Friday 1 November 2013

Black History Month 2013

On the morning of the Wolves home match the bantamspast museum was delighted to welcome a tour celebrating black history month. Two minibuses of visitors were welcomed to Valley Parade by the museum’s David Pendleton. Sat overlooking the pitch, the visitors heard about the manner in which City legends Joe Cooke and Ces Podd helped shape the outlook of a generation of City supporters. They also learned about Billy Clarke, a mixed race player who scored City’s first ever goal in the top division of English football in 1908.

For some of the visitors it was their first ever visit to Valley Parade. That said, all of them knew about Nahki Wells, so who knows we may see some of them back for a match in the near future.

Friday 4 October 2013

bantamspast and Black History Month 2013

bantamspast museum is delighted to be once again supporting Black History Month in 2013. In 2011 we hosted a hugely successful event involving former City player Joe Cooke as well as speakers from the International Centre for Sport History and Culture based at De Montfort University. 

Last year we were unable to host an event due to the relocation of the museum. On the morning of 26 October 2013 David Pendleton will be welcoming a Black History Month bus tour to Valley Parade where he will talk about the perhaps surprisingly long history of black footballers in Bradford. 

The bus tour is being organised by the museum’s good friend Katherine Canoville. Entitled the Bradford African Caribbean Heritage Bus, it will take place on 26 October and will conclude Bradford’s Black History Month 2013.  

The event will celebrate Bradford’s African & Caribbean Cultural Heritage, stopping off at key historical cultural and community sites within the Bradford District. The tour will visit sites associated with Bradford’s black community’s cultural achievements, scientific, artistic and sporting landmarks including: Billy Clarke, Bradford City’s first black footballer; Mary Seacole, who pioneered British Healthcare in the community; and hundreds of undocumented heroes and she-roes within the local district, who deserve to be put on the map.

  • Bus will arrive at The Hilton Hotel, Bradford at 11.00am
  • Bradford City Football Club – Valley Parade 11:30am
  • David Pendleton talks about bantamspast and Black players at BCFC
  • Bus tour leaves BCFC at 11:50am to arrive at Frontline Initiative
  • Delroy Dacres to talk about growing up in Manningham & Young Lions Café through the Bradford riots & beyond.
  • Bus tour leaves Frontline Initiative at 12:20pm to Malik House for Snapz Exhibition and WordSmithz (spoken word) and talk from Bradford Action for Refugees, Nigerian Community Association of Bradford, The NILE Project, Peace Studies from Bradford University/Peace Museum – refreshments will be available.
  • Bus leaves Malik House 2.20pm and arrives at Claremont at 2.30pm
  • ACAP (African And Caribbean Achievement Project), Claremont, Bradford BD7
Image above shows City stalwart Ces Podd tussling with Southampton's Peter Osgood during the 1976 FA Cup quarter final at Valley Parade

Monday 30 September 2013

Bolton Woods People's Street Party

The bantamspast museum was delighted to be able to play its part in making the first Bolton Woods street party a great success. Held on Saturday 31st August, the party was the first of its kind for Bolton Woods. It was centred around the New Vic Public House on Livingstone Road and children's activities took place both at the pub and at the Bolton Woods Community Centre.The event was opened by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Khadim Hussain, who welcomed the community in attendance and praised their community spirit following the recent stabbings in the area. Also in attendance was Labour Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Wrose & Windhill). Live music entertainment was provided by the Ali Campbell/UB40 tribute act and local folk singer, Creedy and there, with Caribbean Fusion from Sheffield providing a Caribbean food stall.

The landlord and landlady of the New Vic are keen City fans and several coaches left the pub for both of City’s 2013 Wembley appearances. Therefore, the raffle, in aid of the charity Little Heroes, had several City related prizes: a signed Bradford City shirt; signed Bradford City team picture; and a signed copy of the book "Paraders, the 125 year history of Valley Parade" by David Pendleton. The football club provided the signed shirt, while the museum provided the framed photo and book. The raffle raised nearly £200. 

It is hoped that there will be a repeat of this successful event in 2014. The museum and the football club are delighted to have played a small part in its success.

Monday 19 August 2013

CTC 73 Forty Years Young

CTC 73 Badge

This weekend marks the fortieth anniversary of the formation of the independent travel club CTC 73. Initially started after the club stopped running coaches to away games, CTC 73 eventually found its niche as the operator of choice for those supporters who enjoyed sampling the public house provision of market town England. In days when the local police were decidedly against visiting supporters drinking with a ten mile radius of the town hosting the football match, CTC 73 decided to go to the nearest market town and enjoy a glass or two there. You would be mistaken for thinking that the trippers were attracted by the ambience and architecture of the ancient market towns, the reason for visiting market towns was a simple one – they are packed with pubs.

