The One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Annual Report 2013


The Council of the Society has pleasure in presenting its Annual Report for the year ended 31 May 2013.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting took place at the Bradford Club on Wednesday 10th October 2012 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.

A proposal to increase the annual subscription rate to £12.00 with effect from September 2013 was put to the meeting and was approved. Following the formal meeting, David Croft delivered his Presidential Address “The story of the trolley bus”.


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

Following the accommodation problems of the previous year caused by the partial closure of the Central Library, the Society has settled in at its new home at the Bradford Club and attendances at the lecture meetings have increased. The opportunity for members to have lunch at the Club following the lectures has been greatly enjoyed and the Society would like to place on record its appreciation to the staff at the Club for making us so welcome.

The programme for the year was as follows:

12th September 2012 The history of Gentlemen's Clubs in Bradford , by Peter Townsend, the Manager of the Bradford Club.
10th October 2012 A.G.M. and Presidential Address – The story of the trolley bus, by David Croft
14th November 2012 A sound and liberal education for girls: origins of the Bradford Girls' Grammar School, by Pauline Ford
12th December 2012 The history of Low Moor Motive Power Depot, by Granville Dobson
9th January 2013 The Battle of Towton, by Dr Peter Palmer
13th February 2013 Bradford brick-making, by Derek Barker
13th March 2013 Power of the past; Yorkshire engineering, by Maurice Craven
10th April 2013 Bishop Blaise in Leeds and Bradford, by Prof. Peter Meredith
8th May 2013 John Wood: Bradford's father of factory reform, by Astrid Hansen


An afternoon visit to Wentworth Castle Gardens, near Barnsley had been arranged for Wednesday 24th July 2013.


The Society currently has 93 paid up members including those in joint membership. This is an increase of 15 over the year. Eighteen new members joined the Society and two resigned. A total of 57 visitors attended our lectures.

The Society was sorry to learn of the sudden death of Stanley King, a past President of the Society and well-known local and transport historian.

The Council would like to thank Treasurer John Haigh for his work on behalf of the Society over many years, and to welcome David Glass as the new Treasurer.

Our thanks also go to Muriel Shackleton who has retired from the post of Meetings Registrar after many years.


Following discussions with the Bradford Club it has been possible to move part of the Society’s library into the second floor Snooker Room at the Club. As space is limited it has only been possible to accommodate the books relating to the Bradford area but usage of this collection is growing. The fate of the Yorkshire books and journals still at the Central Library is still to be resolved.
The library is available to members, and books can be borrowed and returned before and after the lecture meetings.

The Bradford Antiquary

Issue Number 16 of the Third Series of “The Bradford Antiquary” was published in October 2012 and contains the usual varied selection of articles, including ones by members Mary Twentyman, the late Stanley King, Letitia Lawson and Derek Barker. The Society would like to thank the Honorary Editor, Bob Duckett for the work he puts into our annual publication. Bob has edited the Antiquary for around ten years now and is looking for someone to take over from him in the near future. The Society would also like to thank Sarah Powell of Bradford Libraries for acting as Editorial Assistant.


Dr. Brett Scaife, the Society’s web-master has relinquished his post after a number of years, and the Society would like to thank him for his work. Pete Walker, a member of Bradford Libraries staff has taken on the role on our behalf.


The Society’s reserves decreased by £229 over the year, but there were exceptional payments totalling £425, including the cost of moving the library to the Bradford Club and a deposit towards the summer excursion. There was an operating profit of £195 in what may prove to be a particularly propitious year. It is difficult to predict how the forthcoming increase in subscriptions will affect the overall profitability over the coming years.


The Council wishes to express its thanks to all those who have helped towards the running of the Society during the year. The ambience of our new home at the Bradford Club has without doubt helped to make it a successful year.

On behalf of the Council,

David Croft


Bradford, 30th May 2013