April 16, 2018 Bradford Civic Society

The changing face of Forster Square – but what’s next?

The Forster Square are of central Bradford has seen significant changes to its built environs over the last 100 years, and is set to change beyond recognition once again. A once vast public square, with adjoining large railway terminus, has gradually been reduced to a much smaller pedestrian space with the railway platforms truncated some half a mile away from the city centre.

Thanks to the Britain from Above photographic archive, we can take a look at Forster Square, the railway station, and its environs from a period stretching from 1928 to the early 1950s.

The images are of particular interest to Bradford Civic Society, as there are currently advanced plans to redevelop Forster Square railway station to provide a new building and improved passenger facilities. Perhaps more significantly, updated plans for the adjoining former Royal Mail site – which fronts immediately onto Lower Kirkgate – are also expected to be announced soon. Under the current proposals, site owners British Land have gained planning permission to create a predominately leisure-focussed development with a significant amount of surface car parking. The proposed building faces away from the traditional Forster Square area.

1928

1937

1952

1953

For comparison, here’s the general area in 2017, courtesy of Google Maps:

All the above images, with the exception of the Google map image, are copyright of Historic England and have been downloaded, with permission for blogging use, from the Britain from Above online archive.