Paralympic Heritage: Stories from Bradford

In collaboration with Bradford Museums and Galleries and support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund the Paralympic Heritage Stories regional exhibition ran from January to June 2019 in the beautiful setting of Cartwight Hall and the surrounding Lister Park.

From the range of displays, memorabilia and art over 53,000 visitors learnt about local and national Paralympians and their contribution to Paralympic heritage. Visitors found out how it all began with the inspirational story of Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann. Particular events focusing on schools and families celebrated personal achievements and diversity, with 'Have a Go' sports sessions available throughout the duration. Over 70% of visitors who completed our feedback survey felt that the exhibition had changed their perception about disability in a positive way. A testimonial from one of the visitors:

I enjoyed learning how it all began and how we will be carrying forward and for people to see that disabled people can do things to the extreme.

Virtual Tour of the exhibition

Viewing the Virtual Tour

  • For optimal performance of the virtual tour please view in full screen.
  • To view the highlight reel/thumbnails press the arrow in the bottom left hand corner.
  • To view the videos in the hotspots in full screen press the link.

Local stories from Bradford

Vicky Hope-Walker standing next to the Bradford stories exhibition display at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Vicky Hope-Walker, NPHT Project Manager, said of the exhibition: 

Bradford has a strong and interesting disability sports history and this is a wonderful regional celebration of achievement from coaches, to event entertainment and of course the athletes themselves.

We have collected many wonderful stories for the Bradford exhibition from Paralympians, Special Olympians, disability sports coaches, players and volunteers. Below are the links to some of these stories:

Disabled students from Henshaws College, with training from students at the University of Bradford Union, take on their first ever podcast, 'An interview