BRADFORDIANS were invited to create their own piece of history this week, as part of the lead up to the Bradford Bubble Up weekend.

Local artist, Alex Blakey, was on hand to offer a free fused glass workshop at City Library on Tuesday for children and adults to create a tile that will become part of Bradford’s makeup.

The focus for the designs was the Bradford Beck, using pictures from archives as inspiration to create varied scenes with glass paints and copper foil.

Some 23 tiles were made throughout the day with some focusing on wildlife, depicted in the form of an otter in one case, while others boats and the waterline.

Ms Blakey said: “It’s nice for people to be involved locally. I like hidden history, the history people don’t know about, just like uncovering the river.

“The hidden secrets are what I’m really passionate about and the opportunity to explore the theme myself and share it with others.

“Only about six people who came today already knew about the river under Bradford.”

The Beck forms a big part of the Bubble Up programme, with the focus on Bradford’s heritage as a city built on water.

Friends of Bradford Beck one of a number of organisations that have helped fund the event, which will take place next month between September 7-9.

Of particular importance is the water’s role in powering the mills of Bradford that brought it to prominence during the Industrial Revolution.

Organisers want to celebrate this, but also come together as one big community to “herald a new creative period of regeneration”, mirroring the way the new Business Improvement District would work.

Yesterday’s workshop will form part of this wider regeneration with the tiles being fired in Ms Blakey’s personal kiln before later being embedded within the pavements across Bradford.

The workshop is just the beginning. Ms Blakey has been working on a wishing well sculpture for the Bubble Up based on the topography of Bradford’s land.

She said: “The aim is to have a mock up ready for the Bubble Up weekend and then we’re hoping to get a proper sculpture in place in Bradford next year.”

Bubble Up will celebrate Bradford Beck in numerous ways including following the city’s underground waterway through a number of live performances, as well as a screening of films inspired by the beck.

A further two fused glass workshops will take place on Saturday, September 1 between 1pm-2:30pm and 3pm-4:40pm at Bradford City Library.