GUESTS gathered at City Hall today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Bradford at a civic reception hosted by Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Geoff Reid and University Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Cantor.

Representatives from the University, Bradford Council, schools and city-wide partners and organisations were all invited to the event.

Speeches were made by the Lord Mayor and the Vice-Chancellor, along with council leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, and Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council.

At the reception, Ms England presented the Vice-Chancellor with a gift on behalf of the city to be placed in a time capsule, which will be sealed and locked away until the University’s 75th anniversary.

She presented a scroll commemorating the #LoveBradford world record attempt in City Park in September, where the Bradford public set a world record for the longest human chain of people making a heart sign with their hands.

She also presented one of the medals awarded by Guinness World Records for the achievement.

She said: “There were a few thoughts of what we should donate, but we decided the commemoration of our world record would be appropriate to include in the capsule.

“Many people from the University were involved in the attempt, and we hope that some of the people who took part in the event, and their children and grandchildren, will be present when the capsule is reopened in 25 years’ time to look back and say, ‘I was there’.”

The Lord Mayor said the University had been a part of the “modern history” of Bradford.

“We have enjoyed a very creative relationship with them over the years,” he said.

“The University has an interesting programme celebrating its anniversary, and because of the close relationship with the city we felt it was important to do something to mark the occasion.”

The University’s 25th anniversary time capsule was dug up in April this year, and some of the items that featured in the capsule, such as a pipe which belonged to former Prime Minister and the University’s first Chancellor, Harold Wilson, were on display at the event.

When the 50-year time capsule is filled and sealed at a ceremony at the University next week, two items which will be put in will be pieces of creative writing by Bradford schoolchildren about how they see Bradford in 25 years’ time.

Haris Ahmed, a Year 10 pupil at Dixons City Academy, was the runner-up for his piece of work.

“It is about the future of Bradford, how it will fall down but then be followed by a resurgence,” Haris explained.

“I wanted to challenge some of the negative images of Bradford.”

First place went to Katie Cruikshank, a pupil at Thornton Grammar School.

Killinghall Primary School also presented a canvas documenting its pupils’ extra-curricular activities, which led to children from the school graduating at a ceremony at the University.

Aisha Khan, a teacher at the school, said the project was very beneficial to the children, and inspired them and their families to work hard so they can attend university in the future.

Prof Cantor said: “The University of Bradford today is renowned globally as a great technology university.

“We are a centre of excellence for teaching and research, bringing thousands of talented individuals from across the UK, Europe and the world into the city of Bradford each year.

“We passionately believe that Bradford is a fantastic place to live and work, and are proud to shout about the amazing things going on across the city and district.

“Make no mistake, both the University and the city are on the rise.”