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Late Doors

Bradford

No need to put the cards on the table here. I've never got on with the place or  the people by enlarge. A permanent inferiority complex about Leeds and an equal and opposite one against Huddersfield. I actually overheard a couple describe Huddersfield as a scruffy little Mill Town once. The internet is not big enough to start examining what is wrong with that.

Bradford isn't without its appeal though of course and we seem to find ourselves there fairly often for one thing or another. A football free Saturday, Spring sunshine and a matinee performance at the Alhambra for instance this Saturday just gone put us on an early X6 to spend the day there.

The route Over Odsal top drops through Marshfields occupying the central Bus way. MrsD and i both remember when the Bod, now the Arabyia Restaurant was the height of sophistication for an out of town date. The bus station also brings back memories of numerous gigs at St Georges hall but we were not here to reminisce.

Little Germany is still handsome, now holding some quirky Sculptures that held us for a few minutes as we strolled around before heading to the lovely Cathedral. As serenely beautiful inside as it is externally stately on its elevated position. Behind us of course is the gaping wounded abyss of the hole still awaiting healing.









To the right are the impressive cantilevers of Valley Parade as we made our way along the walk way to Forster  Square.



In one of the arches a lone busker was torturing Bob Marley's three little birds beyond even the RSPB's protection. Up through the Station into town heading towards the Sparrow, a new independent bar I've read about. We were warned it would be full of City fans but frankly i was more concerned about the rough looking women roaming about... fearsome.

It was full of City fans.... the nice type all decked out in Claret and gold like a Fartown promotion party. Clean cut Northern and Easter suburb Types complete with facial and hair products sat around Canteen style Formica tables and chairs chatting. Despite that i told MrsD to expect at least one bitter reference about Leeds United. Surely not she asked but on these occasions i do know better. Oh aye i said, nailed on for certain.

Plenty of helpful staff, four local..ish casks and lots of bottles the place has an understated coolness about it. We plumped for the always fabulous Red Willow brew, a steady 3.6 Seamless light ale.. superb, quite how Red Willow pack so much flavour into their beers is a mystery but they bloomen well do, of all strengths.  Another round quickly followed as we surveyed the scene. About the size of a Tesco mini with a large window at the front it had the feel of a cut price North Bar. Minimal Standing area with a pile of rucksacks and assorted Junk cluttering the far left corner the place was crying out for a women's touch to maximise the space and give it some class. Posters reflecting local themes were unsympathetically scattered around the walls  but didn't seem to add any character to the place.

The atmosphere was typical pre match chat but through the aural fog i heard the nearest table talking about the chances of Leeds getting relegated. I smiled and rolled my eyes in that smug way only a person proved right can do. Downstairs was a similar sized area, darker and housing the loos. A solitary Gents room with one throne seemed disastrously mean, Really that is the only thing seriously wrong with the place. It's definitely worth a visit for anyone in the area looking for something a little different. I'll be certainly going back.

So on to the Alhambra for the play and a short walk across the centre though cut square. A Very impressive piece of egalitarian clean lined contemporary cit architecture. It might be that the City has done something right for once. Kids padded in the artificial pond under the backdrop of the sumptuous splendour of the fabulous City hall. It could have been Bordeaux as i took a picture before a piece of chewing gum struck my arm and a pair of kids above disappeared to remind me where i was actually at. We made a plan to come back to the area for a drink outside Wetherspoons after the play.



It was a play about the Ashington group of painters called the pitman painters (see separate thread in fishual entertainment)

The plan was a couple more beers in the dwindling sunshine of the square and a curry. MrsD nearly caused an incident innocently narrowly beating a local lass to the last free table outside in the corner. She was not happy about it though, her bloke looked harmless enough but she looked a bit menacing.

