Public invited to see behind the scenes at Bradford's majestic City Hall

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: LINKED: A bridge spans two halves of City Hall over what was Chapel Street LINKED: A bridge spans two halves of City Hall over what was Chapel Street

EVER wondered just what lies beyond the doors of Bradford's grandest public building?

City Hall is getting set to reveal all this summer when it opens its doors for 'sneeky peek' tours of what lies within its listed status walls.

Council staff are busy getting ready and recruiting volunteers to help visitors who will embark on the self-guided route through the impressive hallways and chambers.

Eight special displays to punctuate the tour area also being put together by the museums and galleries department to bring Bradford's rich history to life, the stop-offs will include objects which represent the district’s textile and engineering heritage.

The Council's business development officer Razwana Mahmood, who is helping devise the tours, said: "The idea is to bring objects from outside into City Hall and point people into the right direction whereto find out more about the city's past.

"For example we'll be having a miniature loom which has links to the Industrial Museum in Eccleshill, there'll be a Scott motorbike made here in Bradford and we'll have replica helmets and costumes to try on from the Pity Poor Bradford days of the, encouraging people to go and visit Bolling Hall."

The Sneaky Peek openings will start on Wednesday, August 6, and be every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm and on Thursdays from 10am to noon until September 11 - There is no need to book, people can simply turn up.

Scaffolding will have moved round to the civic entrance by the time the tours start, balconies are being ice-blasted which is more eco-friendly than sandblasting, said Mrs Mahmood.

She added: "It really will look like City hall has been wrapped up like a big present and people are being given the chance to have a look at what's under the wrapping!"

Other preparations have included City Hall security staff Dennis Wainwright and Paul Donnelly moving the magnificent balsa wood scale model of the building into a new position to show it off to its full advantage.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the executive holder for employment, skills and culture, said: "Sneaky Peeks are part of the Council’s commitment to open up City Hall more to the public, recognising that the iconic city centre building is part of every Bradfordian’s heritage as well as being of interest to visitors from further afield.

"We hope visitors will enjoy looking around some magnificent rooms of City Hall not normally open to the public and learning something of our unique history."

An additional project to make City Hall more accessible to everyone will be the new Under the Clock Police Museum which opens in August in another part of City Hall which still retains the old police cells.

The museum's chairman Martin Baines said: "The new police museum will offer a unique insight into the history of policing in Bradford from the 19th century onwards. We hope people will enjoy guided tours of the original cells in City Hall as well as a walk through the court room used as a set location by ITV’s Coronation Street."

After refurbishment of ground floor rooms in City Hall, the Register Office will move from Manor Row to City Hall in October, bringing the building firmly back into public life.

Visitors arriving for the tours will come in through the front entrance of City Hall which will be opened specially for them, then walk up the grand central staircase which dates back to 1914.

Where the staircase stands now was once the council chamber until an extension was opened in 1909 making room for a new chamber where city-defining meeting are still held today.

"At the back of the original 1873 civic building was Chapel Street, you can still see bits of the old street on the tour - and the bit where the prisoners used to be walked in. The corridor where the silver collection is kept is actually a bridge connecting the old and the newer building. People are definitely going to find it fascinating."

Comments (10)

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10:06am Thu 10 Jul 14

AndyWineHands says...

Well this all sounds great! Is that why there are no comments from the whingers of Bradford? Im especially looking forward to them opening the cells for a police museum, ill give that a visit. Great News all round!
Well this all sounds great! Is that why there are no comments from the whingers of Bradford? Im especially looking forward to them opening the cells for a police museum, ill give that a visit. Great News all round! AndyWineHands
  • Score: 11

10:30am Thu 10 Jul 14

BertSanders says...

Great - will be there to look. Just surprised that this happens in the most serious recession in my experience. A validation of the NUT spokesman who commented " money is available for anything deemed necesssary.
Great - will be there to look. Just surprised that this happens in the most serious recession in my experience. A validation of the NUT spokesman who commented " money is available for anything deemed necesssary. BertSanders
  • Score: 4

10:34am Thu 10 Jul 14

JAtkinson says...

