This week’s Object is a silk panel produced to commemorate the opening on 23 June 1882 of the Bradford Technical School. The Technical School later became the Technical College, eventually morphing into Bradford University and Bradford College.
The School was set up to improve technical education in Bradford so that the city’s wool and textile industries could continue to thrive in the face of growing competition from Europe. As the Trust Deed put it: to impart “to youths, artisans and others, technical, scientific, artistic and general instruction in the various processes involved in the production of Worsted, Woollen, Silk and Cotton Fabrics and other manufactured articles …”.
On the day, the Prince and Princess of Wales formally opened the new building for the School (which remains part of Bradford College and is now known as the Old Building). There was also a bumper Victorian lunch featuring salmon, pigeons and, naturally, Yorkshire hams. The Bradford Technical College Archive is rich in memorabilia from the event, such as the programme (detail above). The panel itself is too fragile to put on show, so this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to highlight its story.