Tales from the Belle Vue Studio

New Tales From Far And Wide

2019 was a particularly significant year for the collection. Belle Vue images appeared in no fewer than three exhibitions: at Bradford Industrial Museum itself, Cartwright Hall and the National Science and Media Museum. It also featured in its very own TV documentary.

Trevor (middle) contacted us in November of 2019. He grew up in London. His father lived in Pudsey, Leeds and he would visit with his sisters Sonia (left) and Dawn (right) in the school holidays. The picture was taken around 1972. Trevor was 4, Sonia 8 and Dawn 6.
Trevor (middle) contacted us in November of 2019. He grew up in London. His father lived in Pudsey, Leeds and he would visit with his sisters Sonia (left) and Dawn (right) in the school holidays. The picture was taken around 1972. Trevor was 4, Sonia 8 and Dawn 6.

Perhaps most importantly, through a collaboration with Leeds University and the National Science and Media Museum funding was provided to digitise 10,000 Belle Vue images. It had happened with two hundred or so over the years but this was on a different scale completely. In the early summer of 2019 the 10,000 were made available to the public on our website.

While the project itself had been quite complex we little realised the impact the release of so many images would have. Ten thousand photographs means almost as many families potentially affected. The passing of nearly half a century would multiply that number several times over as new generations discovered lost family photographs or ones they never even knew existed.

Very little information came with the collection when it was acquired so visitors to the site had to trawl though the images, page by page, in order to try and find themselves or their relatives. And yet, they were willing to do so. Throughout the summer we were contacted by many people; some still living in Bradford, others from as far away as Canada. Many had a fascinating story to tell about their photographs. These are just a few.