LeJog Day#11.2 Bradford, Yorkshire Dales National Park
As promised in part 1 of today’s journey, here are the information and postcards of the remaining points of interest, Bradford and Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Bradford was a hive of industry in the 19th century, and plentiful employment encouraged widespread immigration, particularly from Ireland, and also a significant German Jewish population. They became not only vital to the textile export industry of the city, but featured large in its civic life, helping to establish the Chamber of Commerce in 1851, and also, in the cases of Charles Semon and Jacob Moser, becoming Mayor and Lord Mayor of Bradford respectively. Unfortunately, all this industrial success came at a price – at the height of this surge in prosperity, the average lifespan of a Bradford textile worker was just 18 years.
Unfortunately, a period of de-industrialisation throughout the 20th century has led to Bradford suffering periods of deprivation, although recent regeneration projects have done much to return Bradford to former glories. Don’t forget to visit the City Hall when you’re there – it’s not unusual to have statues of former monarchs in a town, but Bradford includes Oliver Cromwell in their number!
Yorkshire Dales National Park: Each valley – or Dale – is different from the next, and there’s no shortage of activities to draw in lovers of the British countryside. If you fancy finding sturdy shoes and waterproofs, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail is worth the effort, although it’s not for the faint-hearted or those unsteady on their feet. If you feel you need fortifying beforehand, there’s a good cafe at the start, and frequently an ice cream van en route!
For Harry Potter fans – and everyone besides – the Ribblehead Viaduct is a must-see. Construction began in 1870, and construction workers put up shanty towns near the site to house their families. In the five years it took to build, there were smallpox epidemics and myriad industrial accidents which took a considerable toll on the workforce in every sense – around 100 navvies were killed during construction, and there are around 200 graves from this period in the nearby cemetery at Chapel-le-Dale. Now, it carries six passenger trains a day from Leeds to Carlisle.