Tag Archives: history

Charles Bronson refused parole at HMP Wakefield

Charles Bronson in 1992Image copyright PA
Image caption Charles Bronson in 1992 – that year, he spent 53 days outside prison before being arrested again

One of the UK‘s most violent prisoners, Charles Bronson has been refused parole.

A board ruled that Bronson, now called Charles Salvador, should not be released from HMP Wakefield or moved to an open prison.

The 63-year-old is serving a life sentence for robbery and kidnap and has gained notoriety for a history of violence inside and outside jail.

He must now wait another two years for a review of his case.

Bronson’s bride: ‘We’re very similar creatures’

Luton-born Bronson recently got married to former Emmerdale and Coronation Street actress Paula Williamson inside the West Yorkshire prison.

Image copyright BBC, Paula Williamson
Image caption Paula Williamson wrote to Bronson in 2013 after reading his book on living in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital

Speaking after the decision, his 37-year-old wife said: “He’s not going to be released any time soon.”

She told Talk Radio: “Charlie has admitted his wrongdoings and he’s served his time for every single offence that he’s committed, and well over that time, and it’s time now for him to move forward. He’s an OAP.”

Bronson’s jail history

  • 1974 First jailed, age 22, for armed robbery and wounding
  • 1975 Attacked a fellow prisoner with a glass jug
  • 1985 Carried out a three-day rooftop protest
  • 1988 Returned to prison for robbing a jewellery shop
  • 1992 Released, but found guilty shortly afterwards of conspiracy to rob
  • 1994 Holds a prison librarian hostage, demanding a helicopter and tea
  • 1998 Takes three inmates hostage at Belmarsh
  • 1999 Given a life sentence with a three-year tariff for kidnapping
  • 2014 Assaulted prison governor Alan Parkins

The parole hearing was on 7 November.

A Parole Board spokesman said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has not directed the release of Charles Salvador.

“Under current legislation, Mr Salvador will be eligible for a further review within two years. The date of the next review will be set by the Ministry of Justice.”


Graduate with 2:1 sues Oxford for £1m

Oxford University
Image caption Faiz Siddiqui is suing Oxford university for £1m in damages

An Oxford graduate’s failure to get a top degree cost him a lucrative legal career, the High Court has heard.

Faiz Siddiqui alleges “inadequate” teaching on his modern history course resulted in him getting a low upper second degree in June 2000.

He blames staff being absent on sabbatical leave and is suing the university for £1m.

Oxford denies negligence and causation and says the case is “massively” outside the legal time limit.

Mr Siddiqui also alleges medical information about him was not submitted to examiners by a tutor.

The 39-year-old studied at Brasenose College and singled out the teaching on the Indian special subject part of his course for criticism.

‘A huge disappointment’

His counsel Roger Mallalieu told Mr Justice Foskett that Mr Siddiqui had been a “driven young man” aiming at a postgraduate qualification at an Ivy League university.

He said: “Whilst a 2:1 degree from Oxford might rightly seem like a tremendous achievement to most, it fell significantly short of Mr Siddiqui’s expectations and was, to him, a huge disappointment.”

Mr Mallalieu said his employment history in legal and tax roles was “frankly poor” and he was now unemployed, rather than having a career at the tax bar in England or a major US law firm.

Mr Siddiqui also said his clinical depression and insomnia have been significantly exacerbated by his “inexplicable failure”.

Julian Milford, for Oxford University, told the court Mr Siddiqui complained about insufficient resources, but had only described the teaching as “a little bit dull”.

He added the student received exactly the same amount of teaching as he would have in any other year.

The seven-day hearing is concerned only with liability – with damages to be assessed later if Mr Siddiqui succeeds.

Morrissey defends Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein

Morrissey and Kevin SpaceyImage copyright Getty / Reuters
Image caption Morrissey said one of Spacey’s accusers “did not sound very credible”

Morrissey has attracted controversy after defending Kevin Spacey over allegations of sexual abuse.

