Heritage is the full range of our inherited traditions, monuments,
objects, and culture. Most important, it is the range of contemporary
activities, meanings, and behaviours that we draw from them.
Heritage includes, but is much more than preserving, excavating,
displaying, or restoring a collection of old things. It is both
tangible and intangible, in the sense that ideas and memories--of
songs, recipes, language, dances, and many other elements of who
we are and how we identify ourselves--are as important as historical
buildings and archaeological sites.
Heritage is, or should be, the subject of active public reflection,
debate, and discussion. What is worth saving? What can we, or should
we, forget? What memories can we enjoy, regret, or learn from? Who
owns "The Past" and who is entitled to speak for past
generations? Active public discussion about material and intangible
heritage--of individuals, groups, communities, and nations--is a
valuable facet of public life in our multicultural world.
Heritage is a contemporary activity with far-reaching effects. It
can be an element of far-sighted urban and regional planning. It
can be the platform for political recognition, a medium for intercultural
dialogue, a means of ethical reflection, and the potential basis
for local economic development. It is simultaneously local and particular,
global and shared.
Heritage is an essential part of the present we live in--and of
the future we will build."
Weekly workshops with ‘Ascendance Youth’ explored the
history and development of Bradford as far back as the Normans and
Middle Ages when the wool industry began, and how this has influenced
the local and wider areas of Cottingley and Bingley today. Topics
included the advent of the textile industry and the resulting mills
in the local area, the effects of migration and the changes seen in
the landscape as industrialisation took hold.
Various sessions and presentations took place as part of the delivery
of this work, and these were devised in partnership with Bradford
Museums and Galleries (BMG) using agreed themes. The resources from
BMG’s archive collection were examined and certain elements
were selected for this process, such as the CH Wood aerial collection
and photographs, maps and textiles. Participants also took a guided
tour of the Industrial Museum to increase their sense of history
and general knowledge of the background.
The heritage project work was explored in as many imaginative ways
as possible, so that the groups involved both at CCC and various
schools learned about and explored selected elements of their history
and then interpreted this through dance, storytelling or other creative
tasks. For example, in some sessions participants worked to put
images referencing specific developments into a timeline, in others
they played a ‘weft and warp’ game to learn about the
textile process, making up movements for each stage and using the
heritage resource material to do this.
Young people also learned how to conduct oral history interviews,
including filming and recording. They were briefed to explore and
find out about the local area and how it had changed, through interviewing
older relatives and members of the public. These interviews were
conducted at various times throughout the project, and participants
were encouraged to expand on basic questions and prompt interviewees
to contribute extra information that added value to the basic facts
that were recorded.
Ideas for a new professional dance piece, were conceived
during the Telling Tales project. The dance piece explored social
pleasures and pastimes within a Mediaeval community. Comprehensive
research into intergenerational practice was also undertaken during
the residency at Skipton Castle in summer 2011, leading to the creation
of new repertoire devised by professional dancers, suitable for
all ages. The piece would be adapted for the Telling Tales final
celebration and other heritage based education programmes across
the UK, entitled 'My Town.'
Aspirations for the future
Following the success
of the Day of Dance, consultation with the community indicated that
further celebrations of this type would be welcomed at the Cottingley
A yearly dance event, involving
all the family would help families experience a fun activity together
and help towards increasing community spirit. It was also discussed
that the project provided them with a shared appreciation of their
friends and family in the area in which they live.
that inspired the project...
Bingley & District
"Bingley was once known as the Throstle's Nest of Old England
- though there is no evidence that thrushes were more abundant there
than in other parts.
It is more likely to be a reference to its position, nestling in
a valley at a bend of the River Aire, five miles north of Bradford,
reasonably sheltered from the prevailing blast of the north wind
and on the edge of Rombalds Moor, known in popular song as Ilkley
There is no record of the first inhabitants.
Although Druids' Altar, a sheer rock overlooking the valley, suggests
ancient Celtic origins, its name is the product of a romantic tradition
rather than real evidence. The town does, however, have a number
of springs and wells with Celtic echoes, and a number of carved
heads have been discovered around the town, some of them being incorporated
in gateposts and garden walls.
At the bottom end of the town, Bailey Hills
suggest the site of a castle, and one 17th Century historian claimed
to found evidence of such a building.
The name recalls a Saxon owner called Byng.
Lea is another word for field. It is a unique name - there isn't
another Bingley anywhere.
The Romans knew it as a spot on their road
from Ilkley to Manchester.
