Lost Sporting Heroes: A vintage bus tour of Bradford’s cemeteries and a game of crown green bowls

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By David Pendleton

Saturday 7 May

Depart Record Cafe Noon, return to The Sparrow 5pm

£10 fare including bowling club tea

After the sell-out success of last year’s trip around the lost sports grounds of Bradford, a 2016 version will be running on Saturday 7 May.

This year the vintage bus trip will take in the final resting places of some of Bradford’s most notable sporting personalities. It will also take in a game of crown green bowls, several opportunities to drink the finest real ales and enjoy a buffet tea. What more could the gentlemen (and women) drinkers of Bradford require on a football free afternoon?

Similar to last year the tour is being underwritten by our good friends Keith Wildman of the Record Cafe and Les Hall of the Sparrow. Hence we will be meeting at 11am for a noon departure from the Record Cafe on North Parade in the city centre.

This year our bus will be a 1952 former Bradford City Transport Regent 111 double decker. We will trundle around the cemeteries at Undercliffe, Bowling, Scholemoor and Heaton. Trippers will stand alongside the last resting places and hear the stories of some of Bradford’s greatest sporting personalities:

  • Alf Ayrton, the man who coined the name Bradford City;
  • Thomas Coyle, a child killed and is the first recorded death in a modern sporting stadium in 1888;
  • Harry Briggs, the man who drove through the formation of Bradford (Park Avenue) and bankrolled them to the first division;
  • Peter O’Rourke, City’s FA Cup winning manager;
  • the Fattorini’s family grave, the makers of the FA Cup;
  • William Pollack, City’s chairman when the club won the FA Cup; George Lorimer, Valley Parade’s first sporting superstar whose funeral attracted 8,000 onlookers.

There will be others besides and we get to watch a top level game of crown green bowls at the historic West Bradford Bowling Club where former City chairman Alf Ayrton was a member. After a tea at the bowling club we will return to the Sparrow on North Parade where there will be the chance to sample a specially brewed beer to commemorate our day trip.

Tickets priced at £10 are available from the Record Cafe. After last year’s success we are expecting tickets to sell quickly, so get in early is our advice.

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1 reply

  1. Hi Dave, can you get in touch with me re: bowling club visit on 7/5/16. We need to sort one or two things out. Unfortunately, I don’t have your contact details. Thanks

    Kevin (West Bradford BC)

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