The One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Annual Report 2014


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 9 October 2013with the President, Geoff Twentyman, in the chair. He welcomed those present and thanked officers and members of the Council for their work during the year. Stella Carpenter had decided to retire from the Council and the President thanked her for her many years of service.

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 Geoff Twentyman delivered his Presidential Address “A Sanitary Man in the 1960s”.


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

The Bradford Club had proved to be a good choice of venue following the temporary closure of Bradford Library, and it has been agreed to make it our permanent meeting place. Peter Townsend and his colleagues are friendly and accommodating, and are always on hand to assist us. The attendance had been good throughout the year, and several members regularly stay behind for lunch.

The programme for the year 2013/2014 was as follows:

11th September 2013 The Brontë Way (Haworth to Gawthorpe Hall) by Robert Whitehead
9th October 2013 A Sanitary Man in the 1960sby Geoff Twentyman
13th November 2013 The Bradford Blitzby Ollie Denton
12th December 2013 The Markenfields of Markenfield Hall by Janet Senior
8th January 2014 Medieval Stained Glass by Alan Petford
12th February 2014 Fortune & Misfortune - The Clock House Caseby Patricia Popple
12th March 2014 Works in Progress - Reports on current research progress of members
9th April 2014 The Low Moor Company and the Children's Employment Commission by Mary Twentyman & Barbara Reardon
14th May 2014 Wellington & the Battle of Waterloo by Dr. Peter Palmer


Members and guests visited Wentworth Castle and gardens on 24 July 2013 and enjoyed a tour of the house which was very interesting and informative. They were also able to see the restoration work continuing on the Victorian conservatory which was opened in 2014. This year a visit is planned to Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham on Wednesday 23 July 2014. The house is in private ownership and open to the public by appointment only.


The Society currently has 89 paid up members including those in joint membership, a reduction of 4 since last year. Nine new members joined the Society and three resigned. A total of 43 visitors attended our lectures. The general attendance numbers were very encouraging.


The library is available to members, and books can be borrowed and returned before and after the lecture meetings.

David Croft continued to fulfill his role as Society librarian in an excellent manner.

A total of 39 books had been borrowed at the meetings. Unfortunately during the autumn seven books displayed for borrowing had gone missing with no record of anyone taking them. An announcement had been made at a Society meeting but none of them had been returned.

David was also instrumental in arranging the sale of the non-Bradford related books in association with Janet Senior of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Special thanks were given to Janet whose efforts had raised over £5000 for the Society.

The library is available to members, and books can be borrowed and returned before and after the lecture meetings.

The Bradford Antiquary

Issue Number 17 of the Third Series of “The Bradford Antiquary” was published in October 2013, with articles by George Ingle, Derek Barker and Tony Woods, Norman Alvin, and David Croft - the latter article being an appreciation of former Society member, the late John Stanley King.

Bob Duckett has been the editor of the Antiquary for over ten years and his hard work continues to be much appreciated. However, as indicated last year he feels it is time for someone else to take over. The Society would also like to thank Sarah Powell of Bradford Libraries for acting as Editorial Assistant


Owing to further changes in available personnel a new webmaster has been found. Steve Gaunt, actually based in Croatia, has an impressive track record with several history groups in the area and has proved to be just as obliging and reliable for our Society. Geoff Twentyman and Bob Duckett have updated the more urgent information, and they will be working with Steve in updating the indexes to the Antiquary and other documents.


The book sales, as mentioned above, have been completed and there is a healthy balance of around £8000 in the bank. Ideas are being considered on how to put the money to good use, and it is likely that some of it will be invested in new local history publications produced by Society members


The Council wishes to express its thanks to all those who have helped towards the running of the Society during the year. There is a good team spirit which extends into the ordinary membership and that has shown itself on many occasions throughout the year.

On behalf of the Council,

Angela C Holmes

Hon. Sec.

Bradford, 31st May 2014