During July, Bradford Local Studies Library hosted a display on Bradford’s Police History. The display has been co-produced by the Ripon Museums Trust and the Bradford Police Museum and has been well received by customers in the Library.
On Saturday 14th July, Trevor Simpson by-passed the defenders: Wimbledon, the World Cup and a hot, blue sky day in Yorkshire to strike gold for Keighley Library in a talk about – you’ve guessed it – local music heritage. He was as hot as Billy Fury and music events’ mogul, Janet Mawson, was as relieved as Gareth Southgate when an audience of upward of 70 people turned out. In fact the Library was very lucky to get Trevor because, as a former referee, if his talk had been scheduled for the afternoon of the previous week, when the dream was very much alive and England was taking on Sweden, he would probably have shown us the red card.
Trevor Simpson has two passions in life: football and music, or is that music and football? As a referee, he officiated for the football league at the highest level for every club except West Ham United. He even put Gaza in his place during a Tottenham versus Manchester United match at White Hart Lane. He was also a linesman at a World Cup qualifier but enough said on that score. Musically, Trevor started out as a mobile disc jockey and moved on to hospital radio in December, 1981 and is still a DJ after some 37 years. He reckons it is well worth breaking a leg to get in to hospital to listen to his show. One of his more amusing requests was for Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire from a chap who was recovering from a haemorrhoid operation. However, it was in the days after the war when music began to change again and youth culture began to grow, along with Saturday night culture, that Trevor, with a real feel for social history and a recognition that those days marked unique and exciting change, began to collate and collect memorabilia and information about the local music scene that he so loved. He used this information and first-hand experience to write and illustrate two original, bestselling books. Both called Small Town Saturday Night, the first volume is a musical journey through the 1960s, chronicling the development of the popular music culture in the next town from Keighley, Halifax. The second volume continues with the story of the dance halls, groups, the Champion Jack Dupree and the two local music festivals, looking at the period 1954-1970.
These two books formed the basis of the talk and although the focus was on Halifax, it translated well to a love affair with the music scene in virtually any 1960s Northern town. In fact, some in the audience had been to the same venues and gigs as Trevor, including Keighley’s musical heritage volunteer, Malcolm Hanson, who remembered trips to Halifax, especially to the Princess Ballroom, with his friends, often walking there and staggering back in the early hours to Denholme. We heard about the acts such as Dusty Springfield, Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Rod Stewart, Shirley Bassey and the time the Jackson Five were given a sound ticking off for being tardy about their second set after a brotherly bust-up before the show. Stories of colourful entrepreneurs were of equal interest from the young, ambitious dance instructor, Pearl Paling of the Princess Ballroom; the three huge wrestlers, Shirley Crabtree (alias, “Big Daddy”) and his brothers, to the budding entrepreneur who refused to book, “the Be-attles” with “someone called Cilla Black” because in true Yorkshire fashion, they were, “How much?!!..”. Trevor also illustrated these stories and anecdotes with a film he made of all the venues he spoke of. We also heard a cassette of some of the stars that had kindly recorded “hello” to the patients for his hospital radio show, including that someone called Cilla Black. All this really made the history come to life and the whole experience was an enjoyable and memorable one to match such a major sporting day. Let’s hope for a return visit please.
The next Keighley Musical Heritage event will be held on Heritage Day, 15th September and will be a celebration of the 1970s hosted by volunteer, Malcolm Hanson, who is still gathering memorabilia from bands and fans. Malcolm can be contacted for this at the following:
Email: Malcolm.email@example.com or call Malcolm on 01756 798730
Sadly, the two great books by Trevor Simpson packed full of information, photographs and memorabilia are now out of print but we do hold reference copies in Keighley’s Local Studies Library.
Small Town Saturday Night by Trevor Simpson (Milltown Memories Publications, Hebden Bridge, 2007), ISBN 978-0-9548960-2-7
Small Town Saturday Night (Volume Two) by Trevor Simpson (Milltown Memories Publications, Hebden Bridge, 2008), ISBN 978-0-9548960-3-4
Many thanks to Anne Fletcher for sharing the wonderful story of her great-great-great uncle Joseph Hobson Jagger in her fascinating talk in Bradford Local Studies library at Bradford Festival on Saturday.
Based on her newly published book, Anne told the story of a man who went from Bradford mill worker to Monte Carlo millionaire. Amongst the men ‘who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’, Joseph Hobson Jagger is unique. He is the only one known to have devised an infallible and completely legal system to defeat the odds at roulette and win a fortune. But he was not what might be expected. He wasn’t a gentleman or an aristocrat, he wasn’t a professional gambler, he was a Yorkshire textile worker who had laboured in the Victorian mills of Bradford since childhood.