He said the star had been “attacked unnecessarily”, adding it was “ridiculous” that Spacey was being erased from an upcoming film.

The former Smiths singer also argued that definitions of harassment and assault have become too broad.

“Anyone who ever said ‘I like you’ to someone else is suddenly being charged with sexual harassment,” he said.

Speaking to Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper, the 58-year-old began by stating “rape is disgusting [and] every physical attack is repugnant”.

Last month, actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of harassing him when he was 14.

Rapp told Buzzfeed that Spacey, then aged 26, laid on top of him at a party at his apartment in 1986 and alleged the star “was trying to seduce” him.

Spacey said he was “beyond horrified” by the claim, adding that he did not remember the alleged incident.

Morrissey said Rapp’s claims “did not sound very credible to me”.

“I don’t know about you, but I was never in situations like this in my youth,” he told Der Spiegel (his comments have been translated into German and back).

“Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Morrissey added that many musicians had slept with people who were under the age of consent

The singer also cast doubt on the dozens of women who have accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of assault.

“People know exactly what’s going on,” he reportedly said when asked about Weinstein inviting actresses to his hotel room, “and they play along”.

“Afterwards, they feel embarrassed or disliked. And then they turn it around and say: ‘I was attacked, I was surprised’.

“But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it.”

“I hate rape… But in many cases, one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed.”

More than 50 women, many of them some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have accused the disgraced film producer of sexual assault, harassment, abuse and rape, which allegedly took place over four decades.

Morrissey added that many famous musicians had slept with fans who were under the age of consent.

“Throughout the history of music and rock ‘n’ roll there have been musicians who slept with their groupies,” he said, while clarifying that he was not one of them.

“If you go through history, almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why not throw everyone in jail right away?

The BBC contacted Morrissey’s representatives for a response to Der Spiegel’s report, but were informed he would not be making any further comments.

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Primary school children get elderly pen pals from local care homes

For a generation of children used to tablets and emojis, hand written letters might seem like something consigned to the history books.

But teachers at one primary school think pupils are missing out by not putting pen to paper, the way their grandparents did.

The school in Kidderminster has teamed up with two local care homes to launch an inter-generational pen pal scheme.

Fred, 90, weaves a yarn about textile trade

A FORMER textile worker who now lives in New Zealand has written a book of his wool trade experiences in Bradford and donated copies to two libraries.

Fred Heap, 90, who now lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, has donated two signed copies of his book, Collections of Short Stories, to Bradford Local Studies Library and Denholme Library.

The book, published in 2015, recalls the wool trade in the fictional village of Deanley, based on Denholme, from the Victorian age to the 1950s.

It features black and white photographs including ones of Mr Heap’s mother Emily and his father Irvine, and a church in Denholme where the Heap family members were buried until around 1900.

A picture of Mr Heap and wife Audrey’s wedding day is also included, with a more recent picture of the Heap family together in Christchurch.

The book also chronicles Forester Mill, including a photograph of mill workers finishing their shift, and follows the wool trade in New Zealand, where Mr Heap ran Fred W Heap Limited, a wool-buying brokers.

The photographs are brought up to date with a picture of the 2015 Denholme Gala king and queen.

The books were donated after a visit from Bradford Writers’ Circle member Maureen Beaumont to see Mr Heap in New Zealand.

Tina Watkin, leader of Bradford Writers’ Circle, said: “The book is a collection of short stories telling of his life through the once great wool trade in Bradford and further afield.

“It is great that he went over to New Zealand and told how different his life is. He was originally a wool sorter who lived in Denholme.

“It’s something really exciting for him that is close to his heart.”

Caroline Brown, development officer for local studies at Bradford Local Studies Library, said: “We will put the book in the local authors collection and keep for future research.

“It is a local author and is of social history of the wool industry at that time.

“It’s fascinating. More people are writing about their family history.”

