A SERIES of podcasts looking back at the city's former Odeon building, is to take people back to a momentous day marking the beginning of its long-awaited restoration.

The 1930s building, known to Bradfordians over the years as the New Victoria, The Gaumont and most recently the Odeon, began its journey to become the Bradford Live music venue with a series of repair works - including its iconic domes being refurbished and re-coppered.

To top it off, the man behind Bradford Live, Lee Craven arranged for new flagpoles to be installed atop the domes - this took place in 2015.

As reported by the T&A at the time, a large crane was used to lift the two specially-commissioned flagpoles into place and the manoeuvre took around two hours from start to finish.

Mr Craven explained: "The flagpoles were in place when the building first opened in 1930. They were sawn off for ‘safety‘ reasons about ten years after the Odeon closed. This damage seemed disrespectful to us and so when the chance came to replace them, like-for-like, we took it.

"The dome coverings were being restored and so the scaffolding was up. I found a company in Somerset who still made wooden flagpoles and they were happy to help. They were carried up to us on a converted fire engine, and then lifted into place by a crane we had hired for the day. One of the Council people who was helping that day brought along his little lad. Seeing a fire truck and a crane, he thought Christmas had come early!

"It was a tricky job slotting them into place: they extend some ten feet into the dome structure and so are very secure. We finished off by unveiling a Yorkshire flag and the Union flag. It was a good day and a symbolic one: the restoration of this landmark had started."

Bradford Live is renovating the city's former Odeon and turning it into a 4,000 capacity live music venue, which is due to open in Autumn 2022.

The organisation has a long-term lease from the building owner, Bradford Council, and has an agreement in place to sublease it to the NEC Group as operator in what is a 30-year deal.

They hope to welcome 300,000 visitors each year to a host of events.

The series of podcasts about the Odeon, created by Mark Nicholson, can be found at youtube.com/c/BradfordLive.

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