Located in West Yorkshire, the city is the third largest in Yorkshire, after Leeds and Sheffield, with a metropolitan area population of 523,000.
With the demise of major manufacturing in the area the city has diversified its economy over the past decades.
The first settlement appeared in Saxon times and its first known name was Broad Ford. After an uprising against the Norman conquest the then small village was lain waste. By the middle ages it had developed into a small town centred on three “Gates”, called Ive, Kirk and West, with wool already becoming an important industry.
The Civil War again caused havoc and decline but when William and Mary sat on the throne the town began to prosper again. The town developed further in the early 18th century, helped by the development of turnpike roads and canals. Wool spinning and cloth weaving was being carried out in local farms and cottages.
By 1841 two thirds of all wool production in the country was based on the borough of Bradford, which contained 70 worsted mills. By 1851 Bradford became the wool capital of the world and with a then population of 100,000 general manufacturing and engineering developed alongside a thriving financial centre.
The rapid expansion of the town, together with construction of grand Victorian public buildings, saw the borough granted city status in 1897.
The wool trade, whose centre was the Wool Exchange, declined during the 20th century, just as most of the original Industrial Revolution trades declined through the country.
The city’s economy is now centred on engineering, printing, chemicals, financial and banking institutions. Higher education is based at the University of Bradford, which became the 40th university when Royal Charter was granted in 1966.
Things to Do:
With a population exceeding half a million the city provides a variety of activities and places to visit. Those to be considered are:-
A new attraction, based in Centenary Square, City Park is a high tech water feature that contains 100 fountains, laser lighting, mirror pool and mist effects.
National Media Museum:
Is a hands-on experience museum, including a TV Programme Making area where you can try out News Reading, Camera use, or Star in Your Own Show. A whole family place to visit.
You can also watch 60 years of classic TV programmes in TV Heaven. Nine hundred programmes are in the library.
Another gallery is the “Life on Line” gallery which explores the role of the internet.
An area where impressive Victorian buildings exist, built by German merchants to house their wares. Some of these buildings are listed.
A beautiful building which contains 12 stained windows designed by William Morris. The cathedral is the oldest place of worship in the city. The construction of the cathedral began in the 14th century.
Copies of the trail can be picked up at Bradford Tourist Information Centre. This will give you a further insight into the history and architecture of Bradford.
Cartwright Hall Art Gallery:
exhibits contemporary and historical collections and has a changing programme. The gallery is located on Lister Park, in the district of Manningham, one mile from the city centre.
David Hockney, the world renowned painter, is a son of Bradford and they proudly display 400 of his paintings at Salts Mill.
On the outskirts of the city and in the surrounding area much is worth visiting.
The following describe the best of these:-
Bronte Parsonage Museum. This interesting museum, the home of the writing Bronte sisters is located at Haworth, Keighley.
Bingley Five Locks Rise. Situated on the Leeds to Liverpool canal, the locks at Bingley (between Bradford and Keighley) transport barges and boats a distance of 320 feet over a height of 59 feet. It is the steepest flight of locks in the UK.
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. This steam railway which runs from Keighley to Oxenhope via Haworth was used in the making of The Railway Children. They run special events such as a Beer and Music Festival, Santa specials and cream teas etc. can be purchased on the trains.
As the only UNESCO city of film then a visit to the National Media Centre is highly recommended. There you will find the only Imax cinema in Yorkshire plus other screens.
There are also both Odeon and Cineworld cinemas.
The Alhambra puts on musicals, pantomimes, classic drama, opera and ballet.
There is also 1914 a luxurious dining experience, located in the Alhambra.
Theatre, film, comedy and dance are also produced at the New Bradford Playhouse.
Again, comedy and music are performed at St. George’s Hall.
There are half a dozen night clubs and major bars within the city centre.
As with all cities there is a plethora of pubs spread throughout the city centre and suburbs. Recommendation is probably the best way of selecting the one to use. Real ales and beer festivals can be sought out.
Having been named Curry Capital of England in recent past years it is inevitable that food from the Indian sub-continent would be a major player in eating out in the city. Such restaurants for same are scattered throughout the city centre and wider area.
However, there are also some well respected other eateries producing traditional English food. You will also find Italian, Russian and far eastern cuisine.
Pubs are also a good choice for good quality food.
A major city Bradford may be but its shopping is one of the most original. In 2015 the Broadway Shopping Mall opened in the centre of Bradford, which has as its anchor a major national department store. Also, within the city is the the largest Asian department store in the UK, named Bombay Stores. Very many ethnic shops are spread throughout the city.
There are two further inner city shopping centres, namely the Kirkgate and Forster Square Retail Park which are the places to go for high street chain stores.
Derby Street and North Parade are useful for inner city shops.
Interesting purchases can be found at Saltaire and Salts Mill.
Various markets are located within the city boundaries.
As well as football the city is also famous for its Bradford Bulls Rugby team.
Historically, Bradford Park Avenue were a football league team and are currently playing in Conference North.
As with all major metropolitan areas the variety of hotels, both national and international, guest houses etc. is expected and Bradford does not fail. For those who prefer to be outside city boundaries good accommodation can be found in the villages situated in the nearby moors.
