Tag Archives: Students

Bradvent Calendar, part 1

We’re counting down to Christmas!  Follow @100objectsbrad on Twitter to see a new seasonal object daily. From exquisite illustrations to 1930s Christmas cards to 1980s student humour, there’s always more to discover in Special Collections.  Here’s a round-up of the first twelve.

Day 1

hol3_1_5-glaciarum2-cr

Ice is nice!  The Universal Glaciarium, 184 Lord Street, Southport, Holden Papers.

Day 2

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Season’s Greetings from the Co-op, Bradford Pioneer, 1935.

Day 3

snowampitheatre

In the bleak midwinter … snow on the “Amp”, University of Bradford, December 2009

Day 4

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Our Book Tree, 2015

Day 5

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Our 2015 book tree was so popular we did another in 2016!

Day 6

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Pretty poinsettia Christmas card, Mitrinovic Archive

Day 7

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Brrr!  Cyclists on Kex Gill, photographed by Fred Robinson Butterfield

Day 8

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Christmas has been too much for this sheep!  Fleece, number 11, December 1983

Day 9

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Revenge of the Turkeys!  Shep, number 2, December 1988

Day 10

ivy

Common Ivy, from Beautiful Leaved Plants, one of our favourite books!

Day 11

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Holly, from Flowering Plants of Great Britain, 1855

Day 12

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Star sticker, Women for Life on Earth STAR marches, 1983, Annie Tunnicliffe Archive

Opening the Time Capsule

In 1991 the University of Bradford celebrated its 25th anniversary.  As part of the celebrations a time capsule was locked away in one of our buildings.  For the 50th anniversary, we are going to open the box!

Staff and students of the University are welcome to come along to enjoy this unique event and see what their 90s counterparts thought we might find interesting.  Tuesday 12 April 2016, 1.30 till 2.30 in Richmond Atrium.

I don’t seem to have an image showing the locking of the capsule, so I thought you might like this prospectus which has a very 1991 flavour to it.

Mathematics and statistics undergraduate courses and research prospectus 1991

Mathematics and statistics undergraduate courses and research prospectus 1991

What do you think might be in the capsule?  And what would you put in a 2016 version?

3 February 1966. Bradford’s starter for ten??

Starter question.  What famous jazz musician had the Christian names Ferdinand Joseph de la Menthe?

If you were concerned with Hooke’s Law, would you be more likely to be a student of church history, a statistician, a manufacturer of braces, or a pirate?

From Shakespeare, which character said (and in which play)? “In sooth, I know not why I am so sad”.

Can you guess which quiz show sent these specimen questions to Bradford students?  No conferring!

Yes, it could only be University Challenge, the famously fast-moving and difficult quiz for teams of students, first broadcast in 1962.

UNI X0414. Javelin, 3 Feb.1966. B.I.T. and University Challenge

In 1966, Students’ Union official Roger Iles contacted the programme’s producer, Douglas Terry, and its maker, Granada Television, to ask whether Bradford Institute of Technology (BIT) would be able to take part in the programme.  BIT was after all just about to become a “University”.  His enquiry was welcomed and Bradford was invited to put together a team for the autumn series.  BIT was thus the first College of Advanced Technology turned University to be recognised in this way.

The 3 February 1966 issue of Javelin shared the good news and the call for entries.  The  specimen questions were included to help students decide if they were up to the standard of the competition.  Answers at the bottom of this article  (No googling!).

It took a few years, but Bradford University did eventually become University Challenge Champions.

Other stories from the 3 February issue:

Telly Tales

Five students living in Revis Barber Hall of Residence had jointly hired a television set which was “capable” of receiving a hazy BBC-2: a slightly more “highbrow” channel than the existing BBC and ITV programmes, and with a remit including arts, culture and education.  Assuming the set could in practice receive the channel, the students would have been able to watch Playschool, Horizon, and (the following year) the unmissable Forsyte Saga.

Toilet Wars

Students were asked to stop stealing glasses from the Union Bar and were rebuked for using “vulgar language” in the “conveniences” on Richmond D Floor.  This had upset a member of staff and meant students were banned from the only toilets on the same floor as the Bar – inconvenient!

Ad of the Week

Excel Bowling (Canterbury Avenue).  Ten-pin bowling had become really popular in Britain during the 1960s.  Excel was a large chain of bowling alleys.

