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Idle, West Yorkshire

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Idle, West Yorkshire

Idle

Highfield Road, Idle
Idle is located in West Yorkshire
Idle
Idle
 Idle shown within West Yorkshire
OS grid reference
Metropolitan borough City of Bradford
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BRADFORD
Postcode district BD10
Dialling code 01274
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire

The village of Idle and its outskirts make up a mainly residential suburban area in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, in England. The area is loosely bordered by the areas of Eccleshill, Wrose, Thackley, Apperley Bridge, and Greengates, in the north east of the city.

History

The township of Idle contained the village of Windhill and hamlets of Thackley, Thorpe-Green, Parkhill, Cross-Keys, Buckmill, and Wrose.[1]

In 1662 a group of people who would not conform to the Church of England were ejected from the Parish Church and went to worship in secret in Mrs Ledgard's barn. This group eventually founded Upper Chapel Congregational Church in Westfield Lane, and its first building was erected in 1717. This church became the United Reformed Church in 1972. In the 18th and 19th centuries this group of people were host to the Idle Academy which trained ministers for Congregational (Independent) churches. This academy eventually amalgamated with the Airedale Academy in Emm Lane, Bradford but the building still remains. The present church was built in 1952 with furniture by the mouseman.

Idle was served at different periods by two railway stations firstly the Idle (L&BR) railway station in Thackley on the Leeds and Bradford line during 1847-48, and then the Idle railway station in central Idle on the Great Northern LaisterdykeShipley line between 1875 and 1968.[2] Idle's workhouse was on Windhill Old Road in Thackley.[3]

Rank Leak Wharfedale had a site on Highfield Road manufacturing Hi-Fi equipment.[6] The Idle Picture Palace (cinema) opened in 1912 located in existing buildings on The Green. Circa 1930 sound was installed and in 1955 a wide screen but it closed in 1959 to reopen as a Bingo hall and the building demolished in 1970/71.[7]

Former landmarks include the Idle branch of the YMCA, situated in a large former Methodist church building on Town Lane, and the old Watmough's Printing Factory, just off High Street.[8] These have both been demolished to make way for new housing developments. There was a Dunnes Stores off Idlecroft but this has closed.[9]

Geography

The borders between the village and its neighbouring areas are not particularly well defined, but there are three distinct areas in the village: the mainly working class area of Thorpe Edge to the south east of the village; the middle class area, centred on the main roads of Highfield Road and Town Lane, west of the village; and the middle class area centred on the main road of Leeds Road, east of the village. To the extreme west of the village, immediately on the border with the area of Wrose, is the mostly rural Idle Moor. This is a particularly hilly area of the village and provides views over the River Aire valley towards Shipley and Baildon.

The village centre consists of a small village green, around which are various shops, banks, pubs and eateries, including most of the village's fast food outlets. In the area leading away from the village centre towards Leeds Road, there is a recreational area including football fields, tennis courts, a bowling green and a children's play area. This is known locally as the Idle Rec.[10] Idle and The Green is a conservation area.[11][12]

Governance

The village of Idle was included in Bradford when it became a city in 1897.[13] Today the village is located in the ward of Idle and Thackley. The village is also located in the newly created parliamentary constituency of Bradford East, and the former constituency of Bradford North.

Landmarks

Leading down to the village from Highfield Road is the main High Street, with businesses and pubs, a doctors' surgery[14][15] and dental practice.

On the High Street is the 'Idle Working Men's Club'. To outsiders this is perhaps the best known feature of the village, as when read out the name erroneously implies that the club provides a place for 'idle' or lazy working men to drink, rather than simply being a working men's club in the village of Idle. The unique name has acquired the club a cult status around the world, with many clamouring for an official 'Idle Working Men's Pass'.[16][17] The membership exceeds 1,000,[18] a large number considering the decline of similar working men's clubs throughout the north of England. There are over a dozen public houses and bars in Idle.[19] The Post Office is in Bradford Road[20][21] and West Yorkshire Police's Eccleshill Police Station is in Idle.[22] On Leeds Road is the Bradford branch of the British Red Cross.[23] Idle's War Memorial in the lytch gate of the Holy Trinity Church in Town Lane memorialises the 215 men who died in both world wars.[24][25]

Many of the houses and buildings in Idle village date back almost a century, and provide a significant remnant of Bradford's expansion during the Industrial Revolution. Idle's listed buildings can be found around Albion Road,[26] Bradford Road,[27] Cross Road,[28] The Green,[29] Greenfield Lane,[30] Highfield Road,[31] High Street,[32] Howgate,[33] Ley Fleaks Road,[34] Town Lane,[35] and Westfield Lane.[36]

Under the western part of Idle runs the Frizinghall to Esholt sewage tunnel. One of the tunnel's ventilation shafts is located at the edge of the Hepworth and Idle Cricket Club's cricket field off Westfield lane. A TV repeater transmitter is located near Idle Hill in Idle Moor.[37]

Churches

On Town Lane is Holy Trinity Parish Church, a large, impressive Victorian church dating from 1830[38][39][40] complete with graveyard and bell tower.[41] Idle Upper Chapel is on Westfield Lane,[42] Idle Baptist Church on Bradford Road.[43]

Behind the Idle Working Men's Club, in Walter Street is the Idle Citadel Salvation Army Worship Hall built in 1900. The Salvation Army came to Idle in 1884 and took residence in the Old Green Mill on the Idle Green. In 1999 a new community hall was built adjoining the main hall and over the site of the old air-raid shelter.[44][45]

Education

Thorpe Primary School

On Leeds Road is Immanuel CE Community College.[46] Idle C.E. Primary School is on Boothroyd Drive,[47] and Thorpe Primary School in Albion Road.[48] The Stage 84 Performing Arts School is located in premises on Town Lane.[49] Blakehill Primary School is in Highfield Road.[50] Idle's branch library is on Albion Road.[51]

Sport

The village is home to several cricket pitches and hosts a number of teams, including Idle C.C.[52] who play in the Bradford Cricket League. The village has no association football team of any real note, however Eccleshill United F.C.'s ground is just outside the village boundaries in Wrose and they play in the NCEL Premier Division.[53]

Culture and events

Musical groups in the area include the Idle and Thackley Operatic Society[54] and the Idle Bell Ringers.[41]

The Idle Beer Festival is held at the Hepworth and Idle Cricket Club.[55]

Notable people

See the category People from Idle.

Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887) engineer and entrepreneur, was educated at William Vint's Academy in Idle.[56] Sir Robert Jennings (1913-2004) ("Robbie") QC, former President of the International Court of Justice and one time Whewell Professor of International Law at Cambridge University, was born and educated in Idle and spent his whole upbringing there until he won the scholarship to Cambridge which set him on his career.[57][58]

English actor Michael Rennie (1909-1971) best known for playing Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still was born in Idle[59] as was Vic Feather, Trades union leader in 1908.[60] Adrian Edmondson comic actor, writer, musician and director, was born in Idle and Hannah Midgley, former Emmerdale actress has lived in Idle for most of her life.[61] Dickie Watmough, former Bradford City, Blackpool and Preston North End footballer was born in Idle and James Hanson, Bradford City footballer, comes from Idle and used to work at the Co-Op.[62] Yorkshire and England cricketer Doug Padgett was born in Idle and played for Idle Cricket Club.[63]

References

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External links

  • Visions of Britain
  • Idle and Thackley at DMOZ
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