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Bradford

Technically, I have been to Bradford once before, but I was not a tourist that time. This time, I allowed a little extra time for seeing some of the sights and making use of the bus network.

It's British Wool Week, and I misunderstood the Industrial Museum's website to promise me daily alpacas. There were none. Instead, I saw the enormous carding, spinning, and weaving machines upstairs, the long, shiny collection of somewhat eccentric cars downstairs, printworks, trams, engines, and a potted history of Bradford. The mill supervisor's house was my disorienting introduction to the site, since I had not yet then found the main entrance. Fascinating back-to-back houses preserved. Biggest revelation: a spare Victorian maid's room looks pleasantly comfortable to modern eyes.

The apse of the cathedral is under renovation, so no William Morris window for me. Still, not a bad overgrown parish church. The city is a bit hit-and-miss in its way: lots of good things, lots of long-abandoned, often burnt-out churches and mills, ripe for renovation when the money and/or population justifies it; and yet the whole place looks so solid, build as it is out of grey stone, layered into the hills of Bradford Dale.

Dinner was at Prashad. Brief version: very good overall, ordered too much because it's hard to predict portions at new places, beautiful masala dosa. The best two foods for me were the kalva, banana and fenugreek bhajis with coriander sauce; and one of the dips brought before the pappadoms, made from fermented thick-skinned mangoes. Dahi puri were refreshing, but less exciting; the puri didn't seem quite right, even if they may have been exactly as intended. Fantastic, friendly service.

Comments

ninebelow
Sep. 10th, 2011 08:50 am (UTC)
ripe for renovation when the money and/or population justifies it

It'll never happen now. There was a window in the late Nineties/early Noughties where it looked like it might turn itself around but it simply couldn't compete with Leeds and wasn't able to establish its own identity.
lil_shepherd
Sep. 10th, 2011 09:10 am (UTC)
There was an incredible city plan which would have meant creating a huge lake practically in the centre of Bradford, but they never found the dosh.
ninebelow
Sep. 10th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Will Alsop masterplan. I believe he did one for Barnsley ("the Tuscany of the North") as well but everyone feel out of love with him.

I thought they were still making some sort of big water feature near the millennium square (there are loads of roadworks there whilst they are doing something) but can't see anything online. Here's a good summary of current progress to regenerate the city centre.
lil_shepherd
Sep. 10th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

That's interesting...
owlfish
Sep. 11th, 2011 09:49 am (UTC)
Yes, there's a big construction site right by city hall which the map swears is for a lake-to-be. I was particularly aware of it since I regularly had to work my way around the site while going around Bradford.