The northern city of Bradford always evokes mixed views - from those who come from elsewhere. However, Bradford has some really good things. Read on for my ode to my home city.
Bradford, it had some bad press recently, and it’s not without problems. But what big city doesn’t? I’ll admit that I spent my late teenage years and early twenties trying to get as far away from my home city. However, as I got older, I began to yearn for the familiarity you only really feel in the place you grew up in.
I have some really fond memories of Bradford. Going on the Shipley Glen tramway with my grandparents, as generations of my family have done before me. Visiting Bradford Festival and the Mela with my mum, which celebrates the diverse cultures in the city. Seeing my first-ever film at the Odeon cinema. Then years later, attempting to get into 15 certificate films there when only I was only 13. My friend immediately confessing about his real age when questioned by the staff at the ticket desk (you can’t rely on him in an interrogation situation). And of course, the amazing National Media Museum, a place which I have visited since I was a child and still get excited about – although now I prefer the temporary exhibitions as opposed to the green screen flying carpet!
Bradford also has some special places. The memorial which holds my great-granddad’s name alongside the others who lost their lives in the Bradford City football fire. The magistrates court building where I began my career some 12 years ago. The place at the top of the market where I used to go and smoke as a teenager (sorry mum) away from grownups who might see me.
And Bradford now has more recent additions, such as the fantastic city park, including the fountains and mirror pool. I’ve visited it a few times and it is different each time I go there. The Impressions Gallery is also well worth a visit.
All in all, wherever I end up in, Bradford will always be my home.