Monday 31 October 2011

At the Archives... or not as is actually the case

Library closures, half term, children’s birthdays and Roman Day at school have been keeping me away from the archives the last few weeks.

Bradford Library was shut for 4 days when they identified a “fire risk”. The building has now reopened but there is only access to the first two floors.

The archives service has been temporarily relocated to the first floor but is closed this week for collections work and opening hours are restricted after that. Access to the local studies library which was on the third floor is severely restricted. Bradford Council’s statement on the current situation confirms that there is no access to microfilms (newspapers and parish registers), maps, card catalogues (including newspaper and WW1/WW2 soldier index cards) and if you want to obtain a book you have to give two full working days notice. 

Newspaper reports that the cost of making the current library building safe is £4 million meaning that all options now need to be looked at and may result in the library being relocated. It is expected that the library will remain open and will continue to provide service in the medium term (18 months – 2 years). But what happens to access to the local studies materials in the mean time and are they and the archives collections themselves safe from fire risk.  

I have written to my local councillors and asked them to press for a speedy and satisfactory resolution to the issue and encourage you to do the same. 

On a different front I am going into a local school to do a talk to year 3 (7-8 year olds) about why the Romans came to Ilkley. I will be using a variety of maps to show why Ilkley was strategically important and what life was like there at that time for the soldiers and the natives. If any other local schools would like me to visit them for similar talks please get in touch.

Friday 14 October 2011

Bradford War Hospital / St Luke’s Hospital

Information on how St Luke’s came to be Bradford’s base War Hospital have been uploaded onto the BradfordWW1 website. At its height it provided almost 1,550 beds for wounded soldiers and that was just one of 9 military hospitals open in Bradford at the time. 

Thursday 6 October 2011

Bradford’s military hospitals - overview

It is well known that Bradford had its own base War Hospital but this does not paint the whole picture as there were many more auxiliary hospitals that also treated wounded soldiers. It is difficult to provide total figures for the number of soldiers treated in Bradford as some were transferred from Hospitals in Leeds to a variety of auxiliary hospitals before the first Red Cross Trains brought wounded soldiers straight from France to the Bradford War Hospital in November 1915. 

Several blogs in coming weeks and months will provide information about the various military hospitals however here is an overview of the different hospitals that treated wounded soldiers first the three main hospitals that could take patients straight from disembarkation and then the auxiliary hospitals. 

Bradford War Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital run by Bradford Board of Guardians
Abram Peel Hospital, Leeds Road Hospital run by Bradford Corporation
Bradford Military Hospital, this was either at Bradford Moor Barracks or at Belle Vue Barracks

Bowling Park Auxiliary Hospital, Bradford Board of Guardians home for male imbeciles
Clayton Auxiliary Hospital, North Bierley Union Infirmary
Field House Auxiliary Hospital, Bradford Royal Infirmary’s convalescent home
Guiseley Auxiliary Hospital, not sure which hospital/private home this was
Royal Ear and Eye Hospital, Bradford a voluntary subscription hospital
Salt's Auxiliary Hospital, Saltaire Sir Titus Salt Hospital, charitable hospital
Woodlands Auxiliary Hospital, Rawdon, Bradford Royal Infirmary’s convalescent home

If you have any information on the location of the Bradford Military Hospital or the Guiseley Auxiliary Hospital please get in touch so that a more complete picture can be painted.