Quite excited about this. Hope to see lots of Bradfordians and beyond seeing our history.
Quite excited about this. Hope to see lots of Bradfordians and beyond seeing our history. JAtkinson
  • Score: -1

11:17am Thu 10 Jul 14

Albion. says...

Will we get to see Dave's antique jewellery cabinet?
Will we get to see Dave's antique jewellery cabinet? Albion.
  • Score: 7

12:33pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Looking forward to see if Cllr Green and Tony Reeves share the same golden trough or if they have one each.
Looking forward to see if Cllr Green and Tony Reeves share the same golden trough or if they have one each. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 4

1:41pm Thu 10 Jul 14

basil fawlty says...

if there are unused rooms in there I'd like to see a trendy pub/bar opened, maybe a bit like the Harrogate Tap at the railway station. That could generate a useful bit of income for the Council to help maintain the building.
Cheers
if there are unused rooms in there I'd like to see a trendy pub/bar opened, maybe a bit like the Harrogate Tap at the railway station. That could generate a useful bit of income for the Council to help maintain the building. Cheers basil fawlty
  • Score: 2

1:47pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Albion. says...

basil fawlty wrote:
if there are unused rooms in there I'd like to see a trendy pub/bar opened, maybe a bit like the Harrogate Tap at the railway station. That could generate a useful bit of income for the Council to help maintain the building.
Cheers
Getting drunk might improve them.
[quote][p][bold]basil fawlty[/bold] wrote: if there are unused rooms in there I'd like to see a trendy pub/bar opened, maybe a bit like the Harrogate Tap at the railway station. That could generate a useful bit of income for the Council to help maintain the building. Cheers[/p][/quote]Getting drunk might improve them. Albion.
  • Score: 1

2:25pm Thu 10 Jul 14

BD16 says...

AndyWineHands wrote:
Well this all sounds great! Is that why there are no comments from the whingers of Bradford? Im especially looking forward to them opening the cells for a police museum, ill give that a visit. Great News all round!
Go on then, I'll have a moan. Why is it only open when people are working? I wouldn't mind a look but I've no chance.
[quote][p][bold]AndyWineHands[/bold] wrote: Well this all sounds great! Is that why there are no comments from the whingers of Bradford? Im especially looking forward to them opening the cells for a police museum, ill give that a visit. Great News all round![/p][/quote]Go on then, I'll have a moan. Why is it only open when people are working? I wouldn't mind a look but I've no chance. BD16
  • Score: 2

2:32pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

BD16 wrote:
AndyWineHands wrote: Well this all sounds great! Is that why there are no comments from the whingers of Bradford? Im especially looking forward to them opening the cells for a police museum, ill give that a visit. Great News all round!
Go on then, I'll have a moan. Why is it only open when people are working? I wouldn't mind a look but I've no chance.
It's to entice the drunks away from City Park. This is the crackdown we have been promised.
[quote][p][bold]BD16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AndyWineHands[/bold] wrote: Well this all sounds great! Is that why there are no comments from the whingers of Bradford? Im especially looking forward to them opening the cells for a police museum, ill give that a visit. Great News all round![/p][/quote]Go on then, I'll have a moan. Why is it only open when people are working? I wouldn't mind a look but I've no chance.[/p][/quote]It's to entice the drunks away from City Park. This is the crackdown we have been promised. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 5

9:57pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Cockerel says...

Thee voice of reason you obviously spend little time in bradford city centre or the vicinity of City Hall. If you did you would know that cllr Green feeds from no golden trough hidden away in city hall. He has it outside the main doors so it is handy for when on one of his many cig breaks! I kid you not, every time i walk by he is there with his cronies **** it. It's good to know my council tax money (that I actually work hard for) is spent in this fashion.
Thee voice of reason you obviously spend little time in bradford city centre or the vicinity of City Hall. If you did you would know that cllr Green feeds from no golden trough hidden away in city hall. He has it outside the main doors so it is handy for when on one of his many cig breaks! I kid you not, every time i walk by he is there with his cronies **** it. It's good to know my council tax money (that I actually work hard for) is spent in this fashion. Cockerel
  • Score: 1

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