Industrial Explorer Weekend
'West Yorkshire'
Bradford and the surrounding area
10th - 13th June 2021

Led by Sue Constable
3 nights, from tbc Discount available for AIA members
Register interest
City Safaris and Industrial Explorer Weekends
These walking tours take a look at an industrial city's civic, commercial, industrial and transport legacy on foot, guided by an expert. Our groups are deliberately kept small so that everyone has a chance to ask the leader questions as we go and to make walking as a group practicable in an urban environment.

We go away for a long weekend and stay together as a group at a reasonable hotel. A dinner is held on the Thursday evening which is a chance for new members to be introduced and old friends to catch up on news. After dinner there is a short talk to introduce the city and its history as well as to explain the programme.

City Safaris use whatever public transport is available: bus, tram, metro or train which is a great way to gain some understanding of how the area works and may be of historic interest in themselves.

Industrial Explorer Weekends are the same but we use a minibus to reach areas where public transport does not go and to give us the possibility of conveniently exploring a slightly wider area.

We tend to spend more time looking at buildings than we do going inside, but we usually try to include at least one visit to a site of industrial interest. In Sheffield, for example, we visited a small, specialist scissor maker. In the Black Country we rode through the Dudley tunnel on a trip boat and ended the tour in the Black Country Museum.

We look at all kinds of buildings: industrial, civic, retail and domestic. We cover everything from workers' cottages & workshops via pubs and factories to the magnificence of northern Victorian Town Halls and don’t forget the merely quirky. And we like interesting buildings in all kinds of condition, be they in use, re-used, shabby, derelict or forgotten. Transport is always part of the story: roads, railways and canals.

We generally walk about 5 miles a day. When walking around we are often asked why we are standing looking at a particular building, perhaps by people who now live or work there. Sometimes we are able to tell them more about the building than they know themselves but in response they are sometimes able to fill in some interesting snippets of social history which adds greatly to the mix.

Group members are provided with a full set of notes describing details of every building we stop by. We usually include stops for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.

Tour members often say that these trips allow them to see things that "we never knew were there" and to view urban areas from new angles.
We have visited West Yorkshire before with Safaris to Leeds (2008) and to Halifax & Huddersfield (2011) but never visited the area between these places so this is an opportunity to explore the area bounded by Bradford, Keighley and Shipley.

The West Riding has long been associated with the woollen industry and we will be looking at some of the surviving buildings associated with the processing of wool and the making of cloth. We will also see how some of the wealth of the area was used to ‘improve’ the towns leading to the building of grandiose Town Halls and other civic buildings.

Railways and canals will be included, in particular a look at the Leeds & Liverpool canal at Bingley with the famous 3-rise and 5-rise locks. We will not have time for an excursion on the Keighley and Worth Valley railway, but we plan to include a ride on the Shipley Glen Cable Tramway.

The tour will be based in Bradford and travel will be by mini coach.

There will be at least 5 miles of walking, in short sections, on Friday and Saturday with a little less on Sunday, mostly on hard surfaces. Bradford is hilly and we will spend a lot of time either going up or down.
The tour will start with the group assembling in the early evening at our hotel for the group dinner (included). At the end of dinner Sue will give a short introduction to the weekend.
Friday will be spent in Bradford and we plan to include a visit to the Industrial Museum which will be well worth the time spent but also a token of support as Bradford District Council is reviewing museums in the area and the Industrial Museum is under threat of closure. As well as mills we will visit a cemetery and explore the city centre looking at the civic and retail development in the 19th and 20th century.

There will be breaks for coffee, lunch and tea during our walk  (own expense).

Evening at leisure.

Bradford Town Hall
Saturday will start with a visit to Keighley. We will begin by visiting the Dalton Mills complex and continue to Keighley Station. We will then look at the town centre.

The afternoon will be spent in Bingley where we will walk along the canal to see the 3-rise and 5-rise locks.

The day will finish with a visit to Manningham Mills.

There will be breaks for coffee, lunch and tea during our walk  (own expense).

Evening at leisure.

Bingley 5-rise locks (BB 1975)
Sunday morning will start at Shipley Station where the triangle with platforms survive.

We will then explore a short stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the junction of the Bradford Arm.

The morning will be completed by looking at Saltaire the model village erected by Titus Salt for his workers.

We are planning to include a trip on the Shipley Glen Tramway.

Lunch (included) will be at the Salt Bar and Kitchen, Saltaire in the old tram shed which is the last site on our Sunday morning walk.

There will be a break for coffee during the morning (own expense).

The coach will return to Bradford interchange station by 14:45 then the hotel.