Mr Heap’s book has also gone on display at Christchurch’s City Library.

Exhibition captures unity and devotion of Bradford City’s female fans

GROWING up a few streets away from Valley Parade, Nudrat Afza often wondered about the chants and cheers coming from Bradford City’s football ground on Saturday afternoons.

“Coming from a South Asian background, cricket was the sport I grew up with,” she says. “Football meant nothing to me.”

In May, 2013 a chance invitation led Nudrat to a City match, accompanied by her daughter, Khadijah. It was one of the club’s finest hours, when the Bantams made it to Wembley for the League Two play-off final.

“My daughter is a season ticket holder but she has a health condition and can’t go to matches on her own. Usually went with friends, but on this occasion I took her,” says Nudrat. “It was my first ever football match – I didn’t know how to fit in, but at the same time I felt like I belonged.”

What struck Nudrat was the passion and unity of the fans, particularly girls and women in the home crowd. “The atmosphere was amazing, with lots of chanting. I found it very moving,” she recalls. “I’d expected nearly all men but here were these fantastic, committed females cheering their team. Women were getting up on seats, chanting, with no inhibitions. I thought: ‘I wish I could do that’.

“I had no idea what to do; I just sat there. One of the male Asian stewards was looking at me, smiling, because he knew I was so far outside my comfort zone. It was like nothing I’d experienced before, but it felt like a magnet was pulling me in.”

A keen photographer, Nudrat later returned, with her camera, and started taking images of women in the claret and amber crowds. Two years ago a calendar featuring her pictures went on sale at the club, with proceeds going to its charities.

Now an exhibition of Nudrat’s images is opening at the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. City Girls is the culmination of a two-year photographic project capturing the enthusiasm, devotion and energy of the club’s female fans, from little girls to grandmothers.

On display are about 80 black and white photographs, some of Asian female supporters. “In the 1960sand 70s there was a lot of racism on the football terraces in England, but it’s more inclusive now,” says Nudrat, who moved to Bradford from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in the 1960s. “Football is a lot more family-oriented now.”

Whereas Nudrat’s calendar focussed on fans outside the ground – mothers, daughters, grandmothers and friends wearing City colours, clutching match tickets in cold queues – this exhibition shows them on the stand, watching matches, with all the highs and lows. Her photographs, which include striking portraits and atmospheric crowd scenes, capture a range of emotions, from delight to despair.

“What excites me about photography is how different facial expressions are,” she says. “People are beautiful. Emotions change in an instant, depending on what’s happening on the pitch. They’re excited and nervous one minute, then upset and shocked, or confident and relieved in another.

“I love the sense of unity, and the drama of the match. Everyone is in City scarves and shirts, there’s a sense of belonging which I felt straight away. I find it very emotional.”

When Nudrat got permission from Bradford City to take photos inside the ground, it was around the time of one of the club’s most recent high points – beating Chelsea 2-4 at Stamford Bridge in the 2015 FA Cup fourth round. “It was a magical time for the club, I was really taken in by the way scenes would completely change each week; the pictures would be completely different.”

The exhibition includes poignant reminders of the Bradford City fire of 1985. One image was taken during a minute’s silence inside the ground, and another is of a mother and daughter looking at flowers laid at the Bradford City Fire Memorial.

Nudrat is now a familiar face at City matches. “It’s quite an intimate process, taking photographs, it’s about building up trust,” she says. “When people see me with a camera, I explain what I’m doing. Nobody has said ‘no’ so far. Feedback to the calendar was very positive and people are looking forward to seeing their pictures in the exhibition.

“Bradford, like many UK cities, has a well-known football team with thousands of loyal fans, it’s good to see the museum both reflects and draws strength from the culture and context of its location.”

Nudrat has been supported in her venture by Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who praised her photographs for their “tender look at supporters, fans, believers”. She contacted the Keighley-born writer, whose film credits include Slumdog Millionaire and The Full Monty, about plans to take photos of derelict buildings in Bradford and he gave her a Hasselblad XPan film camera.

