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We Built This City: February Half Term at Bradford Museums and Galleries

From the 11 to 19 February this half term, Bradford Museums and Galleries is celebrating the people and inventions that made Bradford the rich and vibrant city that it is today.

There is so much for families to discover – from meeting famous historical figures to creating crafts inspired by them – there’s something for everyone to enjoy about Bradford’s history.

Have you ever wanted to go back in time?

Well, we have a time machine of sorts – why not step aboard and time travel with us? First stop is the 1940s at Bradford Industrial Museum, as you can join our resident washer woman on Wash Day”. Without any washing machines, you’re going to have to roll your sleeves up, get your hands dirty and get scrubbing – just as your grandparents had to do!

Find out what Bradford was like in Victorian times at Cartwright Hall and meet Samuel Lister – local mill owner and inventor, who you might know as he donated Lister Park to the people of Bradford (the name is perhaps a give away)!

If you want to go even further back in time, then hold on tight, as we’re going back three hundred years to meet Abraham Sharp at Bolling Hall, a local mathematician and astronomer who transformed the way we explore space through his amazing inventions.

50 Things to do in Bradford

Don’t worry, you don’t need to do all 50 activities over half term (though bonus points if you do)!

We’re thrilled that the 50 Things team will be joining us this week – so you can start crossing off the 50 things you need to do in Bradford. You can find them across all our venues this week at Bolling Hall, Cliffe Castle, Cartwright Hall, and Bradford Industrial Museum – where there will be storytelling, drawing, and even making (paper) planes!

Feeling crafty?

Do you have any budding artists in the family? Then make sure you join in our arts and crafts activities this week. At Bolling Hall, join in the Theatre in a Box workshop – where you can, quite literally, set the stage for your own performance!

Work with local artist Frank Darnley at Cartwright Hall to create portraits of local inventors out of light – you’ll certainly come away more enlightened! We’re also delighted to be joined by artists Scott Chaney and Lindsay Tempest at Bradford Industrial Museum, where you’ll create experimental artworks and paintings of iconic Bradford.

At Cliffe Castle you’re spoiled for choice, as you can make your own stained glass, design your own shoe linking, try screen printing with local artist Naseem Darby, and even design your own Fairytale Castle.

Be our Valentine and fall in love with our collections

This Valentine’s Day, it’s the day to fall in love with stories of Bradford’s past. At Cliffe Castle, come along to meet the curator and guess the objects in the collections – find a new way to connect with the past and ignite a new passion for our history. There’s also the Bradford Stories Bus – grab a book and discover a new fictional world – and interview your family to find out the rich stories that can be told about your own home! 

At Bradford Industrial Museum, you can also meet the team from Undercliffe Cemetery and unearth the stories of the people who once lived and worked in Bradford.

We built this city on (musical) rock(s) and roll…

We might not be the Rolling Stones, but you can come along and rock with us at Cliffe Castle! Learn how to play our famous Musical Stones with local musician, Stuart Kaplan.

Hands on activities

Come along to Cartwright Hall to take part in a self-led printing activity which links to our collections – with a grab bag to take home with you afterwards!

If anyone is feeling competitive, we have a build challenge at Cartwright Hall and Bradford Industrial Museum, to see which family can build the biggest chimney. Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-ee, When you’re with a sweep, you’re in glad company!

Inspired by our historic car collection at Bradford Industrial Museum, we’ll also be running a make your own Jowett Car activity!

Spoiled for choice? Check out our programme here and make a plan to find out more about how we built this city!

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