When it was first announced that the new school would be opening in the VP office block it was hoped that the BANTAMSPAST museum could be relocated elsewhere in the ground – for example in the Bantams Bar in the Kop stand – but despite the best efforts of all it was not possible. For the record the efforts of David Baldwin in supporting us cannot be faulted.
Certain artefacts are now on display in the function areas of the main stand but most of the remainder has been (or is in the process of being) returned to the owners who had originally lent the items. We retain the hope of reviving a physical museum at Valley Parade but remain committed to encouraging interest in the club’s history through various initiatives.
One objective is to act as a publisher of historical books about the club. For example in 2010 we published Glorious 1911 (a history of the club’s golden era between 1908-15 and a certain event in 1911) and in 2011 we published Paraders, also written by Dave Pendleton to commemorate the 125th anniversary of VP with an updated history. Last year we assisted Paul Firth with the promotion and publishing of his book about Bobby Campbell.
We have also promoted the PARADERS range of enamel badges (www.paraders.co.uk) featuring historic crests and sales of badges raised £5,000 that was donated to the Burns Unit in 2011.
We are also looking to continue organising ad hoc events which have previously included the centenary Glorious 1911 dinner at the Midland Hotel in 2011 and various film nights at Pictureville since 1997 that have included the showing of archive film from the 1940s as well as from 1903.
In April this year Dave Pendleton is organising the Bradford Football History Week – details of which will be confirmed shortly. Longer term we are exploring options to enhance the existing BANTAMSPAST website to provide a virtual online museum.
In the meantime I am working on a new publication which will hopefully be published in October/November this year to mark the club’s 100th peacetime season in League competition. Essentially it will be a compilation of memorabilia, ephemera and relics to provide an alternative history of the club in objects.
Having collected (hoarded) City stuff for the last forty years I have a good selection to feature but I’d appreciate the help of City fans who may have unusual or rare memorabilia. In particular I am interested in souvenirs (including scarves), old season-tickets and tickets from pre-1975 and programmes or handbooks as well as postcards or photographs from pre-1939. Membership cards of supporter organisations pre-1973 also needed.
Additionally I’d welcome material relating to Park Avenue derby games. However to make the project manageable I am excluding newspaper scrapbooks and cuttings from the scope.
In the first instance could I ask you to send me a digital photograph of the item(s) concerned. Even if I cannot feature it in the book we are keen to build a collection of images that could be featured on the BANTAMSPAST website (www.bantamspast.co.uk).
I have been working in Saudi Arabia since July last year and return to Bradford next week to travel down to Wembley. Needless to say I haven’t been a regular at VP this season but then again it is the only season where I have never seen the team lose. Hopefully a positive omen.
John can be contacted at johnpdewhirstatgmaildotcom