The Buried Beck. What Lies Beneath.

To raise the awareness of the Beck we are going to trace its city path with a series of individually designed commercially sponsored plaques.


City Centre Map
City Centre Map


From the Odeon, past City Park, Tyrell Street, Westfield and Forster Square, the Beck has been confined to an underground culvert. Whilst the engineering is confident, and spectacular, it does mean that for the most important part of its journey the Beck is out of sight, and unfortunately out of mind. Many residents and visitors are not even aware that Bradford was built on a river.

This is a great shame because Bradford Beck carries with it all of Bradford’s heritage. From the initial settlement on its broad ford located where the new Westcliffe development is taking place, through the industrial revolution when ‘t’mucky beck’ had the unenviable reputation as the most polluted waterway in Britain, to the present day, when, like Bradford, it is slowly regenerating and shaking off its old industrial past and facing a brighter future.

The possibility of tracing the city centre route of the Beck has been discussed with the Council who are very keen to see it go ahead. All we need now is the money. Fortunately this has started to come in. We already have the cheque for one plaque and a lot of interest being shown in others.

Plaque Design
Plaque Design

Each plaque will be unique, and costs £1000, or £800 for a tax-paying individual. They can be individually or jointly sponsored and are available on a first come, first served, basis. Company logos and individual messages may be attached to the plaques.

There will be no recurring maintenance expenses. The plaques will be built to withstand the pedestrian traffic of the city centre for decades to come. Accompanying the plaques will be information boards and QR access to a specially designed website.

To encourage the exploration of the trail from beginning to end each plaque will carry sequentially a line from a specially commissioned poem. This has been written by FOBB’s own talented Stuart Jenkinson who also did the preliminary design for our plaques.


Bradford’s Buried Beck © Stuart Jenkinson 2014


Beneath these streets. A hidden world.


A beck held captive by a city.


Echoes of history unseen.


Bradford Beck. Buried alive.


Does a bogeyman live down here?


Flowing water lost from view.


I am older than you will ever be.


Bradford’s underground. Hidden from view.


Flowing water beneath your feet.


Beneath this pavement is living water.


Timeless. Tunnels. Dark. Unchanging.


Ancient stones that know our past.


Down here, no wind, no rain, no sun.


Do you know the story of this place.


To the sea. To the sea.

The whole project and final design of the plaques will be under the guidance of Artworks, Bradford’s own award-winning public art charity who have many years experience in delivering this kind of community based art.

Coverage of events associated with the regeneration of the Beck have so far been extensive and enthusiastic. Following discussions with the Council, the T&A, and Visit Bradford it is confidently expected that the opening of the city centre trail will attract strong regional publicity.

So if you feel like sponsoring a plaque, or know of a company or organisation who might be interested, please get in touch via the form below and we’ll get right back to you.