Echoes of the past: A race along a quiet Bradford Road

Bradford Road in Bailiffe Bridge was very quiet pre 1904
Bradford Road in Bailiffe Bridge was very quiet pre 1904

Bradford Road Bailiff Bridge, things have certainly changed here since this photograph was taken c1900. The shop with its front door on the narrow facing gable end was for many years a newsagents, today it is Rayner’s Creative Hair Care. The row of terrace houses were built c1881 on a plot of land that formed part of the Crow Nest Estate (Lightcliffe) and was sold off at public auction by Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker in 1867.

I can recall back in the 1970s when most of the properties were dwellings, just as they are in this view, today these are all occupied by local businesses. In this scene there is obviously some kind of local event taking place, a race perhaps?

The stone work is clean and the roof ridge tile mortar is still light coloured, this indicates the properties are still relatively new. This gives my suggestion as to the date the photograph was taken some credibility. Another clue to the date is that the tramcar tracks are not laid yet - the first tramcar from Brighouse was not due to arrive until October 1904. It would be 1913 before a tramcar arrived from Wyke.

Please note the style of clothing the ladies are wearing; shawls, head scarves and even the men taking part in the race are running with their caps on. The man wearing the white top in the centre of the road is Thomas Greaves the village blacksmith.