Joseph Jagger was an exceptional man who travelled nearly a thousand miles to the exclusive world of the Riviera in a time when most people lived and died within a few miles of where they were born. The trains that took him there were still new and dangerous, he did not speak French and had never left the north of England. His motivation was strong. Joseph, his wife and four children, the youngest of whom was only two, faced a situation so grave that their only escape seemed to be his desperate gamble on the roulette tables of Monte Carlo. Today Jagger’s legacy is felt in casinos worldwide and yet he is virtually unknown.
In this true-life detective story, Anne uncovers how he was able to win a fortune, what happened to his millions and why Jagger should now be regarded as the real ‘man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’.
‘From the Mill to Monte Carlo’
By Anne Fletcher
Come and meet Anne Fletcher on Saturday 14th July at 12pm on the first floor of City Library, Bradford, and then come and join her for a free talk and chat at 2pm in Bradford Local Studies Library, Margaret McMillan Tower (side entrance).
This is the story of the man from Bradford who beat the casino. Anne Fletcher is his great-great-great niece and in this true-life detective story she uncovers how he was able to win a fortune, what happened to his millions and why Jagger should now be regarded as the real ‘man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’.
Free event, all welcome
Trevor Simpson is the author of two books telling the story of a love affair with the local music scene in a Northern town. Join Trevor to hear the story of rock n’roll at its peak in the 1950’s and 1960’s, told with humour and shared memories.
The talk will be accompanied by a display of photos and memorabilia from the 50’s and 60’s.
Free event, all welcome.
For more details contact Keighley Local Studies Library:
A sunshine summer day in the city could not be better celebrated than with upbeat rock ‘n’ roll bands, superb singers, and a locally famous comedic host – Keighley Library had it all. The atmosphere was buzzing with a capacity crowd of over 200 pop fans, over 800 visitors to the library on the day (Saturday 9th June) and £213 raised for the charity St Martin’s House by the brave staff manning the very busy refreshment area.
The afternoon kicked off with an introduction to the 1950s like no other by local historian and former Reference Librarian of Keighley Library, Mr Ian Dewhirst MBE. He spoke of how rock ‘n’ roll music seemed to have passed him by in a flurry of 2 years of National Service and helping in his dad’s shop. He said, “The only song I liked was Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly, but he died and that was that!” After hearing the Doveston Brothers, however, Ian acknowledged that he must have absorbed more of this burgeoning pop culture because he did indeed recognise many of the songs. Ian’s continued funny and informative account of the fifties and sixties did not lack spice as he spoke of having to help in a newsagent’s with a top shelf collection. He mentioned no names but said that he was surprised at the identity of some of the local customers. Not surprisingly, all this racey activity led to a request for information about sex from Ian, the teenager, when he and his dad were riding tandem through the countryside. His dad didn’t fall off the bike but apparently went very quiet and after a couple more miles said simply, “Both the man and the woman have to agree, Son,” which brought the house down.
The Doveston Brothers was just one of two of Keighley’s finest bands of this era. They had formerly played twice at the London Palladium and though they had not played for 45 years, their winning professionalism shone through with a brilliant set of 60s covers. Brian Eldee’s voice is still superb and the audience was treated to Everly Brothers’ favourites as well as more rock ‘n’ roll songs. As a special treat for Janet Mawson, who organised this event, Brian sang John Denver’s, Leaving on a Jet Plane. Later, it was hard to get her feet back on the ground to chat to people about her revamped exhibition on the 1960s but she had to manage it. With even more unique photographs, music reports and personal anecdotes from local band members, Janet was in great demand all day to answer questions and introduce people.
The Doveston Brothers were beyond popular and set the bar super high for the next band, fast becoming seasoned Keighley library stars – The Presidents, but as we know from last year’s event, they could not possibly disappoint. Their playing was fab with the expected nifty guitar work and Bruce’s acclaimed harmonica. Linda Russell’s voice soared into pop and ballad perfection to match Brian Eldee’s earlier performance. Both the bands added interest and humour between songs with conversation and funny anecdotes to further enrich the value of this fantastic first class, free entertainment.
Local children were not missed out in this poptastic extravaganza and Saturday Rhymetime became Jamba Samba with little ones, ears fully protected, enjoying Samba drumming with an expert in the art. “Happy” does not describe the expression on some of the children’s faces as they got to make an exceptional musical noise in one of the quieter places in the centre of Keighley. Complements about the event are still coming in.
It’s an underestimation to say that everyone had a great time on Saturday 9th June, many people have filled in the Visitors’ books to the effect that it was another event that brought back many happy memories and was a wonderful musical and social occasion for the local community, especially for many in the audience whose youthful years were represented in the music and the exhibition. I am sure Ian Dewhirst would agree, that this is local social history at its finest because it is momentarily giving real life to the books, photographs and archives in our keeping. As we have already found out, this in turn enhances their usage and local interest in the subject. It’s certainly something that Keighley Local Studies is very proud to deliver on.