The tales from these trips are now the stuff of legend. However, although the trips were far from sober affairs, they were almost always welcomed with open arms (and tills). From Ely to Beverley; Dereham to StamfordBury St Edmonds to Brigg, we have left an often positive view of Bradford and its people. The main one being: those boys can certainly drink!

To celebrate CTC 73’s fortieth birthday there will be a reunion/gathering at the Fighting Cock on Preston Street immediately after the Sheffield United home match on Saturday 24 August. Be there or be sober!

Saturday 3 August 2013

An Artistic Donation

Bradford City’s 2012/13 season will be long remembered for the club’s double Wembley appearances. The remarkable season has inspired one supporter to commission a painting which will hang in the club’s bantamspast museum. The painting is a combination of private and public memories for Kathryn Hey. As she explains: 
“It was over 32 years ago (1981) when my father took me to see my first football match at Valley Parade.  Sadly this was the only game we saw together before he passed away.  Thanks to his work colleagues, who kindly took me under their wing, I carried on attending.  
“I know he would have been as thrilled and happy as myself for last season’s incredible achievements, the best in my memory.  ‘A dream’ and ‘sensational’ are words that spring to mind. 
“It was for this reason I decided to commission Paul Town, a Football Stadium artist and fellow Bradford City fan to paint this canvas as a thank you to all the players, staff and management at Bradford City. Paul has worked from an original 1950’s print and photographs to create an impression of Valley Parade as my father and many others would have remembered it - including the advertisement for Hey’s brewery that was located on nearby Lumb Lane. The painting also features the Bradford City locomotive, which regularly roared past the ground - the original locomotive nameplate is on display in the main entrance at Valley Parade. As well as loving football, by father was a keen steam train enthusiast and had one of the largest collections and displays in the north of England (most of which now is in the National Railway Museum at York). I take after him for my love of football and trains!
“Throughout the season I’ve made a great many new friends and spent much of my free time at the club.  I’ve always been made to feel so welcome. I’m sure that like myself and many others, my father would have been so proud of our club. A big thank you to Bradford AFC and to all the people I’ve met along the way.”
For the artist the painting has been a labour of love. The Baildon based builder recently began depicting football grounds and has produced and sold several paintings of grounds as diverse as Sunderland’s Roker Park, Heart of Midlothian’s Tynecastle and Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane. Paul said:
“It has been a real honour to be commissioned to paint this piece for the Bradford City museum by lifelong City supporter Kathryn Hey.
“I am myself a city supporter of nearly 40 years and found the research to produce this greatly satisfying. In coordination with both Kathryn, and bantamspast museum’s David Pendleton, we together came up with a design based upon how Valley Parade and the surrounding areas would have looked around the 1940s. I hope to produce many more period paintings of Valley Parade in the future which hopefully will be of interest to all diehard city supporters both young and old. My artwork can be viewed on my Facebook page, Stadium Portraits Paul Town.”
The painting will be on display in the bantamspast museum, currently housed in Bantams Bar on the Kop, in time for the start of the new season. The museum’s David Pendleton said: 
“We are delighted to receive this donation from Kathryn. It is a very kind gift and we thank both Kathryn and Paul for the painting, which we hope will be enjoyed by many City fans this season and beyond. It is a wonderful way to mark the unforgettable 2012/13 season.”

Friday 21 June 2013

Northern Lines is a community theatre project, supported by the National Lottery. On 27th and 28th of June we are presenting the second of our intergenerational cross community projects that responds to and seeks to transform our city. Considering how Bradford City’s two trips to Wembley have reverberated around the world this year,
Northern Lines are celebrating and investigating the history of Bradford City and the community that surrounds it. Our community actors will bring to life the circuses, cup victories, riots, high rolling businessmen and fans that make up the club, its history and our city.
The show is at The New Bradford Playhouse 7:30pm on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June. Tickets cost £3 and are available from here and on the door.

