Film ID: YFA 1724 Video of YFA 1724 Bradford Silver Jubilation 1935 BRADFORD SILVER JUBILATION 1935 Visitor TabsDescription In 1935 the city of Bradford organized many events to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V. Events included historical re-enactments in Peel Park as well as processions through the city and evening bonfire celebrations. The film begins in Peel Park, Bradford where a large number of people are re-enacting a battle scene. It has been filmed from the back of the stand and over the tops of the heads of the spectators. The battle is fought with swords and shields. One side is dressed in medieval armour, and some are on horseback. Several horse and carts make their way across the park along with a group of hooded monks dressed in black. These are followed by large numbers of boys and girls, mainly girls, dressed in historic costume, who gather around a monk holding a crucifix. Then knights in armour ride in on horseback. They carry shields with the St. George Cross on the front, and are followed by children. Groups of people then dance around in circles holding hands. Then a crowd gather around someone who climbs onto a barrel, before being dispersed by soldiers. Another crowd of women watch an official pinning a notice to an obelisk. Next there is a re-enactment of a battle from the English Civil War with large numbers of people dressed as Roundheads and Cavaliers. They are on foot and on horseback and engage in a running battle. The first part of the film finishes with the Cavaliers riding off. Title: ‘Bradford’s Celebration begin with a Cathedral Service’ At the Cathedral as the clock shows 10:50, a crowd watches a procession of uniformed soldiers enter the Cathedral. They are followed by Canadian Mountebanks. A brass band plays outside the Cathedral for the arrival of the Mayor and other dignitaries. Intertitle: ‘The City puts on its Gala Dress’ Two men on ladders put garlands around a lamp post. A trolley bus goes by, and the town centre is filled with people who go about their business and includes a group of boy scouts. More streets are shown with buildings covered in bunting and union jack flags. The Alhambra Theatre is decorated with a banner announcing ‘Red Riding Hood.’ Intertitle: ‘Firing of the Royal Salute’ At PeelPark people have gathered into long line, and a military parade is making its way into the park. A large crowd watches a line of guns fire a salute. Intertitle: ‘Jubilee . . . ation’ In another part of the park many people walk around and sit on the grass. A passenger boat cruises along lake along with many in rowing boats and canoes. A large audience watches a brass band playing in the bandstand as well as one in the town centre. More busy city centre streets are shown with trolley buses going by. A trolley bus (an AEC English Electric) does a u-turn in the street and stops for an inspector. This is followed by Daimler bus and a smaller vehicle with a large crown on top and heavily decorated. Intertitle: ‘Illuminated Decorations’ More decorations can be seen above the shops, such as ‘A Ridgeway & Co’ electrical and radio engineers. Intertitle: ‘Flood Lighting’ At night the decorations are lit around the city centre and on top of the buildings including Cartwright Hall Art Gallery. Intertitle: ‘Fairyland in Peel Park’ There is a firework display at Peek Park. Intertitle: ‘The Scouts prepare’ A truck loaded with logs, cut branches, and twigs moves off to go to a bonfire. Using a cart, a group of scouts take more timber for building a large bonfire. Some men then haul the large logs on to the top of the bonfire, and the scouts push the heavy cart up a hill. Intertitle: ‘Denholme provides another huge beacon’ A large quantity of branches and logs lay on the floor next to a great wooden frame for another bonfire, and the overall structure is built. Intertitle: ‘The Lord Mayor lights Thornton Beacon’ In almost complete darkness the Lord Mayor stands beside the bonfire. A flame shoots up the side of the bonfire, and the whole bonfire goes up in flames producing a great light. Intertitle: ‘ . . . & so ends a memorable day.’ The remnants of the bonfire are seen before daylight, and the Union Jack waves from atop a flagpole. ‘The End’ Context This is one of a large collection of films made by local Bingley filmmaker Eric Hall. Eric made his first film six years earlier in 1929, which is also held at the YFA with the title Random Recordings, along with many others. For more information on Eric Hall see the Context for Ower Bit bog Oil (1963), also on YFA Online. The YFA has several films showing silver Jubilee celebrations: at Long Preston and Wigglesworth, at the village of Kirkby Malzeard and at Pool in Wharfedale. The Silver Jubilee celebrations can be seen to be at least, if not more, spectacular than those accompanying those of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Both in the run up to the First World War and after it, events associated with the Royal Family were given much public prominence. The Royal Family were the symbolic heart of the propaganda of nationalism, and already in 1935 the threat of another war was in the air. It is interesting to view the historical reenactments at the beginning of the film in this light: from the knights, presumably off to fight in the crusades, to the civil war and other civil conflicts. Bradford Jubilee is a great example of a film that shows events ands places that have almost passed out of history: even Bradford Local Studies has relatively little material relating to what is seen in the film. We must be thankful therefore that someone like Eric Hall was around to capture such a remarkable amount of the events brought together for this occasion. In particular, in this film Hall has some excellent footage of Peel Park and of Bradford trams. The idea for Peel Park got off the ground at a public meeting in 1850, three years after Bradford became a Municipal Borough. Right from the beginning, the first in 1853, the Park has been a place for galas and other events. This was a boom period for urban parks, with the recognition that there was a need for space within the rapidly growing, and densely packed, cities. It became the first publicly owned park in Bradford when it was transferred to Bradford Corporation in 1863. Salford had opened a park also named after the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, in 1846. Peel died in 1950 after a riding accident and this may account for the Park being named after him (his family was originally from Yorkshire before moving to Lancashire). The film shows the trolleybus turning circle at Tyrrel Street and Sunbridge Road. Film of earlier trams in Bradford can be seen in Bradford Town Hall Square (1896), also on YFA Online (with more in the Context on this film). Bradford was the first city to introduce trackless trolleybuses, seen in the film, in June 1911 – manufacturing their own vehicles. Later on the motorbus was introduced in 1930, and trams, on rails, ran until World War Two. The cables connecting to the overhead electric lines on the trolleybuses often came adrift requiring a special implement to re-connect them, and also often sent electric shocks to the passengers. Nevertheless, they remained until 1972. The YFA has a film of the last tram to run in Bradford, made by Cawood Filmmakers. One other notable fetaure in the film is the brass band that plays at various locations. This might well be the Bradford Victoria Brass Band: a self-supporting band that was Bradford’s only brass band, and the winners of the Belle Vue Golden Jubilee Cup for Marching and Deportment in 1935. References Stanley King, Bradford Corporation Tramways, Venture Publications Ltd, 1999. D.M. Coates, BradfordLocomotives International, 1984. City Tramways 1882-1950, Bradford Parks This provides a history of Peel Park and a virtual tour of what it looks like today. Parks and Gardens UK Further Information J Bentley, Illustrated Handbook of the Bradford City Parks, Recreation Grounds, and Open Spaces, 1926 Hazel Conway, People's Parks: The Design and Development of Victorian Parks, Cambridge University Press 1991.Undercliffe Remembered, Eccleshill Local History Group, 2000.