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28 October 2014
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Esholt: A suitable case for treatment!
Hidden History
Take a trip back in time!
In the first of a series in which West Yorkshire people look back at the county's hidden history, we report on research by Bradford College student Breedge Garnett who has been proving the truth of the old Yorkshire saying: "Where there's muck, there's brass!"
Yorkshire Water

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Esholt is said to take its name from the nature which is found in the area: Esche or Ash and Holt or wood: Ash Wood.

The Esholt estate is home to the Esholt Sprint, a timed motorcycle sprint up the long avenue on the estate.

From 1976 to 1996, Esholt was used for the location of Beckindale.
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Where there's people there's sewage, and Bradford was no exception, but muck was eventually to provide the city's council with some surprising by-products and a very healthy profit.

The city's population grew from 13,500 in 1801 to over 103,000 by 1851. Immigrants were attracted to Bradford by the expanding textile industry but economic prosperity brought its own problems.

black and white print of Bradford Canal Basin
Bradford Canal Basin in Victorian times
People, particularly in the poorer districts, lived nowhere near as long as we do today. There was little or no control over what could be built and no public provision of sewerage or piped, clean water. Consequently infant mortality rates were incredibly high - one in five children could not expect to live beyond their first birthday.

Diseases such as typhus, scarlet fever and smallpox were endemic. Water-borne infections such as typhoid and cholera also claimed lives.

The main source of the problem was the absence of a decent drainage system. Most human waste, as well as that from the booming mills, was dumped into Bradford Beck where it drained into the canal basin, and ultimately the River Aire.



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