Who were the hangmen, and what does it take to be an instrument of death? This dual book launch and tour is a unique opportunity to find out, as you immerse yourself in the city’s gruesome past. First, join Allan Cox to mark the launch of his book ‘Hangmen Associated with Bradford and Other Matters Related to Capital Punishment’, a history of Bradford’s most notorious public executioners. He’ll talk about executioners from James Berry in the 19th century to Albert Pierpoint, one of the country’s last official hangmen.
Afterwards, join museum curator Martin Baines as he leads you into the original Victorian cells and court (located in the historic City Hall). Built in 1873, they formed part of the original police station that was operational for a century between 1874 and 1974; sent down from the dock and hemmed in by looming brickwork and pitiless bars, some of these cells’ occupants had only the noose to look forward to. This is your chance to glimpse the place they spent their final days, safe in the knowledge that you’re free to leave at any time.
It’s also an opportunity to consider the themes of crime and punishment, and gain a broader understanding of the history of policing, criminal justice and law enforcement in the city.