Guest blogging at Bradford Civic Society - here's a flavour:
The big question on my mind then, as it is now, is what’s Bradford’s problem? We can look at old photographs from the 1960s and 1970s showing a bustling, busy town filled with shops and shoppers. Talk to people who remember those times and they’ll reel off the shops that once were and are no more – Busby’s, Carter’s, Brown & Muff – and explain how all this was destroyed by a rapacious, greedy council run by useless councillors. I’ve a feeling that all this is, at least in part, meant to exonerate us residents for giving up on the city centre – deserting those shops for other places out-of-town, on-line and even, horror of horrors, Leeds.Do go and read.
Some people will tell you that Stanley Wardley’s dastardly plans for the city are to blame. “All the good stuff was knocked down,” folk will exclaim, “the Swan Arcade, Mechanics Institute, Kirkgate Market Hall – and look at the Odeon.” But is this really so? Did Bad Stan really kill the city or is this just another way of dodging the truth about us, the City’s residents? Go back to those photographs from the 1970s – the busy Arndale centre filled with shops, the old Broadway likewise. Was is really bad architecture and half a ring road that did for Bradford city centre or was it something else?