I was brought up in Girlington and before I could read I learned to navigate the streets by reference to the distinctive mill chimneys. My family had worked in the textile trade for two hundred years and had moved just two streets in the whole of that period. There was so much pride in the mills and in worsted manufacture, people felt part of a much greater whole. Most of my family worked in Manningham Mills and I went to school at Lilycroft across the road. During school holidays, I had dinner with my mother in the canteen there. We thought it would go on for ever, certainly the mills had been designed like palaces and built to last forever.
This book and its accompanying CD is a valuable and potent record of a unique society, with its culture and aspirations (and arrogance) built stone by solid stone. Whether you come from this area or not, this is history in a nutshell. Well done, English Heritage - I look forward to more projects like this. And a little plea: please save our streets, citiscapes just as much as the countryside need people to care about their maintenance.