Through the archives #1

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The Bradford “Dolphin”………

Dolphin, sea-serpent or dragon?

Is it a dolphin, sea serpent or dragon? – the weather vane at the top of Bradford Town Hall has looked down on the city centre for more than a century (we think from 1873). Fully restored in 2016 by Halifax Ironworks as part of the multi-million pound council project to refurbish the Grade I listed Victorian landmark. A fiery red tongue was added as it was believed that there might have been something similar on the original vane. See the original T&A report here

However, it was Mansfield Pollard who undertook the initial restoration in the c.1956/7. Working from our original premises (or ‘North Wing’ workshop pictured above), this building was was actually the part of the stables of the Grade II listed Paper Hall, noted for being the oldest domestic building in Bradford City Centre and for housing the city’s first spinning machines, bringing the industrial revolution to Bradford.

The T&A newspaper clipping at the time (1956/7) refers to ‘the Bradford dolphin’ which was refurbished during ‘Bowling Tide’, the annual week-long holiday in the middle of August when all the mills and factories stopped work. Whatever the creature is, its history is closely intertwined with Mansfield Pollard who began trading back in 1866 as suppliers of sheet metal and ventilation to the burgeoning local wool industry. Over the last 153 years, the company has evolved into an international provider of bespoke design and build solutions for complex and challenging air management applications but has remained fixed to its roots in Bradford, just like the dolphin / dragon / sea serpent…….. #dragonordolphin