The pub's alright in that nondescript Lloyds way, cheap but decent ale, served with a random assortment of cheery efficiency and sometimes downright rudeness. It was the former thankfully on Saturday. We supped a couple watching the city chill in front of us around the huge paddling pond and gathering groups. A major ethnical mix of Asian, Caucasian, Afro and East European mingling free and easy. People were sat drinking beer from plastic cups served by the pub around the seating areas in a way many other towns would not allow. The pool appeared a little deeper with kids up to their knees as little fountains erupted around them. One or two city scroats with faces like Wayne Rooney on the cadge were the only blight on an otherwise lovely setting. I actually warmed to the place for the first time ever. One thing i will never comprehend though is why, despite the plentiful bins around people choose to leave empty cups and cartons scattered around a public municipal area that they have just enjoyed. Scuzzy tossers , the City planners and all decent Bradfordians who have contributed to this area must really despair.

Finally it was curry time. Here in Bradford you would think that was not a problem but it was.  Ive tried loads of recommendations over the years. Karachi, Kashmir, Mumtaz, international and just recently Omar Khans. Yeah they're alright. Im no connoisseur by a long chalk but i like a curry like most people. I've never tried the ones out of town on Leeds Rd for instance where i am told the best ones are but when MrsD suggested we get the bus back and go to our favourite in Hudders the Balooshai she got zero argument from me. For me, her and lots of my curry connoisseur mates it is THE best one in West Yorkshire. A bold statement i know but we took the bus back and it still is. In fact I'm going to big it up in the food bit.

So all in all a great day out and yep i certainly took a step towards the Bradford appreciation club for once. It does seem that the place is finally coming out of the doldrums and so it should. It has a lot going for it and they may have finally woken up to that.
Grind

Have they got any all-inclusive accommodations?
Late Doors

Yes they all include a good thwarting
Grind

Late Doors wrote:
Yes they all include a good thwarting


Prolly true.  

Nice write up - I'll have to have a closer peer next time I'm in the vicinity.

* Again, it's like he was almost there. *  
fartcatcher

The ugly mate of the stunningly attractive Leeds.  
Frazier Cranium

I've been to Bradford loads of times.  Still couldn't have written such a detailed/interesting report though
Plastic Man

fartcatcher wrote:
The ugly mate of the stunningly attractive Leeds.  


A bit harsh.

There are some wonderful buildings in Bradford city centre - the tip is to look up. Bradford was clearly a wealthy city at one time.

I'd agree that the view at ground level now can be depressing.
Nyles O Cranium

Leeds might well be v attractive to some but its shit don't have stink to high heaven.
Heyho

Leeds has lost its soul both architectually and spiritually.

It's heritage has been replaced by the twang of commuting cockernee. A lace maker replaced by a project manager
Dock

"favourite in Hudders the Balooshai she got zero argument from me. For me, her and lots of my curry connoisseur mates it is THE best one in West Yorkshire.'

Right, thats a closed season Regfest sorted. We stay in the centre this time and then on for a curry.

Great write up LD. Bradford does have some impressive buildings. Never had that Red Willow before, sounds a bit spiff.

Re: Heyho's comment about Leeds losing its soul. I noticed another stab at that soul today. A giant Poundland has opened in the old Virgin/Borders site on Briggate. I bet Harvey Nichols and the businesses in the Victoria Quarter are chuffed as fuck about that.
Forest

Too much love for Bradford in this thread. Couple of nice buildings in the town centre the rest is a shithole.
Dock

Forest wrote:
Too much love for Bradford in this thread. Couple of nice buildings in the town centre the rest is a shithole.


Unlike Burmantofts these days.
Forest

Dock wrote:
Forest wrote:
Too much love for Bradford in this thread. Couple of nice buildings in the town centre the rest is a shithole.


Unlike Burmantofts these days.


Don't get me started Ossettboy.
Dock

Forest wrote:
Dock wrote:
Forest wrote:
Too much love for Bradford in this thread. Couple of nice buildings in the town centre the rest is a shithole.


Unlike Burmantofts these days.


Don't get me started Ossettboy.


Wakefield actually, which is probably no boast.
Forest

Dock wrote:
Forest wrote:
Dock wrote:
Forest wrote:
Too much love for Bradford in this thread. Couple of nice buildings in the town centre the rest is a shithole.


