The evolution of Bradford and West Yorkshire over the last 70 Years
June marked an incredible achievement on behalf of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
On June 5 2022, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Platinum Jubilee – commemorating 70 years of wonderful service to the people of the United Kingdom.
Although this historic event is a cause for celebration, it’s also a salient time to look back upon the evolution of Bradford and West Yorkshire.
We can all learn an important lesson from the strength and stoicism that Queen Elizabeth II has demonstrated over the last 70 years. We can draw impressive parallels from the behaviour of our reigning monarch as well as the resilience of the people and city of Bradford.
Both entities have endured large cultural and economic shifts, however, it’s what they made of these changes that truly make them stand out.
As we’ve shouted about (a lot) recently, Advanced Dynamics has also formed part of the Jubilee celebration. Not only is it our duty to support the Queen in her endeavours but it is also our honour to be able to celebrate such a significant achievement, both from a personal and entrepreneurial standpoint. Advanced Dynamics will be featured in the 70th Jubilee commemorative album and this reflects how we handle our business, as well as what our values are.
Our close involvement with the Jubilee event boils down to our association with the Armed Forces Covenant – a charity and support group that focuses on supporting members of the armed forces community. This cause is near and dear to our heart, as one of our very own team members, Vanessa Lewis, also served as a member of the Royal Navy. At its very core, our organisation was fashioned from traditional values and part of this involves expressing support for the people and structures that hold Great Britain together.
Royalist or not, it’s crucial that we acknowledge the reigning monarchs’ last 70 years of service. Not only is this a wonderful achievement, but it’s one that we are unlikely to ever see again.
In keeping with the 70 years theme, we have recently shared 70 facts about our own business, as well as looked back at how the packaging machinery industry has developed over that time, too.
And as we continue to milk this cow for everything it’s worth, we’re now to take a look into the past and explore how our local area, Bradford and West Yorkshire, has also evolved under Her Majesty’s reign…
The beginning… 1950s
When the Queen came into power in 1952, Bradford and West Yorkshire experienced a shift in economic growth. Industries that the region was once famous for, like textiles, steel, and coal, slowly began to decline. During this time, the area also received an impressive influx of West Indian and Asian immigrants – the beginning of the beautiful multiculturalism Bradford is known for at present.
On October 28, 1954, shortly after her coronation, the Queen of England and Duke of Edinburgh visited West Yorkshire as part of a nationwide tour.
And we couldn’t sign the ‘50s without mentioning Morrison’s which became the town centre’sm first shop when it opened in 1958 with three checkouts! It became the first Bradford store to offer self-service and even have prices on its products.
We wonder whatever did happen to Morrison’s…
In the 1960s, Yorkshire saw the decline of its traditional industrial sector as a sign to reinvent itself.
Our inability to throw in the towel when things get tough is a sentiment we’re proud of in Bradford. The town quickly changed its tune, and a greater emphasis was placed on service industries, such as education, retail, and tourism.
It’s worth touching on 1961 when the first supermarket opened in Bradford, Victoria, which sold meat, fruit, vegetables, as well as other provisions.
In 1966, Bradford University opened, and a new chapter began. Just like the land our organisation resides in; Advanced Dynamics constantly seeks to adapt and grow to fit the ever-changing requirements of the packaging industry.
Although this often means navigating through uncharted territory, it is also a testament to the notion that hard work truly pays off.
The 1970s saw a number of improvements in the area. The political map of Yorkshire shifted, and the region was divided into four areas of governance, more specifically, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and Humberside.
In this decade, the Queen made her second official visit, where she unveiled a plaque to celebrate the opening of the new Civic Precinct. The Kirkgate Centre also opened in 1971 and Bradford officially became a Metropolitan District Council in 1974. Towards the latter half of the 70s, the city also built a Transport Interchange.
‘80s & ‘90s
In the following decade, The Museum of Photography, Film, and Television was created, although it is now commonly known as the National Media Museum.
The city’s important role in film heritage would later lead to a UNESCO City of Film honour in 2009. In the 1990s the Queen once again visited Bradford, as they journeyed to Valley Parade and inaugurated the £1.5 million Ciba stand in the stadium.
Bradford’s Transport Interchange served as a taster of what was yet to come. The region is currently renowned for its incredible transport links, as the region nests comfortably in the middle of the UK. This quality is a characteristic that Bradford continues to shine for in the 21st century.
2000s to the present day
In 2004, Marks and Spencer’s opened an impressive distribution warehouse, bringing hundreds of jobs to the market.
As we know, the quintessentially British organisation chose Bradford as their hub because of its phenomenal transport links. The chairman, Sir Stuart Rose, recognised Bradford as an optimal location given that it is accessible to nearly one-sixth of the population within half an hour.
Their success in the city was so evident that further plans to open a new online clothing warehouse were unveiled in 2021. Another large corporation with its sights set on Yorkshire is the multinational conglomerate Amazon, which also hopes to build its latest warehouse in Bradford in the near future.
Looking back at the past few decades, both the Queen of England and Bradford share impressive parallels. They are both forces to be reckoned with, as the pair have amassed some phenomenal achievements since the 1950s.
Given that the Queen was only 25 years of age when she took over, this date holds even greater poignancy. As we look into the future, it’s important to remember our past.
On behalf of Advanced Dynamics, we would like to thank Queen Elizabeth the II for her dedication and passion, as well as wish her many more years to come.
Image credit: Shutterstock