Great Britain

From Sir Titus Salt to Stuart McCall - Honorary Bradfordians

BRADFORD has produced its fair share of world famous politicians, artists, celebrities and sporting stars over the years, but what about those who either had a brief association with the city or made their names here?

Here is a look at a few honorary Bradfordians, past and present, who may not have been born here, but have a link to Bradford and have made an impact on the city.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Goldsmiths shut in Bradford in 2012Goldsmiths shut in Bradford in 2012

Fattorini family

The association between Fattorini and the city of Bradford began in 1846 with the opening of the original shop by Antonio Fattorini, who came to England after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and initially made his living as a travelling salesman.

He started his original jewellery business in 1831 in Harrogate.

Antonio’s sons John and Edward settled in Bradford and built up the business which by 1870 had two branches in Kirkgate and Westgate.

The 160-year history between the Fattorini family and Bradford ended in 2012 with the closure of the former Fattorini jewellery store, its Tyrrel Street branch of Goldsmiths which took over the Fattorini’s business in 1986.

Fattorini’s is famous for designing the FA Cup trophy, first won in 1911 by Bradford City and still in use.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Stuart McCall

You could be forgiven for thinking McCall was Bradford born considering his 40-year association with the Bantams, but in fact he was born in Leeds.

He is now enjoying his fifth spell with the club; two as a player and three as its permanent manager, plus a brief spell as caretaker boss in 2000.

He made 395 appearances as a player, scoring 45, many of which where he was captain.

He is a bone fide Bantams legend and must be champing at the bit for City to get their new season started after lockdown.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Gerard Benson

London-born Benson was appointed Bradford's poet laureate in 2008.

He had settled in the city in 1989 with his writer artist wife Cathy and the couple lived in Manningham.

Although his work took him across the globe from the US to Egypt and Norway to Ireland, he had a great sense of belonging to Bradford where he had worked in schools helping children write on the themes of peace.

He died aged 83 in 2014.

Margaret McMillan

She has a primary school and a building named after her in Bradford.

New York-born McMillan a nursery school pioneer and lobbied for the 1906 Provision of School Meals Act.

She moved to Bradford in 1892 where she joined the Fabian Society, the Labour Church, the Social Democratic Federation and the Independent Labour Party (ILP).

She helped carry out the first medical inspection of elementary school children in Britain.

They published a report and began a campaign for local authorities to install bathrooms, improve ventilation and supply free school meals for children, after seeing the success of Bradford Cinderella Club providing a warm meal to underprivileged children.

She died in 1931 and a memorial college to Margaret McMillan was opened in Bradford in 1952.

Frank Watson Dyson

Born in Leicestershire, he was an English astronomer and Astronomer Royal who is remembered today largely for introducing time signals, or pips, from Greenwich, England, that can often be heard on BBC radio.

He also played in proving Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.

His association with Bradford was brief, having won a scholarship to Bradford Grammar School in his youth. He died in 1939 aged 71.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Baroness Barbara Castle

One of the most prominent Labour Party politicians of the 20th century, her roles in government during the 1960s and 70s included as Minister of Transport and Secretary of State for Employment.

She was the only woman to hold the position of First Secretary of State.

She became a member of the House of Lord and was granted a life peerage in 1990.

As Minister of Transport, between 1965 and 1968, she oversaw the introduction of permanent speed limits, breathalysers and seat belts.

After moving to Bradford at the age of 12, she attended Bradford Girls' Grammar School. She was a long-serving MP in Blackburn and died in 2002.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Billy Pearce

When you think of the Bradford panto, you must immediately think of Billy Pearce.

Despite his long-running association with Bradford, in which he has starred in 21 panto runs, entertainer Pearce was born in Leeds.

He will be hoping to take to the stage in Sleeping Beauty at the Alhambra Theatre this Christmas.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sir Titus Salt

Sir Titus Salt

Forever associated with Saltaire, Sir Titus was born in Morley.

He was a manufacturer, politician, and philanthropist in Bradford and enjoyed an action-packed life in the district.

In 1848 Titus Salt became mayor of Bradford. He was also a senior Alderman of Bradford and became Liberal MP for two years.

He built the Congregational church which is now Saltaire United Reformed Church, at his own expense in 1858–59.

Another of his legacies is Salts Mill which opened in 1853. He banned 'beershops' in Saltaire, but the common supposition that he was teetotal himself is untrue. He died in 1876.

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