“I used it initially to photograph buildings, then I started using it at City matches. I wasn’t sure it would work with portraits but I found it captures backgrounds really well,” she says. “I use different cameras for different kinds of pictures – some are portraits but sometimes it’s very fast-moving and I have to be quick to capture an expression. My pictures are black and white, in a social documentary style. They capture a particular point in time, like social history.”

A self-taught photographer, Nudrat captures aspects of daily life of people from all communities. In 1986 she received a grant from Yorkshire Arts to photograph Bradford’s Bangladeshi community. She later worked on an exhibition of the history of the South Asian communities in Kirklees. In 2012 Nudrat exhibited a series of photographs she took of the former Kenmore Hair Salon on Toller Lane, Bradford, in the final months before the long-term owner retired.

“I have two children, and grandchildren, and haven’t had time to do a course. I use very basic cameras and still use negatives, I haven’t moved on to the digital age!” she smiles.

John O’Shea, Senior Exhibitions Manager at the National Science and Media Museum, says City Girls offers “a new, close-up, perspective on the fan experience”.

He adds: “Nudrat was previously unfamiliar with the world of football, but through this project she has captured the emotion and feel of a contemporary matchday experience. As she focuses on female fans, she also manages to encapsulate aspects of Bradford’s diversity, sense of community and cultural pride.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a book in which women will be invited to write about their own experiences of watching football. Nudrat plans to produce a book of her photographs, and include some of the women’s comments.

“Football is still a game dominated by men at every level and I think girls feel invisible sometimes,” says Nudrat. “What always strikes me are the wonderful females who are every bit as involved, as dedicated and passionate, as the men. It’s been great to put the focus on them.”

One particularly passionate fan is Nudrat’s daughter, who has a serious liver condition. “She loves to wear the claret and amber colours, I wouldn’t have done any of this if it hadn’t been for her,” says Nudrat, who is her fulltime carer. “For me, going to watch City is a lifeline. As a carer, you can lose sight of yourself. This is something for me, as well as her.”

So is Nudrat now a fully-fledged Bantam? “Well, I follow the matches now,” she smiles. “I feel the tension when there are two minutes to go. I shout along with the rest of the fans.

“I’ve lived in Bradford over 50 years and I’m passionate about the city – and its football team. One of my favourite pictures is of a fan who had come with her family from Finland to watch a match. She didn’t speak much English so a family member explained what I was doing.

“I said, ‘Welcome to Bradford’.”

* The exhibition is at the Science and Media Museum from November 17, running until June.

Bell ringers to mark 100 years since the end of First World War

Bell ringers

Some 1,400 bell ringers are to be recruited in 2018 to mark 100 years since World War One ended.

They will represent the 1,400 bell ringers who died in the conflict.

Bells in churches and cathedrals will ring out on 11 November next year and Big Ben will also strike to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

Church bells were rung in celebration when armistice was declared in 1918, after having been restricted during the four-year war.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “On November 11, 1918, the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country, as an outpouring of relief that four years of war had come to an end.

“I am pleased that to honour that moment.”

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said it was a priority to “keep the history of the First World War alive for generations to come”.

On Saturday, events were held around the UK to mark the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day with Big Ben chiming for the first time since August.

The centenaries of women’s service in the regular Armed Forces, the World War One battle of Passchendaele, the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn are also being marked this year.

Reclaiming Remembrance

A group of Indian soldiers doing gas mask trainingImage copyright IWM
Image caption About 400,000 Muslims fought for the British Empire in World War One

Remembrance serves as a way to honour those who gave their lives for Britain in conflict, including during the two World Wars, but do all those who fought get the recognition they deserve?

It was a conversation with a patient researching the Commonwealth contribution to World War One that sparked Dr Irfan Malik’s interest in finding out about his ancestors.

