A NEW film takes a tour of Bradford’s Victorian past and explores present day cultural uses of historic buildings.

Bradford: A Fascinating City Then and Now is presented by local actor Joanne Crowther who, dressed as real-life Victorian Pollie Toothill, takes viewers through an imaginary time machine. She visits locations including Undercliffe Cemetery and St George’s Hall, exploring their legacy. The short film, on YouTube with screenings planned for later this year, was made by Joanne and Molineaux Productions with Bradford City of Film, Bradford Make:Film and Bradford 2025.

“We focus on the wonderful legacy of Victorian buildings and locations still in evidence today, juxtaposed with current uses, celebrating the district’s diverse cultural and artistic activities and enterprises,” said Joanne. “Pollie Toothill was born in Bradford Moor in 1852. The film is light in style with well researched historical references and a little of Pollie’s tongue-in-cheek humour!”

The short film visits the premises of textile firm Christelow’s on East Parade, where Joanne’s late father, Geoffrey Crowther, worked. Geoffrey is pictured third from left on the photograph of the Bradford Woolmen’s Dinner taken at the Midland Hotel in 1951.

Said Joanne: “Locations include: Undercliffe Cemetery, often referred to as the Highgate of the North, where rich Victorian Bradfordians demonstrated their status even in death; Little Germany, exploring its neoclassical Italianate buildings, many of which are listed, and discovering their current uses; St Peters House, built in 1886 as the city’s Post Office, now home to Kala Sangam intercultural arts hub; the Wool Exchange, the stunning Venetian gothic building where the city’s wool men met, now home to one of the finest Waterstones bookshops; St George’s Hall, one of Europe’s oldest concert halls; The Palazzo, originally the Milligan and Forbes Warehouse, better known today as the Telegraph & Argus building, from the 1920s until recently; Lister’s Mill, once the world’s largest silk and velvet manufacturers, which provided curtains for the White House and was important in the establishment of the Independent Labour Party, today home to Mind the Gap theatre company and renovated into stylish apartments by Urban Splash.

“The film concludes on Baildon Moor, where Pollie takes in panoramic views of the city before landing back in the 21st century in the award-winning Lister Park Moghul Gardens.”

l To view the film go to youtu.be/M777UA1yRU4

Visit vimeo.com/molineauxproductions