Monday 22 April 2013

Bantams' History Week So Far

The Bantams' History Week commenced under clear blue skies with a walk through the history of the city centre. A good number of walkers took in sights related to the football club's history. A new display in the Midland Hotel's Spirit of Bradford bar tells the story of the links between the hotel and Bradford City's FA Cup triumph of 1911. The walk ended at the Sparrow Bier CafĂ© on North Parade where displays show how John Baines of North Parade reshaped global football culture with his invention of football collectors' cards. A collection from the walk raised £85 for the Bradford Burns Unit and finally Bradford City chairman Mark Lawn pulled the first pint of a specially brewed Baines Blonde to offically launch the history week. The beer was produced by the Saltaire Brewery and all 210 pints were drunk within four hours on Saturday - we suspect City's victory which ensured a place in the play-offs may have been a contributory factor.

On Sunday a well attended guided walk of Undercliffe Cemetery was used to tell a few of the personal stories of individuals with strong links to the Bantams. Two former chairmen are buried within a handful of yards of one another: the well known Stafford Heginbotham, who twice helped save the club from closure and led the Bantams through the dark days following the fire disaster; Alfred Ayrton, the man who oversaw the change from rugby to football in 1903 and, when asked what the new football club was to be named, replied 'Bradford City'.

There are a few tickets left for the final event of the Bantams' History Week which is a dinner at the Midland Hotel on Friday 26 April - the anniversary of Bradford City's FA Cup triumph. The guest speaker will be David Conn of the Guardian. The two course meal costs £18, to book a place please email bantamspast.

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