Saturday 1 June 2013

Belgian Blog - Day Two

Glorious sunshine greeted the second day of the bantamspast trip to the battlefields of the Great War. In the morning we left a football, used in the warm up at Wembley this year, at the site of the 1914 Christmas Day truce when British and German troops played football in no man's land. The site is marked by a wooden cross where visitors regularly leave footballs. Bradford City chairman Mark Lawn kindly supplied a ball and he wrote a message of remembrance from all at Valley Parade.
The day was to be dominated by thoughts of City's captain and goal scorer in the 1911 FA Cup Final Jimmy Speirs. A chance meeting at the site of one of the huge British mines exploded on the Messines Ridge with a group of Scottish doctors, who were undertaking a cycling tour of the Ypres area, gave us an insight into the fate of Jimmy Speirs. One of the doctors had written a book entitled 'War Surgery 1914-1918' examining the treatment of wounds during the conflict. Jimmy Speirs was shot through the thigh during the Battle of Passchendaele. The doctor explained that he would have suffered a broken femur. By 1917 the rapid strapping of such wounds, using a specially developed strap, vastly improved survival rates. However, it had to be applied almost immediately and as Jimmy was shot advancing across an open field it is probable that such a procedure was unlikely. His fate was probably sealed the moment he was shot. The muddy shell hole he was placed in lessened even further the chances of survival as infection was probable. In the end Jimmy was left in the shelter of the shell hole as his company continued their advance. The intention was to return, but sadly they were unable to and Jimmy was never seen alive again. In all probability he died an agonising and lonely death.
In the afternoon we visited the exact spot where he died, The two farms, named Iberian and Gallipoli by the British troops, from where the German's opened fire on Jimmy's company are still in existence - although they were probably rebuilt after the war. The open field over which Jimmy advanced offered little cover. We looked across the windy farmer's field where our great cup winner met his untimely end, it was difficult to visualise how it would have looked during the war. Appropriately we ended our trip at the graveside of Jimmy Speirs. Once again Bradford remembered.

Friday 31 May 2013

Blog from Belgium - Day One

The annual bantamspast trip to the battlefields of the Great War is this year concentrating on the Ypres Salient in Belgium. Scene of some of the most bloody fighting of the conflict, Ypres became the final resting place of Bradford City's FA Cup winning captain and goalscorer Jimmy Speirs and the man-of-the-match in the replayed final Robert Torrance.
The first day commenced in drizzly conditions at Essex Farm Cemetery where John McCrae wrote the famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' whilst serving with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Adjacent to the cemetery is the large obelisk memorial to the 49th West Riding Division. The division included the Belle Vue based 1/6th West Yorkshire Regiment. Among their casualties was City reserve Ernest Goodwin. Part of the divisional artillery was the 2nd West Riding Royal Field Artillery. They were based at the Valley Parade Drill Hall. When they mustered to depart for France at the start of the war it is reported that they used the Valley Parade pitch to store their guns and horses.
We moved on from Essex Farm to visit several cemeteries. The highlight was Lijssenhoek, which is the second largest British war cemetery in the world with some 9,901 burials. A highly informative visitor centre illustrates the work of the adjacent casualty clearing station which treated 300,000 injured soldiers.
After lunch and in increasingly glorious sunshine we searched for the site of the location where Robert Torrance was mortally wounded. Sadly he has no known grave. However, just across the fields from where the action took place where Torrance lost an arm and later died, is Klien Vierstraat British Cemetery. It is the home of bodies discovered after the war and if Robert does have a grave he is likely to be among the 109 that are marked 'A Solider of the Great War, known unto God'.
We continued the unforgettable day at the famous locations of Sanctuary Wood and Hill 60. Tomorrow we will seek out the location where Jimmy Speirs met his untimely end. Find out if we were successful when the blog is published tomorrow night.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Latest News from bantamspast

How to reflect such an unforgettable season? That will be the task in hand for the small bantamspast team this summer. We are delighted to have been invited to work closely with Mark Lawn to produce a new 2013 Suite at Valley Parade. Although we are at a very early stage of developing ideas, the overall vision is an exciting one and we hope we will produce something that will capture the magic of this remarkable season and its historical context. As the project progresses we will post further details, but with a major Cup Final and a Play-Off Final victory to reflect on, we are not short of content and artefacts – including a large shiny trophy.

On Thursday 30 May the annual bantamspast trip to the battlefields of the Great War gets underway. This year the focus is Belgium and in particular the infamous Ypres Salient. Several City players met their deaths near the Belgian town. The FA Cup captain and goal scorer Jimmy Speirs was killed during the terrible Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. We are planning to visit the location where he was killed and of course his final resting place. The man of the match in the FA Cup Final replay Robert Torrance was blasted into oblivion in 1918 and his body was never found. We will remember him at the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing where his name is inscribed. At nearby Poperinghe is the grave of City’s amateur centre half Gerald Kirk. He was killed in the wake of the first use of poison gas in warfare in 1915. Leading his company in a counter attack trying desperately, and successfully, to defend a gap in the Allied lines. The Dalesman paid with his life. The centre half who replaced Gerald in the Bantams’ team was James Comrie. Another man with no known grave his name is inscribed among the 56,000 of the Menin Gate at Ypres. Of course, this terrible litany is only a tiny fraction of the huge losses suffered at Ypres. Many of the people on the trip will be bringing stories of their own family’s loss with them, as well as that of the wider City of Bradford. If it proves practicable David Pendleton will provide a daily blog of the trip which takes place between Thursday 30 May and Sunday 2 June.