“Before I knew how much the Indians had contributed, growing up I thought it was very much a white war,” he said.

“We weren’t taught about the Indians in school.”

It’s a sentiment researchers at think tank British Future regularly come across in their efforts to highlight Muslims’ participation in World War One and Two.

Some 1.3 million Indian soldiers who fought in the WW1, of whom 400,000 were Muslim. In World War Two, about 2.5 million Indian soldiers took part, including 600,000 Muslims.

“There is a large appetite for this story to be told,” said Sunder Khatwala, director of British Future.

“Remembrance is such an important occasion for the whole country that it is important we can all take part in it.

“It is part of the tapestry of the country’s history.”

Image copyright IWM
Image caption Muslim soldiers offering prayers during World War One

Growing up in Nottingham, Dr Malik was well aware of Britain’s annual Remembrance Day celebrations.

But as a Muslim, he says he did not feel a personal connection to the events.

However, his chance conversation led to three years researching his ancestry, and the discovery that both of his great-grandfathers were Indian Muslim soldiers who fought in WW1 alongside the British army.

Dulmial village in Punjab – then part of British India – sent 460 of its men to fight in WW1, the largest number from any village in South Asia.

Image copyright Dr Irfan Malik
Image caption The Dulmial cannon was awarded to the village in 1925, for sending the most soldiers (460) to war out any South Asian village.

They included both of Dr Malik’s great-grandfathers, Subedar Mohammed Khan and Capt Ghulam Mohammad. It was a contribution, he says, that finally made him feel he had a connection to Remembrance.

“I used to see the Remembrance functions happening and I didn’t feel I could take part in them fully,” he said.

“But now I actually take part in fundraising for the Poppy Appeal and lay a wreath each year for Remembrance Day to remember my ancestors.”

But, says Dr Malik, not enough has been done to highlight the contributions of Muslims to the British war efforts – so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“When I realised there was very little information on this, I decided to become a teacher myself; now I go into schools and other organisations.

“I think it reduces hate between communities and helps community cohesion. If soldiers of different faiths could fight side by side 100 years ago, why can’t we get on as community groups now?”

The Punjab village that supplied the British army

Image copyright Dr Irfan Malik
Image caption Sitting front centre is Capt Ghulam Mohammad., second row, second from right is Subedar Mohammad Khan

Dulmial had a long history of producing soldiers.

During WW1, when it was part of British India, the village, approximately 100 miles south of Islamabad in the Salt Range region, sent 460 men to fight in the British army. Nine from the village lost their lives.

Among those who fought were Dr Malik’s great-grandfathers, Subedar Mohammed Khan, an Indian officer in an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army, and Captain Ghulam Mohammad.

When war broke out in 1914, Subedar Khan and Capt Mohammad were already soldiers able and willing to join the conflict, both having signed up in the 1880s.

While little is known about Capt Ghulam Mohammad, Subedar Khan served in the 33rd Punjab Regiment.

He received medals for fighting in the Tochi campaign in the north-west frontier of what is now Pakistan.

Subedar Khan retired in 1918 after about 40 years of service, returning to farm in Dulmial.

Dr Malik’s comments are echoed by Rabia Mirza, from Derby, who recently learnt her great-grandfather Mirza Firoz Din served with the Bombay Engineer Group, building trenches and bases for the British army.

“I was never interested in history at school. All I saw were white faces I couldn’t relate to,” she said.

“Now I know about my great-grandfather, I feel much more in touch with Remembrance.

“I think the media could certainly do more to educate people about the contributions of the Indian soldiers.”

Ms Mirza cited Christopher Nolan’s 2017 film Dunkirk as an example of a missed opportunity to highlight the contribution of minorities to war efforts.

Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption Dunkirk tells of British and Allied troops trapped on a beach surrounded by enemy forces in 1940

Answering his critics, Nolan argued he approached the film as a “pure survival story” rather than focusing on the politics of the battle, and the film’s historical consultant Joshua Levine told the BBC it was a work of fiction, adding “it isn’t a film’s job to tell the full story of Dunkirk… and nor, in the time available, could it even try to do so“.

