Thursday, 17 May 2012

A day out in Bradford

Thank you for giving me the day off yesterday, and thank you for your Birthday wishes, yep, I have just crossed the line from 62 to 63, and if I was to be honest, I wish I was going backwards instead of forwards. I'd love to do the whole lot again, ha ha. But it's forwards we are all travelling in this life we have, so best make the most of it.

Yesterday was my birthday day out. Last year I was in Scotland, blimey that year has gone quick. I arrived in Bradford at about 10am. I got off the M62 just past Leeds and followed the A650 in, and found a wide street to park. I couldn't be bothered to wait for a bus, it was only fifteen minutes to walk into the city centre. The Tourist Information Office gave me a free street map, and there are lots of these finger post signs about. 

My first stop was the National Media Museum. It has eight floors of galleries, three cinema's, and an amazing collection of cameras telling the story of photography from the beginning to the present day. You can learn all about animation, video games, making TV programmes, early TV and how it began, and you can select your favourite from over 1,000 classic programmes, and watch it in a sound proof booth.

This is how they set the scene, and film a drama. You can play with the cameras and it talks you through the process.

Then you can stand in front of a camera and put yourself in a scene. Hello Teletubbies.

I say, is the PM coming out to play today, ha ha.

I also had a go at reading the news, you sit at the desk and read from the autocue, then it plays and you can watch yourself on the tele. I took some photo's but I've deleted them, I look awful. Don't know about 63, I looked more like 93, yuk!

Right next door is the Alhambra Theatre, a beautiful building. I had a look inside to see what was on, I wonder if they have a seat for tonight's performance? I came out with a ticket in my hand. I like these spur of the moment decisions. No rush to get back, car is safe hopefully, and I rang Janet to ask her if she could see to the cats. So tonight it's 'The King and I'. Whoopeeee.

This is Bradford City Hall, in the City Park. There is a massive high tec water feature, the biggest of it's kind in the UK. The lake is quite shallow, you can easily walk across it. In this pic there is very little water in it so you won't get your feet wet. It seems they can regulate the amount of water they pump into it.

The front of the City Hall, a very impressive building.

I had a look at the Cathedral, it isn't a very big one, but very attractive and in immaculate grounds.

This caught my eye, the cherubs adorning the sides, and the contrasting skull at the bottom.

I love stained glass windows, especially those with lots of red and blue.

I walked a little way out of the city, and came across this on a piece of waste ground. There are many neglected and abandoned buildings like this old mill. They have such character and a lot of history, it's a shame we can't save them all.

The University in Bradford is huge, lots and lots of buildings. This is just one of them. Everywhere seems to be on a hill here, lots of steep bits to climb. The students were just coming out when I passed, it was very busy. There are lots of student accommodation blocks in this area, I saw signs up saying flats to let.

After a bit more walking about, and visiting a couple of galleries, and picking up something for my tea from Morrisons, I went back to City Park to wait for the show to start. The big fountain in the centre has now been switched on. Can you see the rainbow?

As I sat eating my pasta, dressed in my thermal trousers, walking boots, sweatshirts and jacket, it wasn't that warm, I wondered why on earth are these people walking into the water and getting absolutely drenched. They were having great fun, but weren't they cold, and how were they going to get home, dripping all over the place? Perhaps the young 'uns don't feel the cold.

I have to admit I had difficulty staying awake throughout the whole performance. Felt myself nodding off just before the interval. I had a good seat, in the second row with no one in front of me. The performance was excellent, the singers could actually sing, great voices, and the costumes were colourfull. The dance routines were very polished, and the children performed to perfection. I woke up in the second half, ha ha. Some pics of the interior. Photography is not allowed during the performance.

I have copied the advertising leaflet, no I didn't buy a programme.

It finished about 10.15pm, and I was back home just after midnight. Straight to bed as I was very tired. I have some more photo's which I will put on tomorrow, because they are worthy of their very own post. I took them last thing, after I came out of the theatre, and I'm very pleased about how they have turned out. Toodle pip.


  1. What a lovely day to spend one's birthday xx

  2. So glad that you had such a super day Ilona. Those buildings are glorious, the memorial beautiful and the water feature spectacular!

  3. what a lot of impressive and interesting buildings! Happy birthday for yesterday, good to see you were exercising and having a healthy day, not stuffing your face in the sweet shop like some people LOL

  4. Wow, that looks brilliant!! I loved the King and I as a kid. Didn't realise there was a stage version.

    Happy birthday by the way! Bradford looked like a great day out and a nice way to spend it! :)

  5. Very cool - how solid and prosperous these northern city were when they were built at the height of the Empire - definitely on my bucket list.

  6. Happy belated birthday, Iona. Sounds as though you had a great time. Fantastic buildings especially the theatre.
    Love from Mum

  7. Seems like a fabulous way to spend a bithday!
    Intrigued about tomorrow's post.
    Jane x

  8. A very happy birthday for yesterday MQ - I think you're very brave going to a new town on your own ! I'm OK if I've been once with someone, finding somewhere to park etc., but I find it difficult to watch the traffic, read the roadsigns and try to decide if I'm in the right lane or not all at the same time ! Great pics as usual, love the one 'outside' number 10 !! ha ha
    I've had some probs with logging on/in the last couple of days, BT are installing their new 'high speed' broadband in this area, ha - it cut my puter off completely, let alone speeded it up ! so some catching up to do and some posting.
    Glad to have you back.

  9. Happy birthday,
    I wonder--how many megapixels is your camera and what kind of camera is it? Your pictures are always marvelous. I think I could spend several days playing in the National Media Museum. Now, I wonder if we have anything equivalent in the US.

    Going to the theatre would be my choice for a birthday entertainment.

    Going to a different city and sightseeing alone is fun. I should do more of that. After my back surgery, I hope to regain my adventures. You are making and recording many memories.I am glad yu share.

  10. Hi Ilona So glad you had a good day. My daughter lives in Leeds and she took me to Bradford one day and I was really taken with it. There's more to the city than you first think. It was such a change for me so different from Cheltenham and Gloucester which are my local towns. Kind regards Jean

  11. Happy Birthday and what a lovely day you had xx

  12. Happy birthday Ilona - looks like you had another lovely adventure. Btw, how are the cats doing?


  13. Replies
    1. Happy birthday Ilona - belatedly. So pleased you had a great day. You always have such wonderful adventuresx

  14. Happy belated Birthday - 63 years young!

  15. What an amazing day out! I would have loved to watch that performance too. It`s my favourite musical. I loved the TV performance with Jule Brynner. And what fabulous place Bradford is. That man made lake with fountain looks a brilliant addition to the town. Nice pictures!

  16. I live in Bradford and so it's been lovely to read this -- so many people in the city constantly trash-talk the city centre so it's been fab to hear people saying nice things about it :)

    Because of developer greed and that sort of thing, there are a lot of buildings going to ruin around the city centre and there is a giant no-mans-land hole between the city centre and the cathedral, but there are still a lot of lovely old buildings and things to see in the city.

    Glad you enjoyed your birthday visit, Ilona!

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