We are also collaborating with the Bradford based theatre company Northern Lines in the writing of their production ‘City Stories: It’s Only the Cup. War, Love and Football’, which will be staged at the New Bradford Playhouse, Little Germany, 27/28 June.

Finally, we will be adding around a dozen new framed images to the displays in our museum in exile at Bantams Bar on the Kop. At the moment admission is only available to holders of Bantams Bar season tickets and individual match day tickets. However, we have also added a couple of new images to our museum in exile display at the Corn Dolly public house on Bolton Road in the city centre. Admission is open to all – for the price of a pint!

Saturday 11 May 2013

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Bantams’ History Week in Review

The inaugural Bantams’ History Week ended on a high note at the Midland Hotel on Friday night. Exactly 102 years to the day since Jimmy Speirs walked onto the balcony of what is now the Forster Suite, diners enjoyed a fabulous meal and listened to The Guardian’s David Conn describe his journey from terrace fan to football’s leading financial investigative journalist.

History was brought back to life when bantamspast museum’s curator David Pendleton described the scenes on the packed streets of Bradford when the Bantams brought the FA Cup back to the city in which it had been designed. From our view from the Forster Suite we looked across the street to the location of Fattorini’s where W. N. Norman drew the design of the iconic trophy. Next door was the headquarters of Sports & Pastimes who produced thousands of football shirts, including those worn by the Bantams’ players in the FA Cup Final of 1911. We looked out of the french windows from where Speirs emerged with the glittering trophy and imagined the sea of cheering faces packed onto the streets below. Bradford City chairman Mark Lawn brought along Speirs’ FA Cup winners’ medal – probably the first time it had been into the hotel since Speirs himself carried it, and the cup, into the hotel on the evening of 26 April 1911.

It was a fitting end to a wonderful week. From the opening walk the previous Saturday which raised £85 for the Burns Unit; the pulling of the first pint of the specially brewed Baines blonde by Mark Lawn at the Sparrow (the beer sold all 210 pints inside four hours); a tour of Undercliffe Cemetery, where a small collection gave £38 towards the upkeep of the vast cemetery, which is undertaken almost entirely by volunteers; and finally the dinner.

We would like to thank those who enabled the history week to go ahead: Turls Green (Wetherspoons); Sparrow Bier Café; Bradford City AFC; Friends of Undercliffe Cemetery; Midland Hotel; John Ashton; John Dewhirst; Gary Peacock; Glyn Watkins; Andy Tyne; Mark Lawn; David Conn; David Pendleton and, of course, everyone who took part and attended the events.

We'll be back next year bigger and better!

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 Café 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.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Bantams’ History Week

20-26 April 2013

The inaugural Bantams’ History Week takes place in late April to coincide with the 102nd anniversary of Bradford City AFC’s FA Cup triumph, 26 April 1911. On that fateful day the Bantams became first winners of the current FA Cup trophy which, by a happy coincidence, had been designed by the Bradford jewellers Fattorini’s.

The history week is being organised by Bradford City AFC’s museum bantamspast. The ethos behind the event is illustrating the interaction of the history of the football club with that of the city centre. At various locations that overlapping, yet often forgotten, history will be brought back to life via displays, a self-guided walk and a tour.

The history week will culminate in a dinner at the Midland Hotel on 26 April - the anniversary of Bradford City’s FA Cup triumph. The dinner will take place in the same room from which the Bantams’ captain, Jimmy Speirs, showed the glittering trophy to a crowd estimated at 100, 000 people – a third of the entire population of the city at that time.

The programme for the week is as follows:

Saturday 20 April

Launch of Bantams’ History Week
Sparrow Bier Café
North Parade
12 noon
Free event

The Bantams’ History Week will be launched at the Sparrow Bier Café at noon with the pulling of the first pint of an exclusively produced beer. A brief welcome and talk will be given by the organiser of the Bantams’ History Week, and author of Glorious 1911 and Paraders, David Pendleton, about the  History Week itself and the hidden sporting history of North Parade.

North Parade, historically one of the smarter streets in the city centre, has strong links with the heritage of Bradford City AFC. Baines Cards, producers of millions of collectors cards depicting sports personalities and clubs in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, had its base on North Parade. Originally from Manningham, the company moved to North Parade as its business grew to staggering proportions. Featured on their cards were numerous players of Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue and Bradford Northern. However, Baines also catered for a national and international audience and every conceivable sporting aspect was covered by their cards which were avidly collected by boys young and old.

