Five Wakefield & Barnsley MAG members met at the Grey Horse on Sunday 27th May for our monthly rideout to the Bradford Industrial Museum. A bit of a poor turnout, especially given the glorious weather, however, the Leeds MAG demo was the day before, and most folks had been on that, so Sunday was probably an 'enforced' gardening / chores day for a lot of folks. Shame, as they missed a most pleasant rideout.
We set off at 10:05, headed past Pinderfields, then picking up the A650 towards Tingley Roundabout, through Morley, Gildersome, Tong then a right onto Sticker Lane once in Bradford. We missed the Ragley Lane turning due to the complete lack of signs for the museum so ended up having to turn around, not lost exactly, as we were only around a mile from the museum at this point, more of a 'detour with style'.
Once on the right road, finding the museum was very easy. We arrived in the car park to find absolutely no other vehicles. Was the museum shut !?!?!?!!? No was the answer, it's just no one else was there.
The museum is located within Moorside Mills, originally built around 1875 as a small worsted spinning Mill. The ground floor contains a huge number of steam, gas and water powered engines, which run and drive the belts and pulleys running many of the museums working exhibits.
Also on the ground floor was the transport gallery, dedicated to Bradford based car and bike manufacturers.
Scott (Shipley) and Panther (Cleckheaton) were the local bike manufacturers and several examples were on display. A couple of the Panthers were sidecar outfits as they were very popular sidecar tugs in their day.
Also on display was an impressive collection of Jowett cars and vans, a popular Bradford manufacturer who unfortunately went out of business in the 1950's, a shame as they had some great models (particularly the stunning Jupiter), enjoyed considerable race success, and the cars were popular in the US.
Also in the transport gallery was an old Bradford tram and trolley bus (Bradford was one of the last areas in the UK to run trolley buses).
The second floor was dedicated to the wollen industry with lots of industrial machines turning raw wool into cloth.
The conditions in the mills in the 1800's and early 1900's were pretty atrocious, so much so that the average life expectancy of the child workers was only 18 !!!! Also on the second floor were lots of printing machines & presses, showing the development of this industry over the ages.
Outside we visited the stables and the Mill-workers terraced houses, had a quick look in the shop and got ready for our return home.
We headed back via the same route in the early afternoon after a most pleasurable visit. A short rideout of only around 40 odd miles, but it was our second rideout of the weekend, so it gave ample opportunity to catch up on the numerous jobs & chores that you invariably only get the weekend to do them in.
If you have never been to the Bradford Industrial Museum (www.bradfordmuseums.org/venues/industrialmuseum/index.php), it is well worth a visit, and it's FREE.