We visited the Bradford Industrial Museum on Thursday. Incredibly entrance is free. As the receptionist said this is Bradford’s gift to the world and to my mind very well worth a visit.
The outside of these mills always seems very imposing to me. They just seem to shout noise and grease!
This information board explains how the ready availability of raw materials made it the ideal spot to make great big enormous industrial machines such as this boiler called Victor made in Bradford in 1921. The ground floor of the museum has an awful lot of boilery type machines and a great deal of information about them and the pioneering engineers. I left Mr E to explore and went upstairs to the Spinning and Weaving galleries.
So now you have the machinery being built, and plentiful rainfall to drive the machines and one more thing- Sheep- the perfect spot for a woollen mill, of which there were a prodigious quantity hereabouts and in Leeds .
There is probably a limit on how many different machines you would like to see, in the production of yarn fit for weaving, so here are just two of them!
This machine was made in nearby Keighley, if you think you have never heard of Keighley you may be right, but you sure have heard of the Bronte’s who lived in Haworth which is close by. The wonder is that only Charlotte wrote about this industrial landscape on their doorstep, and then only because her friend Mrs Gaskill wrote North and South and made Charlotte re-evaluate her material . Her last book Shirley draws on what was happening in her own town.
There were eight processes to be gone through before yarn could be woven into cloth.
This is the most recent weaving machine in the museum. The mill was used for spinning rather than a weaving before it became a museum. However from time to time weaving does take place, sadly not while we were there. A-level students had made
this giant coat using some locally made fabric and depicting local scenes and people.
BYW there was a wonderful exhibition in the foyer of all manner of textiles and I forgot to go back and photo them. Doh!
I didn’t have time to explore the print gallery which looked really interesting. (Mr E gets back ache after a lot of standing, so I have to pick and choose what to look at). There was a lot to see.
A tram shed with a bus
and a tram, cars
horse-drawn vehicles, but I don’t want to try your patience.
And finally to Gaythorpe Terrace, a row of mill workers back to back cottages. These were painstakingly brought here and saved from demolition. Back to back because you could have only half a house, one or two rooms downstairs and two or one upstairs depending on the configuration of the downstairs. An outside privy , hence those chamber pots!! The cottages had been decorated in three styles – Victorian, the 1940s and the 1970s. You could not go in the rooms but viewed through a window, the sun was shining and so the photos are pretty dreadful.
Victorian living room. The sun spoils this quilt – each hexie had been embroidered round in gold thread with herringbone stitch. I don’t think it’s that old!
The 1940s living room with sewing machine and work box.
Through an archway then
the gardens with privy and so upstairs
Victorian bed room, sorry you can still see the chamber pot.
1940’s bedroom laid out with an ARP man’s uniform
Oh and look, a chamber pot!
1970’s bedroom! Hands up who had a purple bedroom in the 70s, that would be Mr E and me!
ssh it was orange too!
Here ends the tour, it was terrific. Not signposted in Bradford at all that we could see, thank goodness for Satnav.
If you would like to visit or see more here’s the link
Hope you enjoyed this.