News and Information
Keep watching this page for updated information about The Bradford Street Social Nights for 2019.
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Annual General Meeting 2019
Friday 15th November 2019
Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s AGM. It was a successful evening which began with some light socialising and a chance to look through a collection of historic postcards of Bradford Street and surrounding areas.
Dave Marsden, the Chairman of Friends of Bradford Street, gave everyone a warm welcome with an engaging introduction and a summary of the year just gone. Achievements of 2019 include a new exhibition in Braintree Museum and the unveiling of the new Heritage Information Board on Bradford Street.
Following this we received a fascinating talk by David Andrews on his investigation to find the oldest house on Bradford Street; using techniques such as tree ring analysis on wooden beams he presented the case for three candidates.
Ian Lamprell shared his discovery that Bocking was once home to a deer park and shared his research into where the boundaries possibly could have existed. While presenting his findings he gave us an informative history of what the park may have been like.
Our last speaker was Robert Ely who energetically introduced the Braintree Town Partnership which are a non-profit organisation that aims to return Braintree to a thriving town of culture and commerce. The message from Robert was one of working together to find a positive future for Braintree.
It was a great evening and a big thank you to everyone who volunteers their time and effort in continuing to bring together this unique community.
FOBS Spokesman interviewed on BBC Essex, Your Voices program.
Thursday 27th June 2019
Peter Bayley a FOBS committee member was interviewed on the BBC Essex Your Voices program at about 20.30 by Lucy McNamara who presented the programme from 19.00 to 22.00.
The program focusses on a different place in the county each night and on the 27th June it focussed on Braintree, celebrating individuals, groups, projects and charities as well as the history and heritage.
The interview with Peter focussed on Bradford Street, some of its history, how it’s changed and developed over the years, the Friends organisation, why the group was formed, the display at the museum and the historical significance of the street in Braintree as a whole.
Braintree's Bradford Street Gets Own Museum Exhibit
A BRAND new exhibit all about a Braintree street which has been a “vital artery” since Roman times has been unveiled at a museum.
The Bradford Street History Wall has been installed at Braintree Museum and is packed with information about those who lived there, who worked there and its architectural history.
It includes a historic map of the street, while an interactive screen shows videos, photos and ancient documents as well as other parts of The Friends of Bradford Street’s archive.
FOBS’ Peter Bayley said: “The wall gives a fascinating insight into local history for residents and all other visitors to Braintree District Museum.
“A continuous stream of information about the people and the history of Bradford Street is available through the interactive touch-screen.
“This complements the wall’s wealth of graphic and easily-digestible details. Visitors can take in the historic information, then visit our historic street, just minutes away.”
Designers Ian Lamprell and Dave Marsden produced the wall which is based on an information board installed in 2018 in Bradford Street itself.
Money for the project was provided by the Braintree Council’s Community Grant Scheme, The Braintree Society and The Friends Of Bradford Street.
My Bayley added: “Our local councillors have shown that they share our pride in Bradford Street and the local heritage that it represents.
“The Braintree Society have added The Bradford Street History Wall to their list of valuable heritage projects that they have funded for the town. FOBS are very grateful for the generous financial support provided by each of them.
“Our sincere thanks also go to Braintree District Museum’s Trust and management team for making this possible.”
Museum trust chairperson, Sheila Charrington, said: “The new display on the history of Bradford Street is a fabulous addition to the museum gallery.
“It is wonderful to have more information about such an historically important road in our town for our visitors.
“Thank you to the hard work of the Friends of Bradford Street team, who were able to make this happen.”
Friends Of Bradford Street Annual Residents’ Meeting
Discovering And Preserving The Heritage Of Bradford Street
At a lively 2018 AGM / Residents’ Meeting on Friday 27th October, FOBS discussed a series of issues raised by the recent Opinion Survey and presented their achievements for 2018.
FOBS members and the residents present were told about the extensive additions to our knowledge of the street and its history that had been added in 2018. Details were given of the major leap in discovery work that we are about to undertake, with a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding to support it. This is planned to involve a wide range of historical organisations and agencies, together with the some of the top universities.
