That people are still finding and coming to the rediscovering Ripleyville blog is both gratifying and at the same time embarrassing, since I haven’t posted anything to it in 8 months. To me the layout now looks tired, the way the blog operates clunky and a lot of the content on the Victorian industrial village of Ripley Ville needs up-dating.
I also have a duty to those leaving comments which I have not been fulfilling – apart from approving them so they can be seen by visitors.
I wish that I could say that all this is going to change. The long silence has been because I couldn’t see how exactly I was going to get back on top of things. Since October last year (2016) a slight worsening of a chronic heart condition means that I have had to curb some activities and go at some others more slowly. For a number of months I did little rRV work.
Stabilisation of my condition means that I am, now, continuing to research both the history Ripley Ville and what came before – in early Victorian Bowling and Bradford. I am pursuing much of the finer details of the story of the industrial model village itself and of this earlier story. I have begun again to write about these topics off-line, off-blog.
That, I’m afraid, is what will be happening into the foreseeable future.
I will still approve comments you leave. There is no intention, as things stand, to make changes to the blog as it stands.
A previous post announced ‘the Beginning of the End’ for the rediscovering Ripleyville blog; the slow retirement of the blog while I carry on with research and writing. This post set out what comes after – A New Beginning!
Or is it?
rediscovering Ripleyville’s 100th post : a Heritage Matters update about Bradford Council’s Planning Policy proposal for land on Ripley Road. Your chance to help shape the council’s policy for land near to where the northern site of Bradford’s only industrial village once stood!
Heritage Matters Update
Ripley Road Planning Allocation
Just over a week ago (2016/01/08) I happened across a planning document referring to Ripley Road in West Bowling and the land across from the Edward Ripley & Son’s Laboratory building which dates from 1916 (see photos below).
The Allocation Site in 1882
The map below shows that in 1882 the land would have included;
- Ripleys’ ‘New Shed’ (NS),
- subsiding pits (SP) for Bowling Dyeworks
- and a reservoir (Res).
The eastern side of Ripley Road was used for allotments’ with the lower block of Ripley Terrace (Nos 67-85), which featured in a recent post, and the Ripley Ville schools building (Sch) beyond (see photograph).
Wider Setting of Site in 1882
The map shows the features above and the allocation site’s wider setting including Bowling Dyeworks and the rest of the northern site of the industrial model village of Ripley Ville.
Super-imposed on this in red are the outline of the site in the proposed allocation (WM2) and the words ‘Registered Historic Park’ used in the planning document to denote Bowling Park.
Site Allocation : Waste Disposal/Management Purposes
There is a proposal that the whole of this site of 2.35 hectares be considered for waste disposal/management purposes.
The link to the pdf of the planning document, which is on Bradford Council’s site is:-
You need to scroll down to pages 28 & 29 for the part relating to Ripley Road.
The grounds for the policy and allocation appear sound. The key point about the document are the conditions under which the policy and allocation might be applied i.e when an application to develop the site comes in. On this, the document includes the following paragraph under ‘Mitigation Requirements’ ;
Development proposals will need to ensure the significance (including the setting) of the Registered Historic Park to the south-east of the area is not harmed. This will need to be demonstrated through robust analysis in the heritage statement submitted with the planning application.
I was at a public consultation meeting when I was shown the document. I did at that time tell the planners attending about Ripleyville. They did not seem to know of its previous existence. It seems to me that there is an opportunity to make the planners aware of the proximity of this part of Ripley Road to;
- the northern site of Ripley Ville, Bradford’s only industrial model village
- the pedestrian paths that made and still offer links to what was the Bowling Dyework’s site and Ripley Ville
That mitigation requirement can apply to the Registered Historic Park (Bowling Park) ought to mean that mitigation requirements could be applied to the Ripleyville/Bowling Dyework’s sites. They are of equal significance. Ripley Ville was completed, with the removal and rebuilding of the Alms houses to New Cross Street on the village’s southern site, a year after Bowling Park was officially opened. They date from the same period.
Recent research, summarised in an earlier post which corrects the errors on Wikipedia, makes clear the local and national significance of the Ripley Ville Working Mens Dwellings with their water-closets in the basements.
Grants or Gains
Another possibility is that some kind of planning gain/grant application (e.g. from Landfill Tax) could be looked for. Heritage signage, minor works, path clearance and reinstatement and the planting of trees, shrubs could be used to enhance the setting of what remains of the Victorian industrial landscape and the northern site of the village after demolition and improve access routes to these.
Ripleyville is a crucial but forgotten part of Bradford’s Victorian Heritage. Make your voice heard in the efforts to promote it to its rightful place in the city’s Victorian history and its heritage.
Here’s some things you can do:-
- Tell people about this article. Copy and send them the link to this 100 Up page : Heritage Matters page; http://wp.me/p2qxEI-2hc
- Look at the planning document and in your response make sure the planners know about Ripley Ville and take it into account in future planning decisions.
