Echoes of the past: A look at Bradford Road before any transport

Not a motorised vehicle in sight, not even a tramcar. I suspect the present day occupants in the houses on the left hand side on this quiet day in Bradford Road.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th January 2017, 12:00 pm
Bradford Road outside Wellholme Park gates pre 1904
Bradford Road outside Wellholme Park gates pre 1904

Had they a magic wand would wish for these days to return. Not the Bradford Road of today with motor cars, buses, wagons and cars parked sometimes either side, an indication of the busy lives that we all have today.

This is a street scene of pre- 1904 Bradford Road. The first tramcar from Brighouse through to Bailiff Bridge did not happen until October of 1904. Looking at my original of this image and the fully laden horse and cart being driven down the centre of the road would strongly suggest there have been no tram tracks laid as yet.

The occupants George Healey and Walter Briggs of the pair of impressive large semi-detached Victorian houses in 1904. Looked across the road at a high wall and towering trees. When even in the winter months and not a leaf in sight, they would have had little to no view beyond the trees. Unlike today when they look across at the Wellhome Park Childrens Service Centre and to its right across at the Wellholme Park rose beds.

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George Healey was born in Thornhill Dewsbury, when he was 10 years old the family moved to Brighouse. In his adult life he was a wire manufacturer with his business premises at Low Mill, Wharf Street just off the town centre. He was also a member of the first Brighouse borough council in 1893. In 1902 he was appointed an Alderman of the Borough and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1908, positions he held until his retirement in 1911. He was a member of the Bethel Church for over 40 years. He died in March 1917 at his home in Morecambe.

With so many houses built at different periods of time in Bradford Road it is likely that the properties will have been re-numbered. This is something to consider when you are researching your family history. It might show on a census your family lived at a particular number, but it might not have been the original number and could on a different census show it as a different and higher number.

Whilst family history continues to be very popular, researching the history of your home can be equally as interesting. Finding out who the previous occupants were and what kind of lives did they have during the different time periods. This can often make your home a sense of being a piece of living history and become a little more interesting.

I am sure all the houses on Bradford Road would have an interesting story to tell.