There are two main terminus railway stations in Bradford. Interchange is to the south of the city centre and serves the major cities and areas of the UK, with regular services. Forster Square is for more local routes to the north of the city and serves Skipton, Ilkley and Leeds.
Road:- The city has good road access from the south where it is served by the M1, M62 and M606. From Lancashire in the west the M60/62 also provides a reasonable route to the city as does the A1M from the north.
Throughout the city seven taxi firms operate.
First Buses run the main routes throughout the city and suburbs and Metro Bus based at the Interchange Station is a useful service.
A good alternative for travelling to Bradford is via Leeds/Bradford Airport, which is accessible to the city centre by coach and local buses. The airport has routes to and from many cities in Europe.
Stadium - Northern Commercials Stadium, Valley Parade, Bradford, BD8 7DY
Founded - 1903
Joined League - 1903
Chairman - Stefan Rupp/Edin Rahic
Manager - Stuart McCall
Current League: League 1
Phone Number - 0871 978 1911
Email - [email protected]
Bradford City was formed in 1903 after Manningham Rugby Club decided to switch sports.
Along with Chelsea, City are the only club to have been formed specifically for League football and they went straight into Division 2.
The club were promoted to the top level, Division 1, when they became Division 2 champions in season 1907/08. This was the beginning of the club’s golden era, with the pinnacle in 1910/11. The club reached their highest ever League position, 5th, that campaign.
That season a Bradford company was asked to make a new FA Cup. Amazingly, City reached the Cup final, which was against Newcastle United. The match ended in a draw and the replay was played in front of a mid-week record crowd of 66646. Fielding a record eight Scotsmen Bradford City won the replay 1-0 and the Cup returned to its city of manufacture.
In 1911/12 the first ever Bradford derby was played, when City met Bradford Park Avenue, in a FA Cup tie.
Donald Bell, the club left back was awarded the Victoria Cross after he was killed in the WW1 Battle of the Somme.
The club lasted ten seasons in the top flight and then descended into a topsy turvy roller coaster of playing in the three bottom Leagues. They became Division 3 North champions in 1928/29 and again took the third level title in 1984/85. On 11th May 1985, whilst playing Lincoln City and celebrating promotion, the main stand caught fire which led to 56 tragic lives being lost. Whilst the stand was rebuilt the club played home matches at Odsal Stadium (Bradford), Elland Road (Leeds) and Leeds Road (Huddersfield).
Amazingly, the club won promotion from the second level to the Premiership in 1999 and stayed there until 2001, when they returned to the lower levels of League football again.
In May 2002 the club went into administration which they managed to get out of in August 2002.
Bradford City were sadly relegated from League One at end of season 2018/19.
All tickets for visiting supporters should be purchased from their own club. Any away fans found to be in Bradford City fan seats will be ejected with no recompense.
Home supporters can obtain tickets by going on-line, visiting the ticket office at the stadium by phone on 0871 978 8000 or by fax on 01274 773356 quoting credit card details. No cheques are accepted as payment.
Pre ordered tickets by fax and phone can be picked up on match day and a fee of £2 is charged.
The ticket office is open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Saturday mornings 9.00am to noon, except match days when hours are extended to 3.00pm.
All enquiries should be addressed to the ticket office on 0871 978 8000.
It should be noted that there are no car parks at stadium on match days and very limited on street parking.
Various bus routes operate to the stadium in Valley Parade from the city centre, including:-
.Route 625, operated by First Bradford, runs from Cheapside in the city centre and from Brighouse.
Route 662, operated by Keighley and District, runs from Westgate in the city centre and from Keighley.
Route 620/621, operated by First Bradford, runs from Westgate in the city centre, alight at Bowland Street and then walk, and from Haworth Road in the north west of city and East Bowling in the south east of the city.
Route 737, operated by Yorkshire Tiger, runs from Bradford Interchange Station and from Harrogate.
For further information telephone Metroline on 0113 245 7676.
The nearest railway station to the stadium is Bradford Forster Square and operated by Northern Rail. Routes are to and from Skipton, Ilkley and Leeds. The ground is a 10 minute walk away.
Bradford Interchange is the main station and trains to and from the main cities of the UK terminate here. From the station take a bus, 737, to Valley Parade, or a taxi.
For further rail information phone National Rail on 08457 484950 or visit their web site.
As previously stated, cars are not well accommodated at or around the stadium.
However, for some travelers this is the only mode of transport.
For those with satnav enter post code BD8 7DY.
See “Road” above, in City of Bradford information.
Valley Parade has been the only stadium for Bradford City but has been altered many times over the years. The first League opponents at the ground were Bristol City in 1903.
Disaster struck, on 11th May 1985 during a celebration match v Lincoln City, when the main stand was devastated by fire and 56 fans lost their lives. The club used three grounds in neighbouring towns whilst a new stand was constructed.
The stadium became all seater in 1999 after the new two tier stand was erected.
The current stands are Main, Community Kop, Northern Commercials, used by home fans and TL Dallas which is occupied by away fans.
Usual facilities, but not beer, are available on the concourses and there is a club superstore.
The club shares its stadium with Bradford Bulls Rugby League club.