From Montevideo to Manchester, Tokyo to Turin, today the appeal of football cards knows no bounds. Yet how many people are aware that this global obsession has its roots in Victorian Bradford? John Baines, a Bradfordian who shaped global football culture.

The sporting heritage of North Parade will be celebrated by a storyboard displayed on the walls of the Sparrow Bier Cafe. You will be able to toast that heritage with a pint of Baines Bantams’ Beer, specially produced and exclusively on sale at the Sparrow.

Bradford City AFC
Valley Parade


Catch the Bantams in League Two action when Bradford City play Burton Albion at Valley Parade.

Sunday 21 April

Undercliffe Cemetery
Otley Road entrance
Free event (donations welcome to the cemetery volunteers)

A guided tour of Bradford’s famous necropolis, including visits to the graves of former Bradford City chairmen Alf Ayrton and Stafford Heginbotham. We also pay our respects to Thomas Coyle, a 12-year-old boy killed when a barrier collapsed at Valley Parade on Christmas Day 1888. Although this event is free we would appreciate donations towards the work of the Undercliffe Cemetery volunteers and their efforts to maintain the huge cemetery.

Friday 26 April

26 April 1911 anniversary Dinner
Forster Suite
Midland Hotel

Dress code: tie for gentlemen, dress for ladies is preferred, but smart-causal will suffice.

Guest speaker: David Conn of the Guardian
Two course dinner £18 per person

The culmination of the Bantams’ History Week is a dinner to mark the 102nd anniversary of Bradford City AFC’s FA Cup victory. The dinner will take place in the very room where Jimmy Speirs walked out onto the balcony of the hotel to show the FA Cup to an estimated 100,000 people packed onto the streets of Bradford.

Toasts will be made to the great team of 1911. Our guest speaker will be the Guardian’s David Conn. Well known for his investigative journalism into football’s finances, his latest book, Richer than God, tells the story of Sheik Mansour’s arrival at Manchester City and its impact on English football.

Spaces are limited to forty diners, so early booking is advised. Please send a cheque for £18 payable to bantamspast to:
bantamspast, PO Box 307, Shipley, BD18 9BT.
Bookings are strictly on a first come first served basis.

Throughout the Week, 20-26 April
Bantams’ History Week Trail
A self-guided walking tour of locations in central Bradford that are linked to the history of Bradford City AFC. As many of the attractions within the establishments listed, it may be worth double checking their opening times if you are travelling from outside the city.

Midland Hotel
Telephone 01274 733735

When Bradford City won the FA Cup in 1911 they were met by 100,000 people on the streets of Bradford. Their journey from the Exchange station to the Midland Hotel took nearly an hour as nearly a third of the entire population of the city turned out to welcome the conquering heroes. Put yourself in the footsteps of those famous players and visit Bradford’s iconic former railway hotel. Adjacent to the front car park is a plaque celebrating the centenary of the FA Cup victory and the planting of one hundred trees by Britain in Bloom in March 2011. The Spirit of Bradford bar (turn immediate left on entering the hotel) has a fabulous illuminated mural of the city including a representation of Valley Parade.

Opposite the hotel was the now demolished headquarters of the jewellers Fatttorini’s where the present FA Cup was designed. It was first competed for in 1911 and the first winners were none other than Bradford City. Adjacent to Fattorini’s was Sports and Pastimes where the shirts that the Bantams wore when they won the FA Cup were designed and produced by the Fattorini owned company Sports and Pastimes. Bradford City’s England international midfield player Evelyn Lintott worked at the shirt manufacturers immediately following his transfer to Valley Parade.

The Wool Exchange, Hustlergate

Situated in the magnificent Wool Exchange building, Waterstone’s will have a display of Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue and Bradford Bulls books on show.

Bradford Cathedral
Telephone 01274 777720
Open 0900-16.30 Monday-Saturday except Bank Holidays. Open Sundays for services only.

The Cathedral houses a plaque that commemorates the millions of pounds raised in the wake of the fire disaster at Valley Parade in 1985. The slate plaque can be viewed on the left hand side of the church as you approach the Alter. The Cathedral was also the place where Robert Torrance, the man-of-the-match in the 1911 FA Cup Final was married in late 1916. You will be able to view his marriage certificate complete with the great man’s signature.