UNI X0414. Javelin, 3 Feb.1966. Excel Bowl, Bradford. Bowling advertisement

Your answers:

  • Jelly Roll Morton
  • A manufacturer of braces (i.e. interested in the properties of elastic).
  • Antonio, in the Merchant of Venice.

20 January 1966. Silver Blades and Heart Beat

My favourite story from the 20 January 1966 issue of Javelin is the opening of two beloved Bradford landmarks, the Silver Blades Ice Rink and the Heart Beat discotheque above it.

Heart beat discotheque, Javelin, 20 Jan.1966., p.5

Located in Wardley House on Little Horton Lane, these were handily near the University (as we will see, the University would soon have a presence in the same building).

Silver Blades was rather special when opened:

“… reputed to be “The finest rink in the world”, with coloured lighting in the barriers, sparkling chandeliers over the ice, and a plush bar and restaurant. The resplendently dressed skaters were entertained with organ music. The opening gala at the rink had performances by British skaters who had just returned from the World Championships. They included Sally Anne Stapleford, John Curry and ice dancers Bernard Ford and Diane Towler.” (from the History of Bradford Ice Arena).

But ice rinks are expensive to run!  In the 1970s and 1980s recession and cuts to maintenance meant it became run down, and its owners Mecca Leisure decided to close it in 1991.  The rink was saved thanks to a new company put together by local campaigner Krystyna Rogers.  It is lovely to note that it is still going strong.  Now known as Bradford Ice Arena, the rink is celebrating 50 years of bringing fun and exercise to the people of Bradford.

And the Heart Beat?  It seems to have become  Annabella’s at some point during the 1970s.  I’ll share more info when I come across it.  And of course, memories and images can easily be found on Facebook and other sites – see All About Bradford for instance.

1966, a Year that made a University. 20 January: Nearly There?

In January 1966 it looked as though Bradford might be at the point of achieving a century-old dream: its own University.  Or was it?

First page of Bradford Institute of Technology's Petition, July 1965 (Uni C04)

First page of Bradford Institute of Technology’s Petition, July 1965 (Uni C04)

1868-1963 The fight for a University

As early as 1868, local Member of Parliament W.E. Forster was clear that “if industrial universities were to be established in large centres of manufacturing, Bradford would do its best to become one of those centres”.  Such universities were indeed established: Leeds, Sheffield etc. acquired universities in the”red-brick” boom of the 1890s and 1900s.  Lack of local support and political influence meant Bradford missed out.

Scheme after scheme for university status foundered over the next century.  At last, in 1957, Bradford became Bradford Institute of Technology, one of eight Colleges of Advanced Technology, concentrating on university-level teaching and research.  But the CATS lacked the independence, kudos, and funding available to”universities”.

This unfairness was particularly noticeable during the early 1960s, as so many new universities were springing up.  These, as Robert McKinlay remarked in his histories of the University, achieved university status with all its benefits while often consisting of only a “Vice-Chancellor and a watchman’s hut”.  The CATs, with years of high-level work, buildings, staff and students, were still at a disadvantage.

1963-1966.  Hope for Bradford?

To put right this anomaly, Lord Robbins in his 1963 report recommended that the CATs be granted Royal Charters to become technological universities.  It’s easy to assume that this meant the Institute’s move to university status was inevitable.

Javelin, 20 Jan.1966. Charter rotated

However, the lead article in the 20 January 1966 edition of Javelin suggests some students at least were not so sure.  Was there “hope for Bradford”?

  •   An article in the Guardian had implied that Bradford would be a university by the following year: this seemed hopeful, as “surely such a reputable newspaper would not have raised our hopes by printing an untruth”.
  • Aston University, another CAT on the same journey, was “nearly there”, having had their charter accepted by the Privy Council.  Encouraging news!
  • Vice-Principal Robert McKinlay had recently stated that a recent conference was probably the last to be held at BIT. “Does this indicate official optimism, or are we to assume there are to be no further conferences …?”

Of course it is possible that uncertainty about university status was being exaggerated for effect.  Javelin reporters tended to be sarcastic and cynical!   Either way, the signs were correct: Bradford would indeed become a University before the year was out.

Part II to follow: what else was happening around the Institute and the City in January 1966?

Odds, Quads, Fabrics and Fashion Plates: British Patterns Scrapbook in the Times Higher

One of the loveliest and most surprising objects in Special Collections featured in The Times Higher’s Odds and Quads section last week: our scrapbook of fabric samples from Ackermann’s Repository.

