A national collection of 377 images that tell the stories behind the shopfronts on the English high street.
People across Bradford shared hundreds of images on Instagram in response to an open call by Impressions Gallery for photographs telling the stories behind Bradford’s shopfronts. Some of these photographs were chosen for display across the city centre in July 2023 and entered into the Historic England Archive.
Picturing Bradford collection
The selected Bradford photographs have entered the Historic England Archive, the nation’s archive for England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history, as part of the new Picturing High Streets national photography collection.
The photographs celebrate high street heroes, bring new meaning to familiar scenes and invite people to consider the value and role of their local high street.
The selected photographs were chosen by a panel of expert judges including:
- Anne McNeill, Director, Impressions Gallery
- Ian Beesley, Social documentary photographer
- Phill Hargreaves, Head of Creative Programmes, Bradford Council
- Raquel Villar-Pérez, Curator, Impressions Gallery
- Shanaz Gulzar, Creative Director, Bradford 2025
- Tamsin Silvey, Cultural Programme Curator, Historic England
The judges have shared their thoughts on how these images celebrate Bradford, from high street heroes to favourite hang outs and meeting places.
I love this photograph for capturing how inviting the shop owner, Hannah, and her vintage goods are. Even from the corner of Mean Old Scene captured by photographer Elaine Taylor, I know that a happy time could be spent browsing through the rails and shelves of this independent high street gem.
“I like the atmosphere evoked by this image, the wistfulness of a damp winter’s evening is countered by the warm, bright inviting interior of the shop. The epitome of the corner shop so important to the local community. The shop shining like a beacon through the dark night with the poster of Muhammad Ali in its window is a great metaphor for the resilience and fortitude of many small shop keepers who fight against the demise of the local high street, competing against online shopping, out-of-town retail parks and, of course, the weather.
More selected highlights
Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.