Thrilled that the Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire for the first two stages in July 2014! The route will take in iconic and difficult terrain near Bradford and in the Yorkshire Dales. This image of cyclists on Kex Gill Pass during the 1930s gives a sense of the challenges to be faced, although we hope the weather will be slightly better for the Tour.
Cyclists in the snow, Kex Gill Pass near Blubberhouses, Yorkshire, by Fred Robinson Butterfield, 1930s
This photo was taken by keen cyclist Fred Butterfield: find out more about him and his fascinating Yorkshire photographs in this entry from our 100 Objects series.
Bradford University and the City have a long interest in cycling. Like rambling, it has long been popular in this region, the closeness of incredible landscapes to Yorkshire’s industrial cities allowing workers and students to find themselves in rural and remote settings just a few minutes outside the urban bustle. J.B. Priestley’s writings often show the value he and his contemporaries placed on the Dales as a place for freedom, beauty and adventure.
Here’s the Cycling Club on Richmond Road, just outside the University, in November 1968. It looks rather chilly, and the accompanying news story observes that “the weather this term has not been favourable”, but “the more hardy members have been going out regularly each week”.
It might be cold, but notice the lack of cars on the road – bliss!
The more hardy members of Bradford University Cycling Club, from Javelin 28 November 1968.
Cycling is still really popular at the University: if you’d like to know more, see the University Bicycle Users Group and the Cycling Club websites.
This image is one of my favourites! Seasonal skating fun! It was found in the Holden Papers and nicely illustrates the riches in this wonderful archive that we are now discovering thanks to our Untangling the Holdens Project. There’s more about the Southport Glaciarium here.
Christmas Greeting also available as an A5 card, to print out, if you like: Xmas 2012.
Special Collections is closed for the festive break from 20 December to 2 January, inclusive. We would like to thank all our users, volunteers, friends and supporters for their involvement in 2012 and to wish everyone all the very best for Christmas and the coming year.
This autumn, I’ll be improving the Special Collections website to bring our users a fresh new look, even more information about the wonderful archives at Bradford, and new services too. This is part of a bigger project enhancing the Library’s site for the benefit of our students.
Some web addresses will change – including links on our blogs. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause! We will work to edit all the links we can find. Please let me know if you encounter broken links. Feedback about blogs or the website old or new is always welcome too.
From 13 July to 1 August 2012, staff annual leave means that access to Special Collections will be limited. There will also be some delay in replying to enquiries. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause!
I just came across this lovely blog post about Fred Singleton, by Mark Andrews, who was a student at Bradford University during the 1970s. Fred Singleton was head of Yugoslav studies at the University. Mark Andrews found Fred’s teaching and his enthusiasm for Yugoslavia and its people truly inspiring and this comes across in his post which neatly summarises Fred’s life and interests.
Fred Singleton teaching geography of Yugoslavia (archive ref UNI D18)
Fred Singleton helped in the reconstruction of Skopje after the 1963 earthquake, with a group of Bradford Institute of Technology students. Special Collections contains objects presented to the students by their hosts and Fred’s own, very large, archive.
More detail about the works! Follow this blog for updates.
1. The Floor 02 toilets are being refurbished from 27 March: work will take about six weeks. Visitors will need to use alternative toilets on the other floors. There may be some noise from the building works – we do not yet know how much disturbance to expect so we are encouraging visitors to rearrange their appointments for later dates where possible.
2. We may experience disruption from the GLEE Project, which will transform the upper floors of the Library. Visitors with an interest in peace/politics should note that Commonweal will be affected: see the Glee Project website for ways to find out more.
I am delighted to introduce you to our new Special Collections Assistant, Martin Levy. Martin was appointed a couple of weeks ago and will be working Tuesdays-Fridays. Special Collections visitors may already have met him in his previous role working at the J.B. Priestley Library counter and reception. Martin brings a wealth of interest and experience to Special Collections.
Martin Levy, the new Special Collections Assistant
Spring and Summer 2012 will see various building works in the J.B. Priestley Library. At present, we do not anticipate closing the Reading Room or being unable to offer access to any material, but it may occasionally be necessary for us to do so. More dates and information about matters affecting Special Collections will be made available here as soon as we have them.
The toilets in the Library are currently being improved, with much better and more eco-friendly facilities. We are currently experiencing minor noise disturbance from the refurbishment of toilets on Floor 01. From mid-March into April, the toilets on Floor 02 next to the Reading Room will be refurbished. As most of the noisy work will take place in the early mornings, we do not intend to close the service. However, visitors should be aware that the nearest toilet will be a floor away (accessible via lift) and that some noise and disturbance during opening hours is unavoidable.
Some major works will be taking place on Floors 1 and 2 to improve heating and lighting systems and create a more pleasant environment. These will have less direct impact on Special Collections than the toilet works, but please note that there will be noise from building processes and from the movement of people and materials via the Loading Bay throughout the summer.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will do our best to ensure your visit is enjoyable and useful for you.
Several of J.B. Priestley’s plays, notably An Inspector Calls and the other Time Plays, continue to enthrall and educate modern audiences. But Priestley’s role in the theatre went far beyond writing for the stage.
Professor Maggie Gale will be exploring Priestley’s place in the theory and practice of mid-twentieth century drama in the J.B. Priestley Society Annual Lecture for 2012. This will take place on Saturday 10 March 2012 at 2pm in the JSB Lecture Theatre, Richmond Building, University of Bradford. The event is open to the public. For more information and to book, see the Society’s website. Society members have their AGM in the same venue that morning.
A forthcoming book from our colleague, Dr James Gregory, lecturer in modern British history, will explore a fascinating aspect of Victorian Britain: “the gallows question” – should capital punishment be abolished? Dr Gregory considers movements to abolish it. He also looks at the treatment of capital punishment in literature of the time and how it fitted into ideas about philanthropy and morality. “Victorians against the Gallows” will be published by IB Tauris this autumn.