But Ms Mirza said: “I think this kind of thing hinders the diversifying of Remembrance and if media like this were to be more representative it would help.”

While the lines might be blurred regarding historical representation in film-making, the Royal British Legion says diversity is now an “integral part” of its Remembrance work.

It says it has worked with community organisations, such as the Punjab Heritage Association, to co-create content and encourage further communities to seek out their stories.

It also plans to run a campaign celebrating diversity and dual heritage that challenges and changes perceptions of World War One, during the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.

Image copyright IWM
Image caption Giving flowers to soldiers was a traditional sign of welcome and support

Recently, Birmingham‘s and Leicester’s Central Mosques, along with Nottingham’s Karimia Mosque, signed an Armed Forces Covenant to strengthen links with the military.

Muslim communities are also beginning to hold their own Remembrance events for the first time.

Sultan Bahu Mosque in Birmingham held a two-hour ceremony last weekend to honour fallen Muslims.

Organiser Hafiz Shauket Fazil said it was important to show the young pupils of the mosque that “they have a stake in the country”.

In attendance was Jahan Mahmood, from Birmingham, who was inspired to become a military historian by his uncle Mohammed Zabir, who served in the British 14th Army in Burma in World War Two.

The Indian Army and the world wars

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Injured Indian soldiers at Brighton Pavilion in 1915
  • Approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers – Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians – served in WW1, and 2.5 million in WW2
  • As many as 74,187 Indian soldiers died during WW1 and a comparable number were wounded
  • India contributed a number of divisions and brigades to the European, Mediterranean, Mesopotamian, North African and East African theatres of war
  • Nearly 700,000 Indian sepoys (infantry privates) fought in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire, Germany‘s ally, many of them Indian Muslims
  • Participants from the Indian subcontinent won 13,000 medals, including 12 Victoria Crosses in WW1
  • Thirty Indians won Victoria Crosses for their bravery during WW2

Zabir was kidnapped by army recruiters from his school playground at the age of 16 and forced to serve in the war, his family having no knowledge of where he had gone.

He served in Burma from about 1942 in the medical corps, but also saw action fighting against the Japanese.

He was captured by the Japanese and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, suffering severe malnutrition and being beaten badly, while watching his comrades go through similar ordeals.

When he returned home he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and rarely spoke about the war.

“If I as a young boy had been aware of his story, I would [have had answers] to the racism I suffered,” said Mr Mahmood.

Image copyright Jahan Mahmood
Image caption Mohammed Zabir (left) with his brother Ali Mahmood

“People said to me ‘what have you ever done for this country?’ and ‘you should go back home‘.”

While he accepts there has been an increase in acknowledgement of the service of Muslims, he said better education would improve tolerance in Britain today.

“I still don’t think there is enough information out there,” he said. “British historians on the whole and the media just haven’t highlighted this contribution.

“Historians of ethnic background and activists have had to bring this to the nation’s attention.

“If more had been done, maybe we would not be in the predicament we are in today as there might be less racism and Islamophobia across society.”

Mr Khatwala concurs.

“Highlighting the Muslim contribution dispels the far-right conception that Islam is a foreign or alien thing that can’t be British.”

‘Unique’ book about Bradford football team makes awards shortlist

A QUIRKY book looking into the past of a Bradford sports team will square up against autobiographies of Muhammad Ali and Bob Paisley in a competition to crown the best sports book of the year.

Breaking Ground: Art Archaeology and Mythology documents an unusual historical dig at the former home of Bradford Park Avenue, and the book has made the shortlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year – the world’s oldest sports book prize.

It is the first crowd funded book to have been nominated for the prestigious award, and the team behind it will find out if their modern archaeology project has beaten sports heavy hitters on November 28.

