Messages of Support

A Special Message from the Lord Mayor of Bradford

I am delighted to warmly congratulate Bradford Libraries on their 150th anniversary.

When the library service here was founded in 1872, Bradford, and indeed the world, was a very different place. 

Prior to the Public Library Act of 1850, if you wanted to use a library you had to pay a subscription.  Our Victorian forebears saw the value in allowing access to books ‘on the rates’ and all people, regardless of class, gender, age or income, could better themselves through the library.

Our libraries have, of course, moved with the times and cater for much wider needs and interests these days. 

I have very fond memories of visiting the old ‘Central Library’ in the city centre with my family, as well as Manningham branch library, both for study and for leisure. 

I am grateful for the wide world which opened up to us through their varied and fascinating collections and I also remember the great social role the library played, as I always looked forward to meeting my friends there.  

Many congratulations on this wonderful anniversary and here’s to the next 150 years!

Lord Mayor


My first library memory was going to Eccleshill Library with my mum after school. She left me to choose some books, while she went off to find some of her own, and I still remember the thrill of browsing through the children’s section and selecting three or four books. It led to a lifelong love of reading – and libraries. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield was one of my favourite childhood library books.

I later used Bradford Central Library, I used to revise for my exams in there and once had a teenage date there!

I’m a huge supporter of libraries, they provide a vital community service in so many ways, and we would be much poorer without them. Congratulations to Bradford Libraries Service on your 150th anniversary, and long may your wonderful work continue!

Emma Clayton, Community Content Editor at the Telegraph & Argus


Congratulations to Bradford library on your 150th birthday, I remember from a very early age being inspired by books on the weather and it’s comforting to know that this vital community resource which is open and available to everyone is still going strong!

Paul Hudson, BBC Weatherman


It’s impossible in the short lives we live to experience everything the world has to offer. Reading gives us the opportunity to explore exciting new worlds; meet with challenging and inspirational people, discover fascinating facts and experience emotions and events that we personally can only dream about.

We congratulate Bradford Libraries on its 150th anniversary and express our gratitude for the important contribution local libraries have made, and are making, in enriching our lives with literature.

Dr. Simon Ross Valentine, Bradford based author, journalist and lecturer


Libraries are wonderful places – I have used them for borrowing, for revising, for research and sometimes simply for somewhere to sit in peace for an hour. I took my children to the local library while they learnt to read.

As for my favourite book: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro had a profound effect upon me and was on my mind for years after finishing it. I also love Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
I wish Bradford library well on this important occasion, and hope for another 150 years of great service.

Helen Mead, reporter, Telegraph & Argus


This is a wonderful milestone in the long history of a valuable community resource. Libraries are places of learning and liberation, they expand horizons and inspire. That is true in Bradford as elsewhere where generations of avid readers have been enriched by this wonderful public resource. Congratulations Bradford library on your 150th anniversary, and here’s to a bright future!

Simon Hinchcliffe, Headmaster – Bradford Grammar School