Page of fabric samples from British Dyeing Patterns.

Page of fabric samples from British Dyeing Patterns.

Odds and Quads tells the stories of the many unusual and interesting things to be found in university collections.    The scrapbook’s appearance is particularly timely as this winter we will be working on our dyeing and textile history collection to bring out the historic connections to the University and the city of Bradford.  Here’s the Odds and Quads piece and here’s some more detail from the 100 Objects exhibition.

 

 

Hello to Health Studies!

Midwifery prospectus 1997

Midwifery prospectus 1997, with snazzy image of old Health Studies building

The Health Studies department is moving to a new home on City Campus, which means Health Studies Library will move to the J.B. Priestley Library this summer.  Some changes will be needed to accommodate these extra students, colleagues and collections, so building works will be in progress from February until July, with a break for the exams of course.

I don’t anticipate any major impact on Special Collections visitors, as the works will be in a different part of the building.  There may be occasional problems with particularly noisy works, or certain deliveries – may not be time to blog, so  my twitter account is the best way to keep up with these.

News of the works will be broadcast to University staff and students in various ways, including the University twitter and LSS web pages.

Goodbye Communal Building! Images of the month

Over the past year, a major building project has transformed Communal “Commie” Building at the University of Bradford into a space better suited to students and staff now: Student Central.

Communal Building opened in 1976, to offer facilities for staff and students, encouraging them to socialise, hence the title of the original publicity flyer: Togetherness!

Togetherness! flyer for opening of Communal Building

Togetherness! flyer for opening of Communal Building

Togetherness! is one of my favourite documents in the University Archive as it shows what student life was like (or was considered to be like by the Management Committee), and is unenthusiastic, sarcastic or candid about what the building has to offer.  The new bar is damned with faint praise: “a fair improvement on the present one, although if one is a steady drinker, one doesn’t look much at the decor.  The main feature of this is the ventilation pipes in the far corner”.

The original layout of Commie included a disco, bar and cafe on floor 02. Floor 01 offered rooms for hobbies including sewing, craft, metal and woodwork and photography, table tennis and board games, a shop, and the “quiet bar”, shown in this image from Togetherness!. The text reads, “At last! A place where you can bring your spouse/companion/parents to have a quiet drink in comfortable and pleasant surroundings”.

The "quiet bar", from Togetherness! flyer

The "quiet bar", from Togetherness! flyer

Floor 0 contained offices, plus TV rooms – one per channel. The uses of individual rooms changed over the years – the hobby rooms are no more (I rather regret the sewing/craft spaces!).

Commie unfortunately illustrated the worst features of 1970s building design.  In dingy concrete, flat-roofed, with multiple confusing entrances and hidden staircases, the building lacked focus, was hard to understand and hard to love.

Communal Building

Communal Building

I am probably being unfair in showing this particularly depressing image; however, the University Archive contains remarkably few images of Commie, presumably because it was not used for the sort of events that generated Archive photos.  No doubt individual students and the Students’ Union will have more cheerful ones of this building e.g. as a venue for Friday Night Discos.

The University’s flickr stream shows some more recent views of Commie in glorious (?) colour and great views of the transformed building.

I’ll add some links as I find them.

I am delighted that the building has been retained but brought into the 21st century, and hope that staff and students will enjoy using it.  More information about and photos of Student Central on the UBU (University of Bradford Union) website.

Party for the new building

From Togetherness! flyer

Potential Graduates online

Students in 1969, from undergraduate prospectus.

Students in 1969, from undergraduate prospectus.

A much-loved piece of the University of Bradford’s history is now available online for free.  The film, “Potential Graduate” was made by the Audio-Visual Unit between 1968 and 1970 to attract potential students.  It focuses on the new campus, and the range of sporting and social activities available to students.  It gives a wonderful insight into the University, the campus, student life, and how Bradford looked then.   Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, the Yorkshire Film Archive is making this film available online, along with 21 hours of other fantastic footage from all over Yorkshire.

To see the film, search “Potential Graduate” on the YFA online project website.

Skopje earthquake

The city of Skopje in Yugoslavia, now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, suffered a catastrophic earthquake on 26 July 1963.  The March 2008 Archives Hub focus on volcanoes and earthquakes shows online two photographs of the devastation in Skopje from albums presented to a team of students from the Bradford Institute of Technology (now the University of Bradford) who assisted in the reconstruction efforts.