Corn Dolly public house
110 Bolton Road
Telephone: 01274 720219
Open daily 11.00-23.00

A popular pub with generations of Bradford City fans, the Corn Dolly has on display an oil painting of the Bantams record appearance holder Ces Podd and several other images. Also there is a pennant from Glasgow Rangers supporters presented prior to Stuart McCall’s testimonial match when City played Rangers in front of over 20,000 supporters. 

Hamm Strasse Memorial
Hamm Strasse/Manningham Lane junction

In the wake of the fire disaster the people of Bradford’s twin town in Germany Hamm showed tremendous compassion and eventually donated the memorial that stands in Centenary Square. As a mark of appreciation the new road linking Canal Road with Manningham Lane was named Hamm Strasse. For many years only a small plaque told that story, but on the 25th anniversary of the fire a marker stone was kindly provided by the building suppliers Marshall’s. It was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Bradford and the Burgomaster of Hamm.

Sparrow Bier Café
32 North Parade
Telephone: 01274 270772
Open Monday-Tuesday 11.00-20.00
Wednesday-Thursday 11.00-23.00
Friday-Saturday 11.00-Midnight
Sunday 12.00-18.00

A relatively new business, the Sparrow has become a popular watering hole for City fans on matchdays. Home of the launch of the Bantams’ History Week, you can read about North Parade’s links to the football club on a storyboard on the cafe’s walls. Also on sale, at least until it sells out, is the exclusive Bantams History Week ale – Baines Bantams’ Beer.

Friday 12 April 2013

Bradford City History Week Additional Event

A walk through the history of Bradford sport

Bradford city centre


20 April 2013

The hidden sporting history of Bradford will be brought to life in a guided walk around the city centre on Saturday 20 April. The walk, staged as part of the inaugural Bantams’ History week, will follow part of the route taken by Bradford City’s victorious team when they returned in triumph with the FA Cup in 1911.
Buildings and locations will include: where Bradford Northern Rugby League Club were formed; where the Bradford jewellers Fattorini’s designed the current FA Cup; the hotel where City’s players celebrated their cup triumph; the wool warehouse which was the business of Bradford City’s chairman during the Great War; a sports outfitters owned by a Bradford rugby international in the days when players were supposed to be strictly amateur; the premises where millions of football collectors cards were manufactured.
Walkers are requested to meet downstairs in the Turls Green public house (formerly known as Lloyds) in Centenary Square 10am for 10.30am. The pub has kindly agreed to host the meeting place of the walk. There will be a halt for refreshments at the Midland Hotel and the walk will end at the Sparrow Bier Cafe on North Parade in time for the official launch of the Bantams’ History Week at midday.
The walk will be led by the bantamspast museum curator David Pendleton and the irrepressible Glyn Watkins, poet, writer and leader of the recent walk celebrating Bradford’s patron Saint Bishop Blaise. The walk is free but a donation to the Bradford Burns Unit would be appreciated.

Locations en route:

Bradford fire memorial, Centenary Square
Site of Mechanics’ Institute, Centenary Square
Former Bradford Daily Telegraph office, Centenary Square
Site of Great War recruiting office, Norfolk Gardens
Site of Bradford Exchange railway station
Great Northern Victoria Hotel
Route taken through streets of Bradford by Bradford City team parading FA Cup in 1911
Wool Exchange, Market Street
Site of Fattorini’s where FA Cup was designed
Site of Sports & Pastimes, makers of Bradford City’s shirts in 1911
Plaque commemorating FA Cup win outside Midland Hotel
Site of former Bradford Midland (Forster Square) Railway station
Midland Hotel, Spirit of Bradford bar
Former warehouse of I & G Lancaster, Cheapside
Former British Sport Depot shop, Darley Street/Duke Street
Former shop of Baines Cards, North Parade
Sparrow Bier Cafe, North Parade

Saturday 30 March 2013

26 April 1911 Anniversary Dinner

Midland Hotel, Bradford

Forster Suite

7pm for 7.30pm, meeting in Spirit of Bradford Bar (turn immediate left on entering the hotel).

Dress code: tie for gentlemen, dress for ladies is preferred, but smart-causal will suffice.

