DR Carole Binns from the University of Bradford writes about a recent exhibition on a social history project that she has led, which explores a once close-knit and now long gone neighbourhood in the city:

During the first week of September the Bradford Mechanics Institute Library hosted a small exhibition of the findings from the Who Lived in a House Like This? research project led by me.

The project explores the streets that were demolished prior to the construction of the University of Bradford.

Exhibits included site and trench maps from the 2021 Campus Dig, which led to archaeology students locating small sections of Victorian streets that had long been underground.

It was from that Dig that the seed for my research was sown.

A collection of finds loaned by the School of Archaeological and Forensics Sciences featured in a glass cabinet, and these included some glass marbles, an inkwell, a door key, a clay pipe and an Airfix model aeroplane wing.

Information boards described the 22 Victorian streets that had been researched. They highlighted the widely varied occupations and trades of residents, the housing stock, and notable buildings such as the Mills, Richmond Terrace Chapel, and the former Carlton Street school.

Archive aerial photographs, maps, and personal photographs (reproduced with permission of a Mechanics Institute Library member) gave depth to what had been written on the boards.

Visitors could also view the meticulous research conducted by Ray Greenhough, a member of the Bradford Roll of Honour group.

This detailed the names and military records of those who served in World War I, and who had lived in the 22 streets that I had researched.

Ray had produced several detailed biographies of these residents, and his work produced much interest.

A highlight of the exhibition was a short black and white archive film of the demolition of the former Carlton Street School. The early excavation of the University building foundations was also featured.

This material had been digitalised by the Yorkshire Film Archive, and we think was possibly being seen publicly for the first time for many years and following approved licence.

In all, 56 people visited the exhibition. Some people were former residents of the streets who had attended Carlton Street school.

Visitors recollected their early memories of the area, and several brought personal photographs with them.

More detailed research of the streets is currently underway, and a book featuring the 22 streets is planned.

Read more about the project here: https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/23546880.bradford-underground-street-home-self-sufficient-community/