“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
I could not have agreed more with this quote. A very casual conversation about travel with a friend led to the plan of visiting Bradford, my friend’s hometown. Bradford is just about an hours distance away from Manchester by train. Thus, my plan was to catch an early train to reach early and get more time to explore the place. It was a day trip so I was to return the same evening.
It is my habit to check on the places I would be going to before actually going there. This would give me a little background about the place as well as inform me about the places to visit. However, I left the Bradford Tour completely on my friends shoulders. Being her hometown, she was the best person to take me around the city.
There are great places like Keighley and Bronte Parsonage a little outside Bradford, for which buses had to be boarded . This did not really suit our time tables so we decided to keep to the city centre and skip going outside the city. Missing out on halls, moors and museums was never a regret because there was so much to see and explore in Bradford city itself.
Here is a listicle of what I did and would recommend anyone doing for a day trip in Bradford.
1.National Media Museum
Formerly known as the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, the National Media Museum is a short walk from the Bradford Interchange (Train Station) . This was a personal favourite, being a student of journalism and photography. It hosts about 3.5 million exhibits in its seven floors of galleries. It focuses on the history and development of photography, film, media , internet and video-gaming. Some of its exhibits give special stress on the principles of light and colour. apart from the museum itself, the building is home to three full screen movie theatres.
2.Bradford City Centre
Right outside the National Media Museum is the City Centre Park. I happened to be present on a relatively warm day in England, where children were taking a nice swim in the fountain waters . The best part of the city park is that there are provisions of changing so the children can actually change, swim, change into dry clothes, snack on a yummy lunch from the nearby restaurants and cafes or even watch a nice movie in the open air theatre.
I have seen a lot of Museums which highlight the effects of war, the society and culture during wars; but rarely does one find a museum dedicated to peace. The Peace Museum Bradford, may not have one of the most elaborate structures of a regular museum dedicating series of floors to its exhibits; but what it has hidden in a little corner of the third floor of a huge neo gothic building is commendable.
One of the most beautiful and quaint Cathedrals that I have seen is the Bradford Cathedral. It is about a five minutes walk from the Peace Museum and can be called a Cathedral set upon a beautiful hill. Well not literally set upon a hill, but the architectural marvels make it look as such. It is always great to spend some quiet time amidst the Almighty in daily life, or in between a hectic day trip.
This is how the Cathedral looks from the street. Adjacent to the Cathedral, is a Cultural Society called the Kala Sangam. While we were visiting , we could see from the open windows that they were rehearsing, probably for a show.
5. Bradford Town Hall
My friend did show me the Town Hall from outside while we were taking a walk to one of our destinations but it was closed. Considering that the Town Halls, are administrative seats, I did not expect to be able to go in there as well. While we were relaxing at the city centre after a hearty lunch and dessert; by luck we got to know that there is a self led tour of the Town Hall with a Fashion Show at the Banquet hall. How could we have missed this opportunity? This is a model of the Town Hall .
This is a sculpture which greets you when you enter the Town Hall. What seems like a beautiful sculpture actually has an interesting story behind it which I wanted to share with all of you. If you look carefully to the left of the sculpture , you’ll see a man holding the head of a boar and towards the right, a man holding the tongue of the boar. The story goes that this boar was causing havoc in the city and the landlord offered a price to the man who was brave enough to kill it. One man was brave enough to fight it and kill it. But the boar was too heavy to carry so he cut the tongue and went to the landlord. In the meantime the second man saw the dead boar and became greedy for the price. So he cut the head of the boar and took it. However, he reached earlier than the first man and was about to be given the price when the real hero enters with the boars tongue and explained the whole situation. The landlord came to know of the lie that the second man had said in order to get the reward. He was subsequently punished and the other man was given a hefty price including several acres of land. The land was passed onto his descendants and over time came to be the property of the Government.
This sculpture is the judgement scene from the story.
6. Sights of the City
This is a collage of some of the great sights I came across in Bradford. Starting from the top is the Alhambra Theatre, The Broadway Shopping Centre, The Bradford Cathedral Cat (who has an interesting story behind her) , A statue of J.B Priestley . Beside it, is a sculpture in front of the Margaret McMillan Tower, children enjoying a day out in the city centre, above which is a poster of a bonded man outside the Cathedral and ending the collage with a sand sculpture.
Now back to the cat, After taking the photograph I put it on Instagram . a few days later, her owner comments . . . . . She was very happy to see the photo and even gave me permission to keep it. The cat’s name is Poppy and is almost 15 years old. She loves a nice sun bath at the Cathedral and visits it often. Incidents such as these make me wonder how small the world has become due to Social Media. One photograph can actually lead you to meet new people and develop new friendship. Have you ever faced incidents like this? I would be most happy to hear about them.
My Bradford Tour ended at the Town Hall from where a short walk led me back to the Train Station. It was a great day spent with a great friend and visiting some of the best places in Bradford. However, I still do have a weakness regarding the Bronte Parsonage Museum and would love to visit there in the future . . But then the whole planet is on my bucket list isn’t it 😛 ?
Before I say goodbye and greet you with another post soon, I will leave you guys with a glimpse of the Fashion Show from the Town Hall.