because of such popularity as a location hotspot. If you would like to find out more about this accolade, what it means to you and your area and also subscribe to a newsletter that will keep you right up to date with local films and filming please follow:
For the future, Bradford can look forward to the development of a diversity of film talent as a result of Screen Yorkshire’s successful initiative Beyond Brontës to help young people (18-24) from diverse backgrounds to establish careers in the creative industries. In June 2020, the first group of trainees successfully completed the scheme. The following link gives full details of the initiative and the kind of training and experience that the students gained. There is also a video link as well:
Gina Birdsall, Keighley Local Studies