5 ways to enjoy Bradford’s peace heritage

Guest blogger Priyanka Mistry has rounded up 5 of Bradford’s main attractions connected with the peace movement, its art and its history.

Bradford’s Centenary Square and City Hall. Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bradford_(13905237800).jpg

Bradford’s Centenary Square and City Hall. Source

Bradford has a little-known but long history of being a part of the peace movement and also the home of many of its artefacts, including the original designs for the world-famous nuclear disarmament symbol, often known as the CND symbol, which became popular in the 1960s.

  1. The Peace Museum

Bradford’s Peace Museum is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the history and untold stories of peace, peacemakers and peace movements in the UK.

Greenham banner at the Peace Museum, Bradford

Greenham Common banner at the Peace Museum, Bradford

The museum was set up in 1992 after Shireen Shah, an MA student at Bradford University’s Peace Studies department, proposed a ‘Museum for Peace’ in 1990.

It was temporarily located in the Wool Exchange, before moving in 1998 to its current site at the top of Piece Hall Yard in Bradford city centre.

Visit to view its regular exhibitions, get involved with educational activities for all ages or attend its special peace-themed events held throughout the year.

Read Commonweal’s 2017 interview with Sarah Bartey of the Peace Museum

  1. The Commonweal Collection

As regular readers of this blog will know, the Commonweal Collection is an independent specialist library run by the Commonweal Trust. It’s free to join and available to anyone who wishes to learn about various aspects of nonviolent social change.

It covers peace and disarmament, human rights, development and regional issues, anti-racism, social and economic alternatives, creative education, and more.

Commonweal ND CND symbol Holtom

One of Gerald Holtom’s original designs for the nuclear disarmament (ND) symbol (image copyright held by Commonweal trustees; all enquiries about copyright/use to Special Collections)

You can visit the Commonweal Collection at the University of Bradford’s JB Priestley Library, and also attend the annual Commonweal Lecture, which presents key speakers on peace studies and nonviolence activism.

Read about the 2017 Commonweal Lecture 

Read more about the history of the Commonweal Collection

  1. The Peace Artistes

For a more musical expression of peace you can catch the Peace Artistes playing local events. Formed in the 1980s by Bradford Peace Studies students and members of CND, they brought together drums, a clarinet, a flute and a couple of saxophones, and a street band was born.

Nowadays the Peace Artistes have a total of 22 players with saxophones, brass and percussion.

The Peace Artistes

The Peace Artistes

The Peace Artistes combine influences from around the world, from the Balkans to Colombia. Their music is rhythmic, dynamic and fun for the whole family, while showing that international influences can come together to show unity through music.

  1. The Peace Trail

Bradford’s Peace Trail, which stretches across the city centre and the outskirts of the city, highlights Bradford’s extensive peace heritage, as well as important international events in peace movements worldwide.

Bradford Peace Trail. Source https://routestopeace.wordpress.com/routes-to-peace-heritage-trail-all-our-stories-blog-page/

Bradford Peace Trail. Source

Covering City Park, the University area and Little Germany, it features 29 places of interest, and was curated by Bradford: City for Peace and the Peace Museum.

Included in the trail are a number of memorials, including those commemorating the victims of the famine in Ukraine and the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster.

Bradford Cathedral. Copyright @Virginia Knight. Source http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3567895

Bradford Cathedral. Copyright @Virginia Knight. Source

Places of worship, such as Bradford Cathedral, are covered, as well as cultural centres such as Kala Sangam and the National Media Museum (now the National Science and Media Museum) and two Speakers’ Corners.

It’s the perfect walk to get to know the city of Bradford!

  1. Bradford vs the Bomb – an event held by Bradford Literature Festival

If any of these places and people capture your interest, why not attend the Bradford vs the Bomb event to be hosted by Bradford Literature Festival on 4th July 2018 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of CND?

CND - Bradford Literature Festival image

The panel will feature CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Peace Museum Director David Kennedy, and activist, academic and Chair of the Commonweal Trust Michael Randle.

The event will examine the local significance of the CND movement, and the future of nuclear power.

Attendees are also invited to an exclusive opening of the Peace Museum prior to the event.

Book tickets here or call 01274 238525.

Read more about Bradford Literature Festival

Read more about Michael Randle