Film ID:
YFA 1705



Visitor Tabs


This film documents the instigation of Bradford's post war city centre development scheme. The filmmakers follow the cities chief engineer, Mr Wardley, who describes the changes and positive impacts they will have on the city. The film contains many excellent views of Bradford city centre in the late 1950s.

Note: The start of the film is missing. The film opens with a brief history of Bradford and its development into a large industrial town. Views then show the Council offices, a grammar school and wool mills. A close up of the 1847 Charter of Incorporation which formed Bradford Council. Shots then show Bradford centre before the developments began. The narrative introduces Mr Wardley, who was appointed City Engineer in 1946. Mr Wardley remarks that he has devised a fresh scheme for solving many of Bradford's problems, such as lack of parking. The opening sequence concludes with views of Broadway and Kirkgate Market.

The voiceover then states that in 1957 an agreement was made for the city centre development scheme. The filmmaker then captures a series of shots of Bradford's bustling city centre, before a woman interviews Mr Wardley about the city centre development scheme. During their interview, a model of the new city centre is visible, and the filmmaker uses the model, designs and views of new roads to highlight the changes that are being made - in this instance the developments are referenced to Broadway.

The next sequence documents the opening of the brand new C&A department store and large crowds wait outside. The voice over explains that the new scheme has attracted many retailers. Views then illustrate that the scheme has attracted WH Smith (shot shows its impressive spiral stair case), a large branch of Boots and many office facilities such as Central House (large officer block). Views then show the mural on the entrance wall of Central House, which has been designed to be welcoming. There are then several shots that capture an existing shopping centre, which will remain while the new centre is under construction.

The issue of parking is then addressed. A car drives up a ramp and parks on a first floor level car park, with the voice over remarking that this complex is very safe and convenient. The shops are on then shown on the second level and a woman walks into WH Smith to buy a greeting card. The woman returns to her car via British Home Stores and the voice over says, "Our house wife returns to her car via another store".

There are then many shots that illustrate the developments in Bradford centre with Mr Wardley giving commenting on the particular changes in each area. He notes that the council have continued to make improvements particularly in housing and views show large high rise housing blocks. The film concludes with montage of the shops (signs) that have come into the area, and these include the typical high street chains.

Title - Thanks to the Mayor of Bradford, West Yorkshire Police and Mr Wardley for helping to make this film.

Title - Peak Film Productions.