Working in Bradford

What is Bradford Famous for?

By wizu | 05 January 2021

Bradford is a beautiful city where you can enjoy everything from heritage and culture, to plenty of natural beauty and fresh air. The city is also home to two UNESCO sites, and so much more.

With a population of over 500,000 people and 150 different languages, this is a city filled to the brim and overflowing with some amazing stories.

When most people think of Bradford, they think of the industrial revolutions and textiles. And while this city is one of the best in the UK, even with the greatest curry restaurants, this is a place that has had an effect on the entire world.

What else is Bradford famous for?

Home to Fairies

Back in 1917, a teenager named Elsie Wright, along with her cousin Frances created some fairies with hatpins and paper cut-outs. They just wanted to have fun creating some fairy friends. Well, Eslie happened to borrow her father’s camera to take pictures of these new fairy friends.

She and her cousin took pictures of the paper fairies next to a steam, which was near the family’s garden in the village of Cottingley. The images show Frances and Elsie cavorting with four dancing fairies, and one dancing gnome.

When the girls came back from the stream, they claimed to have seen fairies! And they had pictures to prove it! The pictures caused quite a stir, as you can imagine. People thought the photos were real. Well, the photos were real, but the fairies in the images were only paper cut-outs. The mystery of the Bradford fairies went on for some time.

Then in 1920, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of the famous Sherlock Holmes detective stories, wrote about the photos and declared they were authentic.

As Frances became an adult, she always held to the story the fairies were real. However, Elsie decided to tell the truth about 5 years before she died. She let it be known that the fairies were not real.

What an amazing story created by two young girls and a camera!

Britain’s First, and Last, Trolleybus

In the first part of the 20th century, Bradford had to deal with what looked like a web of wires overhead. These were used to power the city’s tramway system. The system was from the Victorian era, and not as many people were using much anymore. So, the city decided it might be time to look for a different transportation solution.

So, a delegation was sent to the continent to visit other European countries. They were to take a look at how other cities deals with a trolleybus system. Eventually the city decided to invest in the new trolleybus system.

The trolleybuses were painted an iconic blue and cream, and soon became one of the city’s institutions. One of the main problems with the system, however, was trolley polls falling off the overhead lines. This happened when they were approaching switches too fast. When that happened, drivers had to reconnect the trolleybus with an insulated pole, to keep from being electrocuted.

Bradford’s iconic trolleybuses were eventually retired in 1972, when they were replaced by diesel-powered trolleys.

The First School Meals

It’s believed that Bradford is was the first city in the UK to provide free school meals to poor children. The very first meal served consisted of scotch barley broth and a fruit tart. This was served to students at Green Lane Elementary School in Manningham on 28 October 1907.

While records have shown that Manchester did serve dinners for poor children back in 1879, Bradford was the first city to offer this as a continuous service to all its students. The meals were served in zinc boxes, especially made for this purpose, and kept the food hot for many hours.

Part of the process of receiving a school meal was being weighed on a scale. The students’ weight was proof that they needed nutritious food to see them grow in a healthy way, as well as making it easier for them to study.

To this day, you can see pictures of some of the first meals served in Bradford school at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.

The Bradford Sling

Back on 11th May 1985, a disaster struck Bradford. This was the day the Bradford City Stadium caught fire and killed 56 people and left about 256 injured. The fire happened to occur during a game with Lincoln City.

The fire left many people with horrible burn injuries. At that time, Prof. David Sharp had just been certified as a plastic surgeon. He was there to treat many of those who were injured in the fire.

As he was treating the injured, he found that when an arm suffered burns it was imperative to keep swelling down by keeping the hand elevated. But traditional arm slings were not effective, especially when the burn patients were lying in bed.

After the fire and treating the burn patients with plastic surgery, the University of Bradford set up a surgery and burns unit to develop new treatments. It was during his stint as the director of the unit that Prof. Sharpe came up with the “Bradford sling.”

This is a sling that’s made from foam and Velcro straps. While the construction is simple, the sling is crucial to aiding the recovery of burn patients. It applies even pressure over the arm, and it can be suspended beside the bed, or held against the patient’s body.

The Bradford sling has revolutionised the management of hand injuries and surgeries all around the world.

Summing It Up

As you can see, the city of Bradford has had a major impact on the lives of those who live there. Even more, the city has also touched lives of many around the world!

Bradford is an amazing city with so much to offer everyone. It’s a place where you can definitely find some of the best curry around. The city’s also smack in the middle of the most beautiful scenery and nature around. There’s definitely something for everyone here!

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