Ian Lamprell, FOBS Heritage Discovery leader, described what had already been added to the FOBS archive and website. He described the potential discovery work planned with UEA, Essex University, Kings College, London, Access Cambridge Archaeology, the Essex Records Office, Essex Historic Buildings Group, Canterbury Cathedral Archives, The University of Kent and others.
“We propose to research in as much detail as possible the history of Bradford Street and the surrounding area with specific reference to the period of the woollen cloth trade”, Ian said. “But key to our work is the support of Bradford Street residents, both in researching and sharing the history of their own properties and in showing community support for this initiative.”
The results of the Residents’ Opinion Survey* show overwhelming positive support for this work as well as for action on the traffic problem we face every day.
“There is ever more urgency to preserve the fabric and atmosphere of Braintree’s most historic street”, said Peter Bayley, Chairman of FOBS. “All FOBS members want to see the town grow and prosper, but the impending overdevelopment around Bradford Street could see its historic character submerged under excessive traffic”.
The Chairman was also able to announce an exciting new project to bring the results of the heritage discovery work to the public through a collaboration with Braintree Museum, with substantial help from Braintree District councillors. More details on this will be forthcoming.
The year’s social events were reviewed for everyone – these including the regular social nights, the garden party, the regular wine tastings and the Maldon sailing barge trip. Future events were discussed, including a Chelmsford City Racecourse evening and the Christmas Dinner. Residents were asked for their own ideas for future events for having fun together.
Other topics covered included keeping the street tidy, and security. The local Neighbourhood Watch representative, Nicky Griffiths, also a FOBS committee member, was there to provide further information about the scheme. We were pleased to see a number of attendees join the scheme and also to sign up the FOBS email list to stay in touch.
Please use the contact form to tell us if you want to join the mailing list.
*The full Opinion Survey results be found below.
BBC Essex Quest Visit to Bradford Street 9/9/18
On Sunday morning, 9th September, BBC Essex Quest sent Liana Bridges and Barry Lewis, guided by Eric Dixon from the studio, to Bradford Street. The programme was titled “Lawnmowers, Bobbins and Stamps”. Bradford Street shared the “bobbins” tag with Middle Essex Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Group in White Notley, both having a wool-industry, weaving connection.
The intrepid BBC pair arrived in their van at 11.30, met by Peter Bayley, Chairman of FOBS, at the Bradford Street Heritage Information Board, having previously been at the Blake End lawnmower racing.
Liana was interested to hear about the long history of our historic street and asked about the activities undertaken by FOBS. The Social Side activities particularly caught the attention of both Barry and Liana. Peter talked briefly about some of the colourful characters with jazz, pop and punk musical connections who lived in the street in modern times, as well.
She asked “Which is the best house in the street?”. Dodging the contentious question, Peter said many of the houses were exceptional, including Bradford House and Georgian House, both of which had “secret identities” - centuries-older construction features behind their 18th-century frontages.
Peter handed the Quest duo their next cryptic clue – they were off to Stisted – and they raced away to their last destination, holding their printed Guides To Bradford Street.
You can hear the episode on BBC Radio i-Player: BBC Essex Radio Quest. The 10-minute Bradford Street segment is at the 2 hours 25 minute point.
Join Eric Dixon, Liana Bridges and Barry Lewis between 9 and 12 midday every Sunday morning and help them solve four cryptic clues for mystery location somewhere in Essex.
Most months of the year we meet up at either The Angel in Bradford Street, The White Hart in Bocking End for a bit of neighbourly socialising. If you would like to get involved why not join our mailing list to be kept up to date with all that is going on in Bradford Street.
Heritage Information board
The unveiling of the new Heritage Information Board. Thanks to BDC Councillors Wendy Schmitt and Lynn Waters who helped to secure the Community Fund that paid for it, and thanks to our MP James Cleverly for showing support.