A PAIR of cannons made in Bradford during the 19th century are set to go back on display in the district.

The ten-foot-long cannons, which weigh four-and-a-half tonnes each, will be reintroduced to Roberts Park in Saltaire after they have been professionally restored.

They were originally produced at the Low Moor Ironworks, in Bradford, in around 1846, but were never used in battle, as they were retained by the company for display at its foundry.

When the firm’s foundry closed in the late 1950s the cannons went to Rotherham and then came back home to Bradford in the 1980s and went on show at the gates of the city’s Industrial Museum in Eccleshill.

The cannons will be painted gloss black from their current red oxide colour to prevent any future rusting.

They are being stored at Peel Park Depot, Cliffe Road, Bradford, before they are transported by haulage company Chris Wright (Baildon) Ltd.

Placed on one-tonne gun carriages, the cannons will first go on display in City Park, Bradford, on Wednesday, April 18, for a Sneaky Peeks event.

An unveiling ceremony will be held in Roberts Park on Saturday, April 21, as part of the park’s First World War-themed celebrations for World Heritage Day.

The cannons and gun carriages will be either side of the bandstand at the Saltaire park, for a five-year rolling loan from the Industrial Museum. The cannons will be ballistically tested before the display too.

The items are inspired by another two cannons which date back to the Napoleonic War.

In 1871, Sir Titus Salt bought two cannons as original features for Saltaire Park, which was renamed Robert Park in 1920.

One of cannons was fired during the Battle of Trafalgar and remained in Roberts Park until they were needed again, but they were melted down during the Second World War.

Ian Dobson, heritage park officer for Bradford Council, said: “It is nice to see something off the wall and quirky.

“The cannons are Bradford made and restored in Bradford. I look forward to seeing them outside City Hall, they will be a real treat for everybody. The cannons originally used cannonballs which fired at a range of two miles maximum and would take 15 seconds to travel that far.”

The project has been funded by part of a £3.2 million grant which funded the restoration of Roberts Park in 2008.

Ian Barrand, who is restoring the cannons, said: “I have been a conservator for 36 years and this is one of the top projects.

“Bradford was significant in the war efforts judging by items such as these, which were second to none. It makes you realise what an important role Bradford had at the time.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, sports and culture, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to restore this important piece of our local and national history for future generations and I would encourage everyone to come to the Sneak Peeks event in City Park and the World Heritage Day in Roberts Park.”