Final thoughts

‘I wish I could get other people to realise how everything is interconnected and how important Bradford history is and how it can potentially bring people together. Talking about our heritage is all our shared heritage and if you can only get people engaged with that potentially you can break down barriers.’ Project volunteer

The Worn Stories project has now ended. The project was devised to look at the history of textile repurposing and recycling in the city at a time when there was much debate about the textile and clothing industry and its sustainability. Bradford today has many businesses concerned with recycling and repurposing textiles. The communities that live here also have much to offer in terms of personal experience and skills that can be shared. The project offered volunteers and participants the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and learning. These included training in research skills and oral history interviewing. In community settings around the city creative textile workshops explored traditional textile recycling and reuse techniques. The project also offered opportunities for personal reminiscing and sharing about the value of textiles, their use and disposal, in our everyday lives. An exhibition of community-made textiles, interpretation of our research, photographs and archive objects was shown at Bradford Industrial Museum between November 2018 and March 2019 (see here for another chance to see the exhibition) where a symposium about the themes was delivered. Celebration events took place for the communities involved.

Over 400 local people were directly engaged in the project, attending research training, community-sessions, and celebration events or volunteering, with an additional audience gained through the exhibition, traditional and social media.

A huge thanks to all our project volunteers, participants, community and museum partners and to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting the project.

Our project publication, edited by Claire Wellesley-Smith and Jennie Kiff , co-written with with project volunteers will be available shortly. If you are interested in receiving a PDF copy then please contact



Pop up exhibition

Our exhibition at Bradford Industrial Museum is now over. However, there is another chance to see the work interpreting the heritage we have explored during the Worn Stories project at a pop-up gallery space in central Bradford. The work is now on the fifth floor of West Riding House, Cheapside (opposite the entrance to Forster Square Station). The venue offers amazing views across the city from both sides. The exhibition space is accessible Monday – Friday 9-5. Please ask at the main reception for access.