Tuesday, 11 February 2014


If you want to catch me talk about life at home in Bradford in WW1  or are interested in booking me for a talk please get in touch

4th April – Low Moor Local History Group, Bradford - Raspberries and Cream Cakes food rationing in Bradford in WW1

3rd May – Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds – Musical beds: The story of Bradford hospitals in WW1

Dates to be confirmed – pre show talks on ‘Bradford’s War Horses’ during the production of War Horse at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

30th June – Bradford Library – “Bradford’s Children in WW1” invited schools attending during this week

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Big thanks – Peace Musuem and Bradford YMCA

To the Peace Museum for agreeing to support my book Great War Britain: Bradford to be published by the History Press in 2014. The Peace Museum said they were “Delighted to be associated, with something that looks at women & the home front” 

The book will be full of short case studies and snippets of information which can be dipped in and out of. It provides an alternative angle on existing stories of life at home in Bradford during WW1 and introduces lots of previously unknown stories. The book will provide a balanced view from ordinary people for example in the Raising the Troops chapter there will be a story of a man keen to enlist at the outbreak of war next to the story of one of the first Bradford conscientious objectors to be court marshalled. I hope it will be engaging and informative and will be able to be used in schools as well as by adults.

I have already worked with the Peace Museum on their project Choices: Then and Now and hope to work more with them in the future.

Big thanks and congratulation to the Bradford YMCA for successfully getting HLF funding for a Tea Hut project. I am looking forward to working with them to engage and inspire young people to learn and research more about life during WW1.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy New Year – New Library facilities

Apologies for the delay in posting the pictures of the New Bradford Local Studies Library but as expect the run up to Christmas with a young family was hectic but fun!

Opening day Monday 9th November

Waiting guests see inside for the first time...

 And the West Yorkshire Archive Service are just through some doors in a light and airy room

Later in the afternoon the first talk was held in the Library....

The following day I had arranged a small tweetup for those on twitter interested in local history or genealogy we had a quick lunch then, took part in the flashmob read and then visited the library.

Soon the index’s started to reappear in the local studies library...

As did the digital microfilm scanner – well worth a try if you get a chance there will soon be 2 machines...

And a new piece of kit a large scanner for books / maps etc

If you happened to be passing the City Library you might have spotted me giving a talk to school children on the Bradford Sweet Poisoning of 1858 in the new children's Library
All the feedback was positive and we congratulate Sue Caton and all her staff and FOBALS (Friends of Bradford Archives and Local Studies) for making it a success.

Monday, 2 December 2013

One more week...

... until Bradford Local Studies and Archives Library reopens :0)

FOBALS (Friends of Bradford Archives and Local Studies) have been busy discussing plans and arrangements for the opening week. I will be at opening ceremony on the 9th and will be around everyday apart from Wednesday that opening week, helping on technology day and giving talks to school children. The full line up of events can be seen here (scroll down for local studies events) http://www.bradford.gov.uk/bmdc/leisure_and_culture/library_and_information_services/events_calendar/City_Library_Launch.htm

The new library will be a bright contemporary area with lots of new equipment and facilities. I’ve not been inside yet but am hoping to visit for a preview this week. Can I just say a big thank you to Sue Caton of the local Studies Library who has put a huge amount of work into getting the space right and liaising with FOBALS and also to Councillor Hinchcliffe for taking the time to listen to our concerns and ideas and supporting the Local Studies Library.

My book is coming along well. Chapter one is now out for proof reading and the other chapters are getting there but still need a lot of work! I’ve recently uncovered valuable information on the Royal Flying Corps in Bradford thanks to Cross and Cockade.

Well next week will be exceedingly busy if you spot me in the library please say hello and I hope you like the space.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Exciting times ahead

I have been busy this week helping with plans for the opening of Bradford Local Studies and Archives the date and details are hush hush at the moment but the launch events are looking goods and it will be a bright contemporary space with lots of new features. I will be giving a talk on one of Bradford’s notable events in history and helping out on various other events in launch week. Watch this space for more news.

I have also been very busy not only has it been half term and my daughter’s birthday but I have been working on the ‘Great War Britain: Bradford’ book. I’m pleased to say I am now over half way though writing. No one chapter is complete yet but I am liking the way it is shaping up and flowing. I’m sure there will be lots of editing involved as I have too much I want to include and only 45,000 word limit. Don’t worry there’ll be 80 pictures too and the text will be broken up with short case studies and profile pieces it won’t be a long essay!!

I have also been meeting with other local arts groups to see if there are opportunities to work together during the centenary as well as some schools who played a vital role towards the war effort at the time.

Next week I really must get more works on paper but will update you on plans for the library when I get the all clear.