The book is up against Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig, Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football’s Greatest Manager, Tom Simpson: Bird on a Wire by Andy McGrath.

The seven strong shortlist also includes The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover, a book that documents the career of Bela Guttmann a Holocaust survivor who won the European Cup as manager of Benfica.

Breaking Ground came together two years ago when a group of archaeologists, scientists and photographers descended on the site, off Canterbury Avenue, which was home to the club from 1908 to 1973 but has since been abandoned to nature, with former stands behind the goal now overrun by trees.

The project was funded by the Arts Council England and The National Football Museum, and an exhibition based on the book was held at the museum earlier this year.

Park Avenue fans were invited to get involved in the project, telling the team their memories of the grounds and helping shed some light on certain “artefacts” unearthed during the excavation.

The book, edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood, was made possible by the support of former and current fans of the re-formed club, who through subscription and pre-publication orders, funded its printing. It is the first book produced in such a way to have been shortlisted for the award.

Items documented in the book include a safety pin thought to have been thrown at keeper Chik Farr, who played for the club in the 30s and 40s. During one game the elastic in his shorts snapped and they fell around his ankles, leading to someone coming onto the pitch and putting them back on using a safety pin. After that he used to regularly wear them, and supporters would throw him spare safety pins.

The former pitch markings were mapped out, and items such as floodlight bulbs and coins uncovered.

Mr Gabie said the book, which looks at the club’s history as well as the dig, was “punching above its weight” and that being nominated was great for fans of the club.

Graham Sharpe chairman of judges and co-founder of the award, said: “This book is unique in many ways.

“The unique perspective on sport it presents really impressed us.

“You really don’t have to be a Bradford Park Avenue fan to be interested in this book, that is the real strength of it. We want to recognise books that transcend the subject.”

The book is available by visiting

VIDEO: Teenagers’ rap remembers shared World War One history

Pupils from Belle Vue Girls School, Buttershaw Technology College and the Joint Activities & Motor Education Service (JAMES) were part of the Unknown & Untold project.

They interviewed descendants of Indian soldiers who fought for Britain in the First World War and learned about their contribution to the British war effort.

They then worked with Bradford rapper Blazer Boccle to produce lyrics about British identity and how it is shaped by this WW1 history.

The culmination of the project saw them filming at Cartwright Hall in Lister Park and the resulting film is due to be officially launched today at an event at the museum.

The three teenagers that feature in the film are Sana Khan, Shahrbano Iqbal and Samuel Kitson. Sana’s lyrics include: “In today’s world we’re taught to divide. But in the war we had to unify. Because there’s something that connects you and I: Our ancestors all fought side-by-side.”

Blazer Boccle raps: “I just want everyone to listen. Being part of Britain isn’t all about religion. Look into the history books and learn what you’ve been missing. Every race and religion should be proud of where they’re living.”

Local MP Naz Shah, as well as Leeds Imam Qari Asim and representatives of the Yorkshire Regiment, will be at the event.

There they are to discuss with British Future, the organisation behind the project, how understanding shared history can help integration in Britain today.

Bradford West Labour MP Ms Shah said: “Everyone in our country should feel they have an equal stake in being British, no matter what their race or religion.

“Knowing our shared history can help with that, especially at this time of year when we remember those who fought and died for Britain.”

Sunder Katwala, director of independent thinktank British Future, said: “Throughout the WW1 centenary more and more people have got to hear, often for the first time, that the armies fighting a century ago look more like the Britain of 2017 than that of 1917, with troops of every faith and ethnic background.


“We’ve found an overwhelming consensus that teaching this shared history to all children would be good for integration. We need to ensure this learning continues beyond the centenary to leave a lasting legacy.

“We all want a society where we live well together and where people of all backgrounds can feel equally British. This shared history can help us develop an inclusive identity that we all feel proud of.”

The project is a partnership between Cartwright Hall, British Future and New Horizons in British Islam, a Muslim charity.