The Fabric of Bradford has been working with a group based at St Stephen’s Church in West Bowling. The location of this project is significant as the area was once the site of the largest piece dyeing works in the world. Henry Ripley, owner of Bowling Dyeworks, also created a model industrial village for his workers called Ripleyville, now largely demolished. Pictured above is the Newlands Mill Memorial, commemorating the lives of the 54 mill workers killed when a chimney collapsed at the Dyeworks in 1882.
The group has been learning about the industrial heritage of the area through reminiscing activities and textile based workshops. They have also planted a traditional dye plant bed as part of a community garden. We will be exploring the colours created by these plants and their links to the local textile heritage as the project goes on.