But to all intents and purposes, Bingley's
story began in 1213AD with the granting of the manor of Bingley
and a market charter by King John to one Maurice de Gant. Like the
rest of the North of England, Bingley suffered from the Norman conquest
and the Domesday Book logs the whole manor as four leagues long
and one broad (the definition of a league varies, but up to three
miles is commonly held to be the equivalent), and 'waste' - i.e.
Through the middle ages and up to the Industrial
Revolution, Bingley was more important than its neighbour Bradford."
By Jim Appleby
In the Domesday Book of 1086, Bingley is listed as "Bingheleia",
with the following entry
m In Bingheleia hb. Gospatric iiij car' tra e' ad gld. tra ad ii
car' Ernegis de burun h't. & Wast' e'. T.R.E. val, iiij lib'.
Silva past' ii leu' lg' & i lat'. Tot' m' e iiij leu' lg' &
Which roughly translated reads:
Gospatric has a manor of four carucate of land to be taxed, land
for two ploughs. Ernegis de Burun has it and it is waste. In the
time of King Edward the Confessor it was valued at four pounds.
Woodland pasture two leauges long and one broad. All the manor is
four long and two broad.
The ford was expanded on with Beckfoot
Bridge alongside it. This was superseded in turn by Ireland Bridge
a few hundred metres upstream. In mediaeval times Bingley was a
Manor which extended several miles up and down the Aire valley,
extending to Marley upstream which is now on the outskirts of urban
Keighley and Cottingley downstream. Bingley became a Market town
with the grant of a Market Charter in 1212 by King John. Two of
the oldest buildings in Bingley are the parish church of All Saints
& the coaching inn the Old White Horse Inn, both conveniently
situated on the flatter north side of Ireland Bridge. Administratively
during this period Bingley was part of the Wapentake (later hundred)
Skyrack, which was in turn part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
the Poll Tax returns of 1379 Bingley had 130 households, probably
around 500 people. The nearby towns of Bradford, Leeds and Halifax
had about half this population. At this time Bingley was the largest
town in the area.
No records tell
of how Bingley fared in the Black Death that swept Europe in the
14th century. Approximately one third of all the people in Europe
died of this plague, sometimes wiping out whole towns and villages.
According to the 1379 Poll tax records, the nearby town of Boulton
had no survivors worth taxing. It seems Bingley may have got off
In 1592 Bingley was shown on a map by Yorkshire map-maker Christopher
Saxton. It is shown as a single street with about 20 houses on each
side. The church sits at the west end of the street opposite a single
large house, possibly a manor house.
Like most towns of the West Riding, Bingley prospered from the Industrial
Revolution. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal was constructed in 1774.
It travels through the centre of Bingley and then climbs dramatically
up the side of the valley in the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks
and not quite so famous Bingley Three Rise Locks. Several woollen
mills were founded and people migrated in from the surrounding countryside
to work in the mills. Many came from further afield such as Ireland,
especially in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine. A railway line
was constructed through Bingley including a goods yard in Bingley
centre bringing further trade. During this period the villages of
Gilstead & Eldwick became conurbated with Bingley. The Bingley
Building Society was founded in this period.
The Beeching Axe demolished the goods yard, though the station which
recently celebrated its centenary, still serves trains to Leeds,
Bradford, Skipton, Morecambe and Carlisle. The textile mills have
over the years largely been replaced by cheaper labour overseas.
The Damart mill still stands and trades in textiles. Since 1995
the tannery, Bingley Mill and Andertons has all been or are being
converted into flats. In 1974 the West Riding of Yorkshire was replaced
by the new metropolitan county of West Yorkshire and the Bingley
Urban District Council was dissolved. Bingley now became a ward
in the Bradford metropolitan district. The most cramped & outdated
terraced housing (in the opinion of the council) was partly replaced
with council housing, Bingley Art Centre and the headquarters of
the Bradford & Bingley Building Society. Further council housing
was built up the hill towards Gilstead including three substantial
blocks of flats. In the wake of the Thatcherite reforms of council
housing the majority of the council estate has now changed into
private hands and a substantial portion has been knocked down &
rebuilt as private housing. In recent years Bingley has become relatively
prosperous once more as a desirable suburb of Bradford. The Bingley
Permanent Building Society merged with the Bradford Equitable Building
Society to form the Bradford & Bingley Building Society (now
a Bank) in 1964. It was decided to site the corporate headquarters
in Bingley. This brought several thousand jobs to the town but the
building itself did not meet with universal acclaim