Guest speaker: David Conn of the Guardian
Two course dinner £18 per person

Choices must be pre-booked (and received the week prior to the dinner) from the following:

  1. Ham hock terrine, Yorkshire piccalilli, olive bread
  2. Chicken and Asparagus Salad finished with golden Croutons and Caesar dressing
  3. Yorkshire goats Cheese Tart, Red Onion Chutney, sun blush tomato bread (v)
  1. Pan Fried Chicken breast with Lemon & Herb wrapped in Parma ham, Served with a White Wine Chervil Sauce
  2. Fillet of Lemon Sole seared Spinach finished with Grapes and Chardonnay Sauce
  3. Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Crepes, flavoured with a rich Yorkshire Blue Cheese sauce (v)
The culmination of the Bantams’ History Week is a dinner to mark the 102nd anniversary of Bradford City AFC’s FA Cup victory. The dinner will take place in the very room where Jimmy Speirs walked out onto the balcony of the hotel to show the FA Cup to an estimated 100,000 people packed onto the streets of Bradford.
Toasts will be made to the great team of 1911. Our guest speaker will be the Guardian’s David Conn. Well known for his investigative journalism into football’s finances, his latest book, Richer than God, tells the story of Sheik Mansour’s arrival at Manchester City and its impact on English football.
Spaces are strictly limited to forty diners, so early booking is advised.

Cheques for £18 should be made payable to ‘bantamspast’ and sent to:
PO Box 307
BD18 9BT

Special rates are available for any diners who may wish to stay at the hotel:
£65 single bed and breakfast, £75 double bed and breakfast
Please contact the hotel direct to make a booking on 01274 735735

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Wembley Competition Closed

The deadline for submitting photographs from the League Cup Final at Wembley has now passed. We would like to thank each and every one of you who have sent images from that unforgettable day. In due course we will announce the winner and put many of the images you have sent onto our website. We are delighted to have received snapshots of the day from a fan's perspective. Please note: the image above is one of ours. We weren't allowed to enter the competition!

Monday 25 February 2013

Defeated But Not Downhearted

Don't forget, send us your photos (see below).

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Bantams in Photo Finish?

Supporters’ chance to win cash prize in Cup Final photo competition

The Bradford City Football Club museum, bantamspast, is running a competition for supporters to send in their best images of the Bantams’ fairytale League Cup Final experience, both for supporters going to Wembley, those celebrating the occasion in Bradford.

The competition will allow the bantamspast museum to build up an archive of how supporters celebrated Bradford City’s first cup final appearance for 102 years. It will be an invaluable resource that will illustrate to future supporters how we, in 2013, followed the Bantams either at Wembley or back in Bradford.

The museum's competition for the best images is being run in association with British Future, a think-tank which promotes debate about identity and integration. 

The winning images will be displayed in the museum and there is a £250 prize for the best entry in each of the two categories.

Wembley Way: images from those making the trip to London

Bringing Bradford together: images of celebrations of the occasion in Bradford.

The entries can be either still photographs or video clips. The closing date is 3 March 2013. Please submit entries to

By entering our competitions you are deemed to have read and agree with these terms and conditions
  1. The photographer must be the author and owner of the copyright of photos entered in to the competition. Entrants will retain full copyright in their entries, and will be credited if their images are published. The contest is open to all, but excludes images which have been published, for payment, in professional news or media outlets prior to the closing date. (Images published personally, through social media, or elsewhere but not for payment are allowed). 

  2. The winning image will be placed in the bantamspast museum and a selection of other entries will appear at and on the British
  3.  Please send images to HERE by the closing date of 3 March 2013.   Submitted images should be no larger than 600kb files size.
  4. By entering this contest, you agree to grant bantamspast and British Future a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence to publish the image submitted. A selection of entries will be published online. Copyright will remain with the entrants.  Winning photos and other selected images may be used to report the result of the competition, to promote the contest and to provide a record of the competition and the Wembley final on the bantamspast website. This will not be time-limited; after the contest, the winning images and a selection of other images will be used as part of the bantamspast archive, with the photographers credited.
  5. The judges' decision is final.

Friday 15 February 2013

Beyond Wembley: What can bring Bradford together?

26th February 2013, 6:30-8:00pm
Carlisle Business Centre, 60 Carlisle Road, Bradford, BD8 8BD

Bradford City have thrilled a city and surprised the whole country by becoming the first team from English football's fourth division to reach a major Wembley Cup final.

This event will reflect on what this moment has meant for Bradford, and how to build on it after the cup final.

Speakers include:

·     Anthony Clavane, chief sportswriter of the Sunday Mirror and author of books on identity and       football, and the Jewish contribution to English football.
·         Sabbiyah Pervez, proud Bradfordian and participant in Make Bradford British TV programme.
·         Riz Rehman, operations director of the Zesh Rehman Foundation, a social inclusion project to bring communities together using football; ex-footballer and qualified coach.
·         Jason McKeown, editor of The Width of a Post website, covering Bradford City FC.

Join them to discuss questions including:

- How far has it captured an inclusive pride in a city more used to negative headlines?

- Will it help persuade Bradfordians to support their local club, not Premiership teams, or boost the club's efforts to build local Asian support?

