Friday, 31 August 2012

JB Priestley - Bradford

John Boynton Priestley, OM (13 September 1894 – 14 August 1984), known as J. B. Priestley, was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster. He published 26 novels, notably The Good Companions (1929), as well as numerous dramas such as An Inspector Calls (1945). His output included literary and social criticism.

Priestley was born at 34 Mannheim Road, Manningham, which he described as an "ultra-respectable" suburb of Bradford. His father was a headmaster. His mother died when he was just two years old and his father remarried four years later. Priestley was educated at Belle Vue Grammar School, which he left at sixteen to work as a junior clerk at Helm & Co., a wool firm in the Swan Arcade. During his years at Helm & Co. (1910–1914), he started writing at night and had articles published in local and London newspapers. He was to draw on memories of Bradford in many of the works he wrote after he had moved south, including Bright Day and When We Are Married. As an old man he deplored the destruction by developers of Victorian buildings in Bradford such as the Swan Arcade, where he had his first job.
Priestley served during the First World War in the 10th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington's Regiment. He was wounded in 1916 by mortar fire. In his autobiography, Margin Released he is fiercely critical of the British Army and in particular of the officer class

Situated on Princes Way outside the National Media Museum



Sculptor - Ian Judd
Unveiled by Jacquetta Hawkes (his widow) on 31st October 1986
The bronze figure is mounted on a granite plinth with a bronze plaque that contains a quation from his book Bright Day. This describes a fictional city called "Bruddersford" which was based on Bradford

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