FROM the late 19th century onwards, professional and amateur film-makers have been recording ordinary lives at work and play in Bradford.

Toiling in the mills, standing on the football terraces, hopping onto trolley buses, enjoying a day out and celebrating the end of the war are all captured on moving images, giving us a remarkable glimpse of social history.

Now a selection of footage shot by amateur film-makers capturing more than a century of Bradford life - from Edwardian tram rides to Bradford’s Mela in the 1990s - are preserved in a fascinating DVD.

Bradford on Film, produced by the Yorkshire Film Archive, takes a journey through Bradford from 1896 to 1998, and features footage from every decade - including VE Day celebrations, motorcycling at Odsal Stadium, Eighties nightclub Blue Lace, enjoying a late night curry, and university students’ rag week high jinks in the 1950s.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Rag Week fun in 1958

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Enjoying Bradford Mela in 1998

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

A Day out at Shipley Glen in 1912

Bradford on Film was launched last autumn with a special screening at Bradford Cathedral, as part of its centenary celebrations.

Last week Yorkshire on Film presented two special screenings of the film at Bradford's Pictureville Cinema -to kickstart its new programme as it opened its doors to welcome back audiences - and, making it available to wider audiences, the YFA has now released the DVD at a discounted offer of £10 until the end of September.

“That’s just £10 to watch fascinating footage of familiar faces and places,” says Yorkshire Film Archive manager Graham Relton.

“From flickering images of Bradford Town Hall Square over a century ago to a busy Kirkstall Market, the changing city centre, hopping onto the local trolley buses, Saturday afternoons on the football and rugby terraces, or a night out on town, there’s a wealth of fabulous material to enjoy.

“It’s a great watch if you love Bradford, it’s a perfect present sorted out in good time for Christmas, and it’s a fantastic way for you to help support the work of the Yorkshire Film Archive as all proceeds go straight back into preserving more of Bradford’s film heritage.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

A Saltaire street scene in 1976

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Bradford festooned with bunting for Georve V's Silver Jubilee, 1935

The footage reveals over 100 years of moving image history, including mill work, Wakes Week trips, bargain-hunting in Kirkgate Market in the 1950s, Bradford’s bustling Town Hall Square, shot in the early days of film-making in 1896, days out at Shipley Glen's historic tramway, rugby and motorcycling at Odsal, VE and VJ Day celebrations, post-war regeneration, newly-built council estates, rare images of the city festooned in bunting for the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935, fresh-faced University of Bradford students of the 1960s and the colourful Festival Mela in 1998.

Narrated by Bradfordian Christa Ackroyd, the film is described as “a fascinating portrait of this diverse city and its people”.

It draws from the remarkable moving image collection of the Yorkshire Film Archive, which preserves more than 50,000 films made in and about the region, both professional and amateur, ranging from those made by film pioneers of the late 1890s to more recent footage of changing lives and landscapes.

Says Graham: “Captured in the frames preserved in our vaults are thousands of moving images showing how Bradford people grew up, worked and played.

“These images connect with audiences in a special way and events like this are a perfect opportunity to share memories and possibly spot a familiar face on film.”

Selected from a fascinating collection of archive films from the 20th century, Bradford on Film features early moving image pioneers, local film-making companies, amateur productions and regional TV programmes, opening a window onto communities, landmark events, changing landscapes, industries and everyday lives.

The film captures hidden histories and forgotten stories of people and places, amateur footage of vanished landscapes, urban and rural communities, historic traditions and folklore, and people at work and play. Newsreels, advertisements, home movies, forgotten TV shows, and films by government departments offer insights into life throughout the 20th century.

Packed with unseen content, the film features local characters like Mohamed Fazal Hussain, elder statesman of the city’s early Muslim community and known as ‘The Bradford Godfather’.

One of the first Pakistanis to settle in the city, more than 40 years ago, he was regarded as the founding father of Bradford’s Muslim community, helping people with travel arrangements and other advice and practical help, long before any infrastructure was in place for Asian families.

Also in the film are local football heroes such as Stuart McCall and Terry Yorath in scenes from poignant 1986 Yorkshire Television documentary Bradford City - A Year of Healing about Bradford after the Valley Parade fire.

* Order the Bradford on Film DVD at

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

A scene from Bradford City: A Year of Healing. Picture: ITV