- Beyond Wembley, what can we learn about the possibilities of sport, and other areas of common interest, to be a positive force for inclusion and integration?

British Future is an independent thinktank which promotes constructive public debate about identity and integration in Britain today. See for more information.

To reserve a place, please RSVP to Helena Stroud at or call 020 7632 9069.

Monday 28 January 2013

Up for the Cup Edwardian Style

As travel plans are made for the League Cup Final, it is remarkable how similar the experience will be to our last appearance in a major cup final – the FA Cup Final of 1911. Although a large proportion of the 31,000 supporters heading south will be travelling by road, a significant number will use the railways. Thankfully, an overnight journey in toiletless carriages has been left behind us. For the team, they will, like their 1911 counterparts, travel to London prior to the day of the match. However, it is unlikely that they will be staying at the Midland Hotel at St Pancras. City fans with an eye to history could stay at the hotel, which has recently been spectacularly refurbished, but as well as an interest in history, they would have to have deep pockets, as the cheapest room is over £220 per night!

We take the following text from David Pendleton’s Glorious 1911 book, which is still available from Waterstones in the city centre and will be restocked in the club shop shortly.

To the Palace for the Cup

A staggering two hundred trains poured fans into London from all over the country. The Great Northern Railway, which served both Bradford and Newcastle, ran 43 trains into Kings Cross. Twenty trains, including one conveying the City team, ran into St Pancras on the Midland Railway. City had something of a special relationship with the Midland, not least because the company leased Valley Parade to the club. The Midland Railway Company’s carriage works in Manningham made a silver horseshoe, which they presented to the team. A large crowd gathered to witness the departure of the official party, including the fifteen players from whom the team would be selected, as they left Forster Square at half past three on the afternoon of Friday 21 April 1911. Driver Luck, who had driven the team’s train to the semi-final, was once again at the controls as the train pulled away from Forster Square, past Valley Parade and towards the distant capital. The great invasion of London had commenced a few hours earlier with the departure of the reserve team from Forster Square.

Eleven trains conveying some six thousand City fans followed in their wake. The streets of Bradford were busy all through the night. Streams of supporters made their way to Forster Square and Exchange stations. Along the route vendors sold claret and amber ‘favours’ that trippers placed in their lapels or attached to hats. As each train started, cheers went up and the fans began singing the popular City song ‘Hello Hello’ which echoed down the platforms as the trains departed into the night. The first train disgorged its bleary-eyed travellers onto the capital’s streets at half past four in the morning! The first team party arrived at St Pancras at quarter past eight in the evening. Waiting at the hotel for the team was a good luck horseshoe, sent by the men of Bradford’s Tramways. The team visited the Euston Empire Theatre, a short walk from their base at the Midland Railway’s fabulous St Pancras Hotel. Given the huge number of fans of both clubs arriving at St Pancras and the adjacent Kings Cross in the early hours, it may not have just been pre-match nerves that kept the City players awake in their hotel rooms above the great station.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Good Luck Everyone!

Different century. Different venue. Same sentiment. History in the making. And it was! And it is!

Sunday 13 January 2013

Villa Park, 1912

As Bradford City’s team, assembled for a mere £7,500, stand ninety minutes from major cup final, it’s worth reflecting on the fact that financial inequality in football is hardly a new thing. City’s opening match of the 1912/13 season brought with it concerns about wealthy clubs dominating the league.

The 1912/13 season started with the toughest possible fashion with a trip to Villa Park. During the summer Aston Villa had spent around six thousand pounds on four players. The Bradford Daily Argus reflected that Villa’s spending over the summer was ‘almost equal to a whole season’s revenue of some of the lowly league clubs’. The ability of a handful of wealthy clubs – notably Aston Villa, Everton and Newcastle United – to dominate the transfer market was causing concern. The unpredictability of the league was often referred to as one of its greatest assets. Publically at least there seems to have been a consensus that buying success was somehow distasteful.

Bradford City themselves had been busy in the transfer market and had tapped into the rich seam of Scottish talent for reinforcements. John Wyllie made his debut in the Bantams’ defence. The burly Scot was at times overwhelmed by the quick first time passing of the Villa forwards and it was later acknowledged that it was probably a mistake to hand him his first division debut against what was widely acknowledged as the best attacking force in the country. However, Wyllie was not the only defender to struggle as City went down to a 1-3 opening day defeat.

A 3-1 defeat at Villa Park in 2013 would set up a penalty shoot out. With City having set an unofficial world record with their nine consecutive shoot out victories, it would be a prospect that the visitors would probably relish. Ten in a row and a first major cup final since 1911? It could happen. We are living through history.

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