Martin Greenwood’s book ‘Every Day Bradford’ documents critical moments of the City

Never before have such stories about everyday life in and around Bradford across the centuries been brought together in one volume.

Bradford is one of the most fascinating places in the country. It grew in the 19th century from a small market town to one of the UK’s largest cities. It built its new wealth on factory production of woollen goods, a classic case study of the Industrial Revolution.

This book is no conventional narrative of Bradford’s history. It celebrates each day in the year with some important story from 1212 to 2020 – the impact of a strong-minded or talented individual, a critical event of success or disaster, or an important moment in the development of the city, its buildings or its institutions.

Bradford has experienced good and bad times, periods of growth, decline and regeneration, and several waves of immigration.

Often rising above adversity and strife, many individuals have made outstanding contributions to the city and the nation. They feature businessmen such as Sir Titus Salt and Samuel Lister, who made large fortunes through hard work and innovation, and creative giants with international reputations such as JB Priestley and David Hockney.

Many mill-owners became very wealthy, but many more workers suffered from poverty and ill-health. Not for nothing did Friedrich Engels describe Bradford as a ‘stinking hole’ or TS Eliot refer to silk hats on Bradford millionaires in his most famous poem.

The stories cover a wide range of topics – industry, commerce, politics, arts, leisure, sport, education, health etc. They include social issues such as the extreme poverty and squalor in the 19th century and women’s rights and multi-culturalism in the 20th. The accent, however, is on the positive – the unusual, the brave, the eccentric and the amazing.

In 2021 the city is preparing a bid for UK City of Culture 2025. This history provides a unique reference of what Bradford has achieved and how it can build on that foundation.

Never before have such stories about everyday life in and around Bradford across the centuries been brought together in one volume. Martin Greenwood has built a remarkable kaleidoscope of life in his home city from medieval times to the current day.

‘Every Day Bradford’ is published by Kirklands Publications in conjunction with WRITERSWORLD, and is produced entirely in the UK. It is available for sale at over 3,500 bookshops, internet book retailers and libraries in over 100 countries and is distributed by Gardners Books Limited, the United Kingdom’s largest book wholesaler.


Martin Greenwood was born and brought up in Bradford. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School and New College, Oxford University. During his career, he wrote widely on the business implications of information technology. In 2018 he published a biography of his celebrated grandfather – Percy Monkman: An Extraordinary Bradfordian. In researching his family’s past, he discovered what a fascinating history Bradford possesses. In this new book Martin shares what he has learnt about the city.