OVER recent months, we have carried on this page articles about old Bradford pubs and the role they played in the daily life of various neighbourhoods in the city.

“Each neighbourhood had its own set of pubs, and the loyalty of their customers was as varied as the customers themselves,” says Vincent Finn, who grew up in Barkerend and is a regular contributor to this page.

“The brand and quality of the beer was one factor, sometimes the personality of the landlord was another factor, and yet another consideration would be the walking distance from home to the pub,” says Mr Finn.

“Another attraction to a local pub was that some pubs ran a weekly ‘numbers draw’, in which a series of numbered discs were placed in a bag. A punter would bet on which number would be drawn out of the bag, and if you bet on the correct number the prize was paid in “odds”; 7-1 or 10-1 etc.

“In a time when a bet on a hose race was illegal and usually handled by a “runner”, these numbers draws added an extra attraction to a pub. The numbers pool was always drawn during the Sunday opening.”

Mr Finn says the geography of Bradford pubs was also of interest. “All the main roads in the city were lined with pubs - Leeds Road, Manchester Road, Wakefield Road, Barkerend Road, Otley Road to mention but a few.

“Of course, all the streets running off the main roads had their share of pubs too. One good example of this was Garnett Street, running between Leeds Road and Barkerend Road, which housed the Flying Dutchman at the junction of Leeds Road and Garnett Street; the Garnett, the New Inn and at the top of the street, The Red House.

“Also attracting loyal customers was the fact that some pubs and clubs supported a football team. To do this, a pub would have to be close to a football pitch, sometimes this was in a local park. The Albion in Leeds Road was home to a team which played on a pitch in the playing fields in Seymour Street, very close to The Albion. East Ward Labour Club had a team which played in Peel Park.”

Adds Mr Finn: “Probably one of the highlights of a pub’s social calling was the annual trip, both for men and women. By the 1950s these were very popular. Members signed up to take part in the trips and during the course of the year, usually at Sunday dinner-time opening, the trip treasurer would collect a weekly payment so that by the time of the trip each member had paid, the bus was booked and we were off.

“With better quality bus transport and improved roads, the destinations got further and further afield. Trips usually left at 10am and were back home by 8pm.”

Mr Finn recalled trips from 1952 to 1954, to destinations such as Morecambe, Windermere and Green Hammerton, near York.

“These trips were very well attended. Of course, if you paid and didn’t show up, you lost your money,” he said.

“It was probably a good job the folks go to see Green Hammerton when they did back then, as it was recently reported that it is about to abandon its status as a village and become a small town, with 2,500 houses planned.”