Unlike Burmantofts these days.


Don't get me started Ossettboy.


Wakefield actually, which is probably no boast.


There's a nice water feature in the centre of Wakey. When it's working.
Dock

Forest wrote:
Dock wrote:
Forest wrote:
Dock wrote:
Forest wrote:
Too much love for Bradford in this thread. Couple of nice buildings in the town centre the rest is a shithole.


Unlike Burmantofts these days.


Don't get me started Ossettboy.


Wakefield actually, which is probably no boast.


There's a nice water feature in the centre of Wakey. When it's working.


Is it Sheeps having a piss? He never works.
sheeps

Wondered when I would get a disparaging mention Walton boy.
Dock

sheeps wrote:
Wondered when I would get a disparaging mention Walton boy.


Frazier Cranium

That's me is that, Jim Bob.
Late Doors

Heyho wrote:
Leeds has lost its soul both architectually and spiritually.

It's heritage has been replaced by the twang of commuting cockernee. A lace maker replaced by a project manager


That's a common criticism from people of a certain age about their towns. I first heard it thirty odd years ago from Londoners. Then it was Mancs, Bristolians and Loiners. If you've lived and breathed a town for years i suppose you're entitled to it. I can say the same thing about Hudders with the criminal assassination of the Shambles and hideous supermarkets, Fast food shops and  shopping centers occupying space that once held Pubs, yards and snickets. Then i see what has happened to the old mills on Firth St and what cities have done to their knackered old defunct Waterfronts. Its really the people who make a place and give it character and quirks and that takes time. Centers have always been there as economic centres of trade and profit. Taxes whether its trade tax, parking fees or licenses have always enabled towns to also generate finance.  You could argue that Only the Wealth of Empire and slavery with all its ill gotten gains enabled all that aesthetic beauty. Modern structures can be beautiful as well anyway.

As for Bradford, yes Foz i'm with  you brother but i did get a feeling that someone was at least  trying. Maybe they can take lessons from elsewhere and if and when they finally do get the renovations going they can make something special that other "renovated" towns haven't managed.
Frazier Cranium

Leeds has plenty of beauty in its architecture but for me, the 'soul' of a place is its people and their attitude, demeanour, approach to life.  It's easy for a city population to lose direction when there are 'outsiders' usiing the place as a commute destination or expense-paid living, I think that most of us, apart from sniggering at the daftness of it all, suspected Leeds was in decline when they brought us a Harveyfucking Nicholls
Late Doors

I expect some people might have thought the same when the Corn Exchange was built.  Bumpkins from Huddersfield coming in to sell their crops
Forest

What Bradford does have that Leeds doesn't is a beautiful landscape around parts of it, go up to Queensberry or Wrose and the views are stunning.



Robert Robinson

It's nice to read a fairly positive review of my home town. Despite not having visited the place for a couple of years (I now reside in it's beautiful environs and work in LS1) I still feel protective over the old place when folks run it down.
Twenty odd years ago it was positively thriving when Leeds (pre Harvey Nicks) was only worth visiting to dance like a chicken with the lunchtime goths down the Phono.
And then.. whilst Bradford was getting smashed up by da yoof - Leeds got a full Barcelona style makeover. Pity poor Bradford.
Late Doors

Eh up RR thanks for the post . Cant fault a lad for sticking up for his home town but that's not how I remeber things back then. Huddersfield was fine enough with ace pubs and clubs but every now and then we wanted to spread our wings a bit, say once a month or so. We'd go to Wakey and Halifax which were great as was Barnsley. Manchester was too big to enjoy and Sheffield had a crap train service. We knew Bradford from St George hall gigs but never ventured from the Queen across the road. Quite a few times we tried to go over on a normal Friday night and find a few other places out but it was dire so we gave it up as a bad job. Leeds on the other hand was always an ace night out and that was long before the Calls renovation. Me and my girl were also regular chicken dancers at the Phono on a saturday afternoon as well as it happens   .

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