Swan Arcade was and is
Dave Brady, Heather Brady, Jim Boyes, vocals;
with Jim Boyes on guitar
Tracks 1-11 are from Together Forever (FE037) 1983.
Tracks 12-21 and 23 are from Diving For
Pearls (FE054) 1986.
Track 22 are from Square Roots (Froot 001) 1987, acompilation LP for Folk
Dave Brady, Heather Brady, Jim Boyes, vocals;
Jim Boyes, guitar (track 11);
Paul Adams, percussion (tracks 2 + 17);
Smith, electric guitar (tracks 17 + 23);
Michael Chapman, electric guitar (track 23);
Rick Kemp, bass (tracks 17 + 23);
Prior, Linda Adams, Georgina Boyes, Colin Davidson, vocals (tracks 16 + 23);
Gordon Snaith, soprano sax (track 17);
Telford, C-melody sax (track 17);
Tommy Tweedle, banjo (track 17)
All tracks recorded and produced by Paul Adams.
Another Swan Arcade track, The Wayworn Traveller
, recorded in 1986 with Maddy Prior, Martin Carty and others,
appeared on the Fellside Recordings compilation Flash Company
Victorian Arcade Demolished
Saturday, March 3,1962
If Swan Arcade existed today and a plan was put forward to demolish it, there would probably
be an uproar. In this, the year 2005 we sometimes greatly appreciate what is old, particularly if it has the
quality and style of the shops-and-offices arcade which graced Bradford’s Market Street until 1962.
But there were surprisingly few voices of protest raised when it was announced that the 1870s building was to be replaced
by a splendid 1960s one. This was the post-war period of great architectural purges, when the decks were cleared for a brave
new world of concrete and glass. Not only did Bradford lose Swan Arcade, but it also lost Kirkgate Market - to the subsequent
regret of many of its citizens.
At the time, J B Priestley declared himself displeased at the plan, because it was in Swan Arcade that he used to work
as a very young man. But Priestley had long since moved well away from Bradford by this time, and most of the citizens who
had stayed here didn’t really care much one way or the other.
When the demolition plan was announced in the autumn of 1960,
the T&A recalled that the four-storey arcade had been built, at a cost of around £150,000, on the site of the old White
"The man with the foresight to build it was Angus Holden, four
times Mayor and a Bradford MP," the newspaper reported. "He named his arcade after the White Swan and incorporated graceful
swans in stone and ironwork at the main Market Street entrance….Ground floor occupants included a cigar merchant, a
cabinet maker and two tailors.
"At the start of the century mill owners established offices
in the arcade but after many years it reverted to its original role as a shopping centre."
It was a stylish place. The T&A described it thus: "The names
of the ground floor occupants were originally painted on the windows against a background which shut out the light. So hanging
mirrors were placed in such a position that they reflected light from outside into offices and shops. More recently, there
have been mirrors angled downwards from the sides of the avenues.
"The old lift, or chain of cages [driven by a gas engine], never
stopped running in business hours but it went so slowly that it was easy to step in or out as it reached a floor level and
no attendant was needed. It was replaced by an electric lift many years ago."
The arcade was acquired in 1955 by the Arndale Property Trust
for a reported sun of between £225,000-£250,000 - although the exact figure was never disclosed. The year after it was demolished,
Arndale House was built on the site. Just as Swan Arcade, when it was new, was described as being 50 years ahead of its time,
so the T&A reported that its replacement, according to one of the architects who designed it, was "structurally the most
advanced building to be constructed in the United Kingdom".
How It Was Reported Then
"A sale notice on the window of a men’s outfitters’
shop in Swan Arcade today proclaimed ‘The last day’. For when the heavy iron gates are next opened after tonight,
the demolition men will move in.
Swan Arcade has been ‘dying’ for many months. Most
of the 112 tenants in its shops and offices moved out weeks ago and there were only two doing business there on the last day.
One was an outfitters’ shop, still filled with racks of suits and coats which the staff will move over the weekend to
Leeds, sometimes described as the ‘city of arcades’. The other was a confectioners’, which was carrying
less than its usual Saturday stock. Former tenants and workmen removing fittings
were the only other people at work in what was a dusty and melancholy scene. It is estimated it will take about four months
to pull down the city’s only arcade, which will be replaced by a more efficient building to marry with the new city
Another Swan Arcade Story
The day sentence was passed on the dying Swan
It was just half a century ago this week that Bradford people learned of
a decision many of them have regretted ever since.
The Telegraph & Argus of November 29, 1954, in Bradford, informed its readers that the elegant Swan
Arcade, which occupied a site between Market Street and Broadway, had been sold privately for an undisclosed figure (although
later informed guesses put it at between £225,000 and £250,000).
The clue to its fate lay in the name of the company which had bought it: the Arndale Property Trust Ltd of
Wakefield, which T&A readers were told was “an investment company which specialises in the development of central
shopping and office sites, with extensive holdings in the North and Midlands”.
A spokesman for the Bradford company appointed to manage the block of shops and
offices, S H Chippendale & Co, said that “no immediate material changes” were envisaged and pointed out that
several of the shops were on leases with several years to run.
He added: “It will depend on how Broadway develops. We regard it as a site
in a developing area.”
Work had already started on the adjoining site at the corner of Bank Street and
Broadway (now occupied by the Yorkshire Building Society) and this, he said, was bound to have “an improving effect”
on the Broadway frontage.
The four-storey Swan Arcade, named after the White Swan Inn which used to stand
on the site, had been built in 1880 by four-times Mayor and Bradford MP Angus Holden at a cost of around £150,000. It covered
a 2,630-square yard site and at the time Arndale bought it was bringing in rent of £15,481 a year from 112 tenants.
Most of the offices were on six-month tenancies and the shops were on leases which
were due to expire between 1955 and 1960.
And so began Swan Arcade’s long wait on the property world’s equivalent
of Death Row. It was six years before the announcement came. On October 13, 1960, the Arndale Property Trust declared that
the arcade was to be pulled down and rebuilt “to fit in with Bradford’s central redevelopment”.
Demolition would start when tenancy agreements ended in early 1962 and it was hoped
that the building of what was to become Arndale House would start in May of that year.
Swan Arcade’s wind-down got underway. In October, 1961, the T&A reported
that “Already the upper floors, until recently a hive of trade and activity, are dusty and silent. The lift no longer
comes when you call.”
In the first days of March, 1962, the last shops closed, the demolition workers
moved in, and Bradford’s only arcade was reduced to rubble, to be “replaced by a more efficient building to marry
with the new city centre.”
from Mike Priestley @ The Bradford Telegraph and Argus