Now, that’s not all folks because the locally acclaimed and revamped 60’s exhibition will run until September when a brand new display will be launched, assembled by hard working volunteer, Malcolm Hanson with Music of the 70s. A local historian, writer and former local band member of this decade himself, he has inside knowledge of the local music scene but is still collecting memorabilia from bands and fans. Malcolm can be contacted for this at the following:
Email: Malcolm.firstname.lastname@example.org or call Malcolm on 01756 798730
This exhibition will be accompanied with more live music, this time from the 1970s to celebrate Heritage Day on Saturday 15th September 2018.
The next Keighley Musical Heritage event in Keighley Local Studies Library is: “Small Town Saturday Night”, A talk by Trevor Simpson on Saturday 14th July 2.00 pm. Trevor Simpson is the author of two books telling the story of a love affair with the local music scene in a northern town. It is a story of rock ‘n’ roll at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s told with humour and shared memories. The talk will be accompanied with photographs and memorabilia from those decades. Don’t miss it!
Gina Birdsall, Keighley Local Studies
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:
Lilycroft Primary School
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.
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
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.
During the second half of the nineteenth century Bradford established a proud reputation as a leading centre of sport and was known for the enthusiasm and prowess of its sports clubs.
However, after the end of World War One, Bradford became increasingly associated with sporting failure and ultimately, in 1985 with tragedy. The proud heritage of the nineteenth century tended to be overlooked and forgotten.
The origins and early development of sport in Bradford has hitherto been neglected by local historians.
In 2016 John Dewhirst published two books, ROOM AT THE TOP and LIFE AT THE TOP that narrate the history of Bradford sport from its beginnings through to becoming commercialised in the final quarter of the nineteenth century. His books explain how Bradford became a rugby centre and of how the intense rivalry of Manningham FC and Bradford FC dominated sporting passions, later extended into soccer through Bradford City AFC and Bradford Park Avenue AFC. He also offers an alternative explanation for the breakaway Northern Union in 1895.
On Saturday 19th May he will be talking about his research findings and answering questions from people interested in Bradford’s sporting heritage at the Local Studies Library, Bradford 10:30am – 12pm.
For further details, and to book a place please contact Bradford Local Studies Library
on 01274 433688 or email: email@example.com
Local Studies Library
Margaret McMillan Tower (side entrance)
Bradford Council BD1 1NN
Do you have a criminal ancestor?
Police constable or prison officer in the family?
Victims or witnesses of crime?
Find out more about the history of crime and criminal records…
Meet leading experts and uncover the secrets of finding, interpreting and using criminal records at this FREE introductory workshop.
Wednesday 18th April – 11am– 1.15pm
Bradford Local Studies Library
Old Central Library, Princes Way, Bradford
Please contact the library to book: 01274 433688 or local.studies@bradford .gov.uk
This event has been organised by the Bradford Police Museum and supported by Bradford Local Studies Library
In Keighley Local Studies Library on Saturday 3rd March, retired librarian and celebrated local historian Ian Dewhirst MBE gave a very well received talk about notable Keighley women. The talk was well attended by the many people who had braved the icy conditions to be there.
Thursday 8th March was International Women’s Day and Ian illustrated how Keighley has certainly has had its share of feisty ladies over the years.
The varied selection of ladies included Mrs Emma Groves, temperance advocate and Miss Sandra Dorne, film star. In his talk he spoke also of the late Mollie Sugden who played Mrs Slocombe in the 1970’s sit-com ‘Are You Being Served’. As mistress of the comedy double-entendre she had come a long way from her non-conformist roots at Ingrow.
Throughout history there are many forgotten personalities whose stories can be uncovered by delving into our Local Studies Library collections. The talk featured are some less well-known ladies with unusual stories such as Miss Annie Collett who kept an autograph album while visiting Keighley War Hospital in 1917-1918 and Miss Maud Marks of Keighley Salvation Army who was caught up in the fall of France in 1940.
This year is also the 100th anniversary of reforms to the voting system in 1918 where women over 30 years married to a householder or with a degree were given the vote for the first time.
Mr Dewhirst described the visit of suffragettes, Adela Pankhurst and Mary Kenney to Victoria Park on Sunday May 24th 1908 where the speeches were drowned out by the singing of popular songs. He spoke of the work of women in the First World War which had contributed greatly to their being given the vote.
The talk was accompanied by a display from Keighley Local Studies library collections which will remain in Keighley Local Studies library over the coming weeks.