The One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Annual Report 2012


The Council of the Society has pleasure in presenting its Annual Report for the year ended 31 May 2012.

Biennial Dinner And Annual General Meeting

The Biennial dinner was held at the Bradford Club on Wednesday 21 September 2011 and was attended by 36 members and guests. The retiring President Astrid Hansen installed David Croft as her successor. He expressed the honour he felt in accepting the role of President in view of the notable historians who had previously held the post. The guest speaker David Barnett gave an interesting talk about the history of the Telegraph & Argus newspaper. The new Deputy President Geoff Twentyman gave the vote of thanks.

The Annual General Meeting took place in the Central Library Bradford on Wednesday 12 October 2011, with the President David Croft in the Chair. He welcomed those present and thanked officers and members of the Council for their work during the year. The meeting confirmed the Council's recommendation of the appointment of officers for the year and the reappointment of Maurice Smithies FCA, as Honorary Auditor. Following the formal meeting David Croft delivered his presidential address My Bradford, a tale of books, buses and buildings


The Council is once again grateful to its lecture secretary Betty Woodrow for arranging an entertaining programme of lectures.

The closure of much of Central Library in October 2011 and the consequent reduction of facilities has caused the Society a lot of problems. The need to find an alternative venue for the lectures was aided by our November speaker who was able to find us a temporary venue at the Impressions Gallery in Centenary Square which we used for the November and December meetings. From January 2012 we found a very satisfactory venue at The Bradford Club in Piece Hall Yard.

The programme for the year was as follows:

14 Sept 2011 The Bronte Way, by Robert Whitehead
12 Oct 2011 AGM and Presidential address: My Bradford, a tale of books, buses and buildings, by David Croft
9 Nov 2011 Investigating Bradford Beck, by Simon Warner
14 Dec 2011 Historic King's Lynn, by Stella Carpenter
11 Jan 2012 The Battle of Marsden Moor, by Dr Peter Palmer
8 Feb 2012 Calderdale Chartists, by Anne Kirker
14 Mar 2012 The Cudworth Inheritance, by Robert Cudworth Shaw
18 April 2012 Architectural and environmental discoveries in Boston Spa, by Malcolm Barnes
9 May 2012 Master of Music: Sir Walter Parratt, by Diana Priestley

Unfortunately Pauline Ford was unable to attend in February to speak on Bradford Girl's Grammar School.


A small group of members visited the Bradford Textiles Archive at Bradford College on the evening of Wednesday 25 April 2012. An afternoon visit to Markenfield Hall near Ripon had been arranged for Wednesday 8 August 2012.


The Society currently has 78 members including those in joint membership. This is an increase of two over the year. 13 new members joined the Society and 58 visitors attended our lectures. The names of 11 members were removed, because their subscriptions were not received.

The Society was sorry to learn of the death of Dorothy Griffiths during the year who had been a long standing member. She will be remembered by many through her work as excursions organiser over a number of years.

The Council thanks the Treasurer John Haigh for all his work and also records its thanks to Muriel Shackleton as lecture registrar.


The problems at Central Library have meant that the Society's library has been unavailable throughout the year and discussions are being held with the manager of The Bradford Club to see if some accommodation can be found there for at least part of the library. The librarian offers his sincere apologies for the loss of the facility and hopes that the situation can be resolved.

The Bradford Antiquary

Issue number 15 of the third series of The Bradford Antiquary was published in October 2011 and contained the usual interesting mix of articles, including a follow up by Andrew Maguire on Irish immigration into Bradford which complemented his talk to the Society in November 2010. Progress of issue 16 is well advanced and the Society would like to thank the honorary editor Bob Duckett for the work he puts in to the annual publication.


Once again we are grateful to Dr Brett Scaife for maintaining the Society's website which continues to provide information about the Society to a wider audience.


Following a number of exceptional costs arising initially from the closure of Central Library, then the purchase of a sound system and a copyright fee for the Antiquary, the Society had incurred a loss of £263. Sales of The Bradford Antiquary were also down on previous years possibly due to the lack of facilities at meetings.


The Council wises to express its thanks to all those who have helped towards the running of the Society during the year and especially to the members for their continued support during what has been a somewhat disrupted year.

On behalf of the Council,

David Croft


Bradford, 1st August 2012