Women of Bradford: Heritage walk

Manningham Library

001Manningham Library

Manningham Library was the start of this fascinating guided heritage walk by Helen Broadhead on 21st April.

This historic building was first opened in 1910. Four decorative stone works on the front of the building feature great writers: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton and Wordsworth.

Today as part of Bradford Library Service this library offers the full rage of library services including books in a range of languages, children’s activities, free internet access, daily newspapers and access to local and family history information.

Manningham Tradesmen’s Homes

Nowadays these houses provide retirement accommodation. However these beautiful houses and chapel that form a peaceful oasis in the centre of this bustling area of Bradford were built for a special purpose: to house ‘decayed tradesmen’.

The charity commission website states:

“Objects TO ERECT AND MAINTAIN AT LEAST THIRTY DWELLING HOUSES FOR DECAYED TRADESMEN AND OTHERS, BOTH MALE AND FEMALE, WHO HAVE AT ONE TIME OCCUPIED A GOOD POSITION IN SOCIETY, BUT THROUGH ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO COMPARATIVE POVERTY AND NEED BENEVOLENT AID TO ENABLE THEM TO KEEP CLEAR OF PUBLIC CHARITY.”

The plaque reads:

Tradesman's homes 3

 

Lilycroft Primary School

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The plaque reads:

‘Miriam Lord 1885 – 1968 Champion of the Nursery Children. She was the first head teacher in 1921 of the Lilycroft Open Air Nursery School with its emphasis on outdoor play, visitors came from across the world to see the new nursery movement in action. The school is behind the primary school. Erected 2007.’

Her work was influenced by Margaret McMillan who worked on the Bradford School Board and aimed to get free school meals and milk into schools.

Bradford Local studies Library is now sited on the side of the building now known a Margaret McMillan Tower.

Manningham Mills

Manningham Mills strike centenary

The plaque reads:

‘Manningham mills Strike Centenary 1890-1990. At this place in December 1890 began the Manningham Mills strike which lasted until April 1891. This led to the founding of the Bradford Labour Union which in turn saw the formation of the new national independent Labour Party in Bradford three years later.’

Manningham Mills was otherwise known as Lister’s Mill. This was once the largest silk factory in the world. It was built by Samuel Cunliffe Lister to replace the original Manningham Mills that were destroyed by fire in 1871. At its height, Listers employed 11,000 men, women and children.

The chimney of the mill is 249 feet (76 m) high, and can be seen from many areas of Bradford

Manningham Mills

Bradford Children’s Hospital

Bradford Children’s Hospital on St Mary’s Road, Manningham, the hospital first opened in October 1890.

The hospital, with its distinctive round wards, touched the lives of many Bradford families over the generations.

Now this fine building has found a new purpose as a Shia Mosque.


Thank you to Helen Broadhead for this journey of discovery around the streets of Manningham and for sharing her thorough research and knowledge of the local area. Helen’s guided walk around these iconic locations in Bradford was full of the stories of inspirational women and men who lived, worked and campaigned in the city for social improvements and justice.

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Treasure of the week no. 20 – Decayed tradesmen, fags of the family & stained glass windows

JND 194/14 (Please quote this number if requesting this item)

jnd 194 14 001

BRADFORD TRADESMEN’S HOME. Lily Croft, Manningham21st Annual Report, with list of Donors and Subscribers.  Bradford: W. Byles and Sons, Printers. 24 pages plus 10 engravings, 1889.

Caring for the elderly has ever been with us. Before state pensions, the National Heath Service, and local authority Social Services, the problem concerned many of Bradford’s leading citizens. Many Benevolent Societies were established and the success of the Tradesmen’s Benevolent Society charted here, in building houses for pensioners, is an inspiring story.

‘The idea of a Home for decayed Tradesmen was suggested by the administration of the affairs of the Tradesmen’s Benevolent Institution. Very early in the history of that Charity it became painfully evident that the mere annuity was insufficient to relieve the necessities of the recipients. With the most frugal management it could barely supply the means of sustenance, so that, with respect to what is equally important for the aged and the careworn – a peaceful home – they must shift as best they could. The pensioners must either be lodgers in the poorest and most unhealthy localities, exposed to every disturbance likely to destroy that calm so necessary for man’s final preparation, or they must dwell with their married children, where there may be equal annoyance, and a sense of dependence – where the grandfather is often made the fag of the family, the grandmother the incessant nurse, – and where in bad times the first resource is to forestall the pensioner’s annuity.’

A proposal was made to erect thirty houses, to be tenanted, free of rent, rates, and taxes, by pensioners of the Tradesmen’s Benevolent Society and others, to be elected by the donors to the fund. A site for the building was purchased at Lilycroft, Manningham, plans of the houses were prepared and adopted,  and in due time the foundation stone was laid by Sir Titus Salt, who donated two thousand guineas. The thirty houses were all occupied by 1870 and during 1877 and 1878 another block of thirteen houses were erected. There was a lofty hall that could seat 300 persons, a hall that was beautifully enriched with memorials in stained glass of several departed friends of the Institution.

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