In the basement of Bradford’s Local Studies Library are collections of nineteenth century pamphlets (and some of earlier date). Ranging from sermons and programmes of royal visits, to reports, articles, obituaries and regulations, they are a treasure-trove of local history. What follows is an account of one of these treasures. To consult any of these items please ask the staff. Card catalogues of these collections are located in the Local Studies Library.

 JND 290/13 (Please quote this number if requesting to this pamphlet.)

 The Paris Universal Exhibition, 1878. Report of Henry Mitchell.


 In Treasures Of The Week Number 1, we featured an account of Sir Henry Mitchell and reported that in 1878 he was Vice-President of the jurors selected to adjudicate upon worsted yarns and fabrics at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. The report he made of that Exhibition influenced in the establishment of the Bradford Technical College. The 13th item in Pamphlet Volume Number 290 of the J N Dickons Collection is a copy of that Report. The full title is:

The Paris Universal Exhibition, 1878. Report of Henry Mitchell, Vice-President of the Jurors appointed to adjudicate upon Worsted Yarns and Fibres; (President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, President of the Bradford Technical School, etc.) together with the Reports of the Artisans and others who were sent out to report on the textile fabrics, products and machinery engaged in the Worsted Trade, and on some of the French Technical Schools.

The Report is 73 pages long and was printed by William Byles and Son of Bradford.

In addition to Mitchell’s extensive Introduction, the other contributors were:

  • Thomas R. Ashenhurst, Head Master of the Bradford Technical School (‘French Technical Schools’);
  • William Bottomley of Saltaire (‘Report on the Worsted Fabrics’);
  • Mitchell Stead, Weaving Overlooker (‘Report on the French Technical Schools and the Exhibition’);
  • A Spinning Overlooker (‘Report on the Exhibition and the French Technical Schools’)
  • Peter Greenwood, Spinning Overlooker (‘The Worsted Yarns and Machines, and the Technical Schools’);
  • James Speed, (‘Worsted Yarns, Machines, and the French Technical Schools’);
  • William Deighton and Z. Hoyle, (‘Report on the Exhibition Generally’);
  • James Newsome, Overlooker, Saltaire (‘Report on the French Textiles and Machinery’);
  • John Dufton, Pattern Dyer, Messrs E. Ripley & Son, Bowling Dye Works (‘Report on the Dyed Fabrics’);
  • Jonas Whitley, Wool Merchant, Bradford (‘Report on the Wools in the Paris Exhibition’).

Even without going into detail, we can see from the many reports by experienced textile workers, including Mitchell himself, how seriously the exhibition was taken, and how much attention was paid to technical education.

Mitchell was knighted in 1885 for his services to textile education and now has a building named after him. But his fellow reporters are now probably forgotten, except here!

Sir Henry’s report was received with much attention by the commercial world, and there is no doubt the practical suggestions and conclusions there laid down have yielded very useful results. (Quote from JND 290/4)

A particularly interesting slice of history in the making.

Stackmole (Local Studies Volunteer)

From Parks to Pavilions

A photography exhibition illustrating the grass roots beginnings of Asian cricket in Yorkshire will be touring Bradford libraries over the coming weeks.


The exhibition contains photographs, taken by cricket enthusiast Mohanlal Mistry, of back-street cricket being played in West Yorkshire in the early 1990s. The exhibition has been displayed at Headlingley Cricket Ground for the one day international between England and Pakistan and at the Oval for the 2016 Asian Cricket Awards. This will be the first time that the exhibition is open to the public and free to visit.

It is part of the From Parks to Pavilions project which is documenting the history of Asian cricket in Yorkshire. The project was developed by the AYA Foundation, a community organisation specialising in promoting minority heritage, arts and culture, with support of Bradford Local Studies Libraries, the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, the England and Wales Cricket Boards (ECB), and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Mobeen Butt, the curator of the exhibition and Project Lead of the From Parks to Pavilions project said: “The photographs perfectly capture how young Asians played cricket in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. They didn’t play on cricket grounds, in practice nets or even in parks – they played wherever they could, and that meant playing in alleyways, carparks and wastelands. They played with milk crates, traffic cones and crisp boxes for wickets and would carve out a bat from pieces of broken floor board or fence”.

The project aims to collect material and record interviews from members of one of the oldest Asian led cricket leagues in Britain, the Bradford based Quaid-e-Azam Sunday Cricket League.

As part of the project, the young people visited Bradford Local Studies library to find out about the oral history collection, the newspaper files and cricket memorabilia.

Maria Hussain, one of the young people working on the From Parks to Pavilions project said: “This exhibition is only a small part of our project. We’ve been to visit archives and museums. We’ve been to Lords, and we’ve been taught how to conduct oral history interviews and been on photography workshops. We will be producing a radio and video documentary and putting everything on YouTube for everyone to see!”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “It’s important to record the rich history of our South Asian communities participating in one of our great national sports. Cricket is still close to the hearts of local people and is a significant factor in community cohesion. We’re pleased to see the Heritage Lottery Fund get behind this as we have an enormous passion for sport across the Yorkshire region and it is a great unifier.”

To keep updated with the project visit:, follow @Parks2Pavilions on Twitter or join the ‘From Parks to Pavilions’ Facebook group.

All are welcome to take a look as it tours libraries in the coming weeks.

The exhibition will be in:

Bradford Local Studies Library from Fri 28th October – Sat 5th November
City Library from Mon 7th November – Sat 19th November
Eccleshill Library from Mon 21st November – Sat 3rd December
Keighley Library from Mon 5th December – Sat 17th December
Shipley Library from Mon 19th December – Sat 7th January
Manningham Library from Mon 9th January – Sat 21st January