October 2014


The quote appears on most British war memorials. It is from the Bible (Ecclesiasticus 44:14) but was selected by Rudyard Kipling. He had lost his only son in WWI and was part of the War Graves Commission that decided the shape and words for the tomb stones that filled many fields.

Myself and Dave Pendleton should be leading a walk on 29th November, the day Bradford City play Orient at home. It will be to remember the players of both clubs that were killed in WWI.

I intend projecting images of the players or their graves against the Bradford Cenotaph as their names and fate are read out.

Today was a test.

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I cooked, and then ate, and ate.

I used my mother’s sewing kit (a tiny fraction of her sewing stuff) to repair 2 pairs of trousers, thereby doubling my trouser ratio.

I finally managed to create and load a slideshow on my pico projector; then tested it (see blog above).

I sent business e-mails; including one pointing out that I am owed money that did not contain any bad words, despite them having had a number of polite requests already.

I scratched dogs and talked to people.

I’m on a right roll today; and I’ll be carrying even more of a roll tomorrow!

Today’s meals came from yesterday’s baked breaded chicken with basil pasta and pineapple salad. The chicken was nearly as good as my mother’s, but the rest was OK. So I had pasta, pineapple, and chicken flavoured flour and breadcrumbs left.

I do not throw good food away.

I am happy I can cook, and much happier that I did.

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The two food parts were great, but together they will live in the memory. I was forced to lick the plate. The wine is from Lidl at under £4 and just poured extra joy on my dinner!

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This is an edited and expanded blog.

Two names that kept being repeated in the 1853 deed that myself and Colin Fine were analysing yesterday were Peckover and Harris. I did some research with my own library, and more later at Bradford’s Local History Library. It is clear all, or nearly all of Little Germany was built on land once belonging to Eastbrook Hall Park, a park that had a lake with a boathouse on the northeast side of a lane that later became Peckover Street.

The below is mostly from Bradford Remembrancer, Horace Hird.’

Edmond Peckover came from an ‘old Norfolk family’ and settled in Bradford as a wool-stapler. He ‘developed’ Eastbrook Hall on land assumed to have been glebe (or church) land; though Hird, as was his habit, gives no reference.

Peckover and his nephew Charles Harris founded Bradford’s first successful bank, on a narrow lane which then became known as Bank Street even before it was developed and widened.

The bank was Peckover, Harris & Co and became know as the Bradford Old Bank. It went through name changes and survived a run in late 1825 with the support of rich Bradfordians. This was the year of the last St. Blaise’s day, which was followed by the wool-combers and weavers strike, one of the most important industrial conflicts of the early factory age.

Charles Harris moved into Eastbrook Hall ‘and lived there until at least 1840’. As the deed says Harris sold the land that No. 4 is built on in 1835 to Isaac Sugden, schoolmaster. The Temperance Hall next door (later to become the Playhouse) was said to have opened in 1836, which suggests Harris was selling lots, presumably whilst living at the Hall.

The large scale Ordinance Survey map of 1848 shows only the bottom half of Chapel Built on.

The only other named resident of the Hall was a William Rouse, worsted spinner and stuff manufacturer, who lived there ‘from 1845’.

In 1867 Alfred Harris offered a hundred shares in the Old Bank towards the cost of a fever hospital, which was built to the north of Leeds Road, beyond Harris Street.

Bradford Library has very few early trade directories. The sequence runs 1856 and then 1879. Between those dates all the door numbers on Chapel Street were reversed. In 1856 number 4 was listed as 29, and the occupiers were named as Slater and Hargreaves; who turned out to be ‘bell hangers & whitesmiths’.

In 1879 No. 4 was listed as occupied by Abraham Nicholl, stuff merchant, and Wm. Mitchell, coal merchant. The next number is 10, Temperance Hall, plus another coal merchant, a printer and an agent! I have never heard of the Hall having business tenants before.

The large scale Ordinance Survey map of 1848 shows the front building on the plot had a passage through the building, hard against the Temperance Hall, but the back of the plot was open to Back Chapel Street. It also clearly shows the Hall had a stage and balcony, not very different from the layout the Playhouse has now.

Went down to Bradford Playhouse to help the new owner, Colin Fine, go through a big bag of deeds. The all related to 4 Chapel St, which houses the Studio Theatre, sewing room and rehearsal space.

I did not do much actual work, but did make links and suggestions. Also the meeting meant Colin set to and read all of the massive first document, dated 1853. It is made up of 3 pages bound and sealed at the bottom, and bound in reverse order. The really interesting stuff was on the first page at the back.

Reference is made on the ‘first’ page to a sale of the land in the 18th Century. It then goes on to explain that the plot was sold to a schoolmaster in 1836, who built a schoolhouse, dwelling house and outbuilding, but never paid for the land! The affair was settled by the inheritors of both the seller of the land and the schoolmaster in 1853!

The document had the signatures of a lot of the leading characters of early Victorian Bradford, including Harris, Hustler and Peckover.

I assumed that the building shown on the small map in the document showed the school occupying the fontage on Chapel St, the dwelling at the back, with a yard and an outbuilding between. Later the schoolhouse was divided into two dwellings. The fact that later document referred to it as Lowe Close, and having workshops, suggests change of usage, and probably status.

The present building utterly efface the previous buildings, and as a warehouse, and by inference was built in the 1920’s.

Taddy Lager and dark rum. 3 pound and a bit! Wendy was calling the bingo numbers, so it were right quiet. If I am in Bradford Christmas Day I now have another possible place to go.

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