Bantams’ History Week

Valley Parade

20-26 April 2013

By David Pendleton

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 Bantams became the 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 with 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.

 

Saturday 20 April

Launch of Bantams’ History Week

Sparrow Bier Cafe

12pm

Free event

The Bantams’ History Week will be launched at the Sparrow Bier Cafe 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, on the Bantams’ History Week and 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. Based on North Parade was Baines Cards, the producers of millions of collectors cards depicting sports personalities and clubs in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Originally from Manningham, Baines moved to North Parade as the business grew to staggering proportions. Featured on their cards were numerous players of Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue and Bradford Northern. However, Baines produced cards 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.

Valley Parade

1pm: An opportunity to peek behind the scenes at Valley Parade on a matchday, including access to the dressing rooms, directors’ suite, 1911 Club and the bantamspast museum. The tour, led by the Friends of Bradford City, must be pre-booked. For further details please visit www.friendsofbcfc.com

3pm-4.45pm: Catch the Bantams in League Two action when Bradford City play Burton Albion at Valley Parade.

Sunday 21 April

Undercliffe Cemetery

2pm

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.

Bantams’ History Week Trail

20-26 April

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

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.

Waterstone’s

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

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

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

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 Cafe

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.



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1 reply

  1. Looking forward to this, particularly the Baines Cards bit of it – got quite a lot of them myself 🙂

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