FORMER residents of a Bradford estate which is set to be bulldozed in a £18.5 million scheme have looked back at their time living there.

The mothballed Ripleyville Estate off Spring Mill Street will be demolished to build 73 homes in its place. The new development will be a mix of nine one to six five-bed homes.


But Ripleyville dates back to the 1860s, and was designed as an industrial model village built for philanthropist Henry William Ripley, manager of the Bowling Dyeworks.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Ripleyville estate has brought back memories for those who lived there in decades pastThe Ripleyville estate has brought back memories for those who lived there in decades past (Image: Newsquest)

It included almost 200 workmen's cottages, a school, church and allotments, with a rail station following in the 1870s.

An area of land between Baird Street and Ripley Street was flattened in the 1970s to make way for what the application describes as a "new utopian estate creating a range of larger apartments".

Claire Rahman, now 42, remembers playing with children from other families on the estate. She lived there in a two-bedroom flat from 1987 when she was aged between six and 12.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

She said: “There was a good community there.

“It was nice growing up there, especially before they blocked off the tunnel there.

“There were really nice people living there.

“My mum would shout to get us in from playing outside. We were out all of the time.

“It looks like an eyesore now. It’s looking a bit old.”

Meanwhile, Debbie Weedon recalls moving to Ripleyville in 1985 as a single mother and staying there for four years and has fond memories of that time and the community feeling there.

She said: “All the kids played there on the square.

“The flats were lovely at that time. I have happy memories of living there.

“I had friends there. We would stick together. Everybody would help everybody else out.

“You did not need to lock your doors.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The grand opening of Ripleyville in the 1970sThe grand opening of Ripleyville in the 1970s

Other former residents posted on the Telegraph & Argus Facebook page about their time living there.

Helena Romanowska posted: “I lived in Mitchell Square in early 80s for a year and they were decent flats then.”

Pam Essex posted: “I lived in Tiley Square in 80s and it was nice then.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

But not everyone enjoyed their time living there. Donna Pattison wrote: “I used to live there. Horrible place to live so glad I got out.”

Mickey Hurley: “I lived on Mitchell square until I was 10 and used the car park to play rugby, sad really.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An artist's impression of the planned housing estateAn artist's impression of the planned housing estate (Image: Accent Housing)

“But they are very dated now and probably for the best.”