- Copy & paste the 100 Up : Heritage Matters page link http://wp.me/p2qxEI-2hc into your comments to the planners.
Responses to the planning policy document can be made on-line or by other means. These are identified in page 3 of the document. Here’s the link again.
The relevant paragraphs, including the e-mail address for comments on page three, are:-
The architects’ plans for the buildings of Victorian Ripley Ville were submitted to Bradford Borough Council between 1866 and 1881. This post uses one of the plans for the schools and a key passage in ‘When was Ripleyville built?’ to look at the sequence in which the village’s ‘Working-Mens Dwellings’ may have been built and by whom. It comments on the significance for rediscovering Ripleyville in having had access to all the architects’ plans 8 years ago, in having full copies now and on the ‘missing’ plans for St Bartholomew’s vicarage.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2016. All rights reserved.
The Plans for Victorian Ripley Ville 1866-1881
My previous post was about half-an-hour at the end of a day at the local archives. It focussed on the water-closet and cistern of Bowling Lodge. Earlier in the same day, I had been getting together 21 x A4 pages of information and drawings. These were copied and printed from microfiches. They were of all, yes ALL, of the original planning applications for the buildings built in Victorian Ripley Ville between 1866 and 1881, including the one for St Bartholomew’s Vicarage – of which more at the end of the post.
I had re-found and re-viewed all the plans before I did the 150th Anniversary post on Ripley Ville on November 15th last year (2015). I made quite extensive notes about each from the microfiches at that time but had found these weren’t comprehensive enough. This time I had scanned and printed them – much easier to double-check what you think you are seeing, notice more of the detail, make calculations, measurements, etc – and you do not need to rely on memory.
The account on Wikipedia is wrong on a number of crucial points about the worker’s housing built between 1866 and 1868 in the Victorian industrial model village of Ripley Ville, These relate to whether water-closets were installed in each of the 196 Working -mens Dwellings”, on the village’s northern site in Bowling, south Bradford. The errors are identified in this post and a better version of events laid out. The post starts with a RVr news update. It ends by emphasising how regrettable the demolition of the village’s northern site is, in heritage terms.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2015 and/or rediscovering Ripleyville. All rights reserved. (see sidebar right)
Work on the new ‘Ripley Ville rediscovered’ (RVr) web-sites on the Victorian industrial model village of Ripley Ville is behind schedule.
Time has been given over instead to exploring several long trails in archival material about the village’s Victorian beginnings. The searches have focused on the water-closets that are understood to have been built in the basements (cellars) of the 196 Workmens Dwellings of the village.
The water-closet controversy : its importance
If water-closets were installed this would make the houses, in their sanitary status and arrangements, the most advanced then built for the working classes. When taken together with the number installed, this would significantly enhance the importance of Ripley Ville as an industrial model village and of ‘Messrs Ripleys scheme…’ for workers housing.
Bradford’s only industrial model village, Ripley Ville, has the 150th anniversary of its founding today, 15th November 2015. The village was unique : each and every one of its 196 workman’s dwellings, built between 1866 and 1867, had a water-closet in its basement.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the event in 1865 in south Bradford that promoted ‘Messrs Ripleys scheme for building a number of Working-Mens Dwellings’. The event was a public meeting that took place in Edward Ripley & Son’s Patent Melange Works on Spring Mill Street, west Bowling on the 15th November 1865. At it, a prospectus was made available to those attending and the planned scheme for up to 300 dwellings of three types was explained. From the 20th of November 1865 draft plans of the dwellings were available ‘between Six and Eight O clock’ until ‘Friday 1st December’. In this case ‘Tickets of admission [were] to be had of Messrs Ripley and at the Melange Works’.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker. All rights reserved (see side bar right →)
This post looks to the future for this WordPress hosted rediscovering Ripleyville web-site, blog posts and the rediscovering Ripleyville project. It reveals a plan to gradually move most of its content. This will be split between TWO NEW Ripleyville web-sites. It also notes two events that suggest small changes may be occurring in how Bradford’s Victorian Heritage offer is made. These give encouragement for future activities around rediscovering Ripleyville.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2012-2015. All rights reserved. (See sidebar left)
The first part of this post picks up on Graham Wilkinson’s comment about ‘delving into history’ and outlines an idea for a Victorian history and heritage project for Bowling, south Bradford. The second explains the present and likely future position on Membership of the rRV project and for people who have signed up as ‘Friends’ of ‘rediscovering Ripleyville’. Looking towards the future, the post ends on a positive note.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2012-2015. All rights reserved. (See sidebar left)
This is a “See you again, sometime” post; the type of “good-bye” that is not intended to be final but where you make no immediate plans for when you might meet.
After three weeks and a follow-up appointment at Bradford Royal Infirmary, the hope is that my ‘something and nothing’ is probably more of a nothing – or at least unlikely to recur. We shall see. But, with each passing week, the three weeks without doing a post on the blog have confirmed for me that I have made the right decision. For the foreseeable future other priorities, including research on Victorian Ripley Ville, must come first.