United Reform Church, Saltaire (BB 1975)
Sue Constable will be well known to anyone who came to the Ruhr, Moravia or Romania with the AIA or has joined one of her previous City Safaris or Explorer Weekends. She was born in Buckinghamshire but moved to Hastings at an early age. She read History and Archaeology at Liverpool and also has a qualification in museum studies. She may have started out as an archaeologist but soon changed to being a social and industrial historian. She has worked in museums for most of her life, apart from a spell teaching and a break when her daughter was small. Much of her work in museums has been with industrial collections, ribbon weaving, nail-making and shoemaking. With her husband, Mike, she has explored much of the British and European waterways network. As a social historian she is also interested in how people live and how they organise their living spaces and environment.

We will be staying at the Midland Hotel, Forster Square, Bradford BD1 4HU
The hotel is located within reach of pubs, bars and restaurants in the city centre, about 0.4m, 8 minutes’ walk from the railway station.

The tour starts at the hotel on the Thursday evening and ends at about 14:00 after lunch on the Sunday afternoon.
We leave you to make your own travel arrangements to and from Bradford to suit your own convenience and use of alternative departure points.
You should expect at least 5 miles of walking, in short sections, on each of the first two days, mostly on hard surfaces.
When not on foot, travel during the tour is by luxury midi coach and this cost is included.
Detailed joining instructions will be supplied about two weeks before the start of the tour.

The cost of the tour is tbc per person sharing, single supplement tbc . The single supplement is entirely accounted for by the additional costs charged by the hotel for single occupancy. With a high proportion of singles on these tours it is not possible to avoid this.

Heritage of Industry is pleased to offer a discount of £10 to any paid-up member of the Association for Industrial Archaeology  at the time of the tour.

The cost includes:
  • 3 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
  • Dinner on Thursday, Lunch on Sunday
  • Luxury mini coach transport and driver tip
  • All entrance fees
  • Expert guiding and services of an experienced tour manager throughout
  • Research for the visit
  • Professionally produced, comprehensive tour notes
Excluded are:
  • Lunch on Friday & Saturday
  • Dinner on Friday & Saturday
  • Drinks
  • Expenses at the hotel other than bed & breakfast
All costs are in Pounds Sterling (GBP) and are based on present accommodation, transport costs and taxes. Any change in these may necessitate a price change.

Please note that cancellation charges will apply from 6th February 2020, and, although these will be modified to the extent that costs are not actually incurred, you are strongly advised to insure against the need to cancel.

Non-UK residents also need to consider medical treatment and repatriation charges in the event of illness etc. Participants who do not have travel insurance must nevertheless accept full responsibility for these eventualities.

Bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to space availability. Booking is subject to a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 people . Book as soon as possible and by tbc  to ensure a place but please feel free to enquire after that date if a place is still available. We will contact you as soon as possible to confirm the booking and to issue an invoice for the balance of the price.

Invoices for the balance of the price will be issued about 8 weeks before the tour starts. A non-refundable deposit of tbc  per person is required on booking. Bookings can be made definite only when the booking details and deposit are received and accepted in writing/email by Heritage of Industry Ltd. The company's standard terms and conditions apply. The balance of the price is to be paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd on presentation of the invoice. All monies paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd will be held, in accordance with government regulations**, in a customer protection account until the tour is complete so that your money is safe no matter what happens.

Payment should be made via your bank’s online banking facilities, the necessary details are shown on the confirmation of booking. Please send an email note when you have made payment. If you are unable to use electronic banking please send a sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank made payable to Heritage of Industry Ltd. There is no extra charge for using cheques at present.

We are sorry that we are unable to accept payment by credit/debit card or PayPal.

                                                                           Register interest

The Association for Industrial Archaeology

Britain was the first industrial nation and for the last three centuries industry has had a major influence on the society, environment and landscape in which we live; it shaped the country and its remains provide a link with the past that can also serve the future. The AIA is the national organisation for people who share an interest in Britain’s industrial past. It brings together groups and individuals with an interest and expertise in identifying, recording, preserving and presenting the remains of the industrial past. Uniting individuals, local societies, academics and field professionals the AIA:
  • Pools knowledge and sets standards for recording
  • Represents industrial archaeology by membership of national and international bodies
  • Supports local and special interest societies
  • Monitors planning applications to alter or demolish industrial sites and buildings
And through its programme of awards and grants it:
  • Sponsors research and rewards excellence
  • Assists preservation and restoration
  • Encourages research and publication
Heritage of Industry Ltd is very pleased to support the activities of the Association and very much hopes that you do too and will become a member.

Apart from the discount available on Heritage of Industry tours AIA members enjoy a range of benefits which are shown on the Membership page of the AIA website where you can also find full details of how to join:

An AIA member joining this tour will already have recouped nearly 1/3 of the AIA membership fee but more importantly the support members give enables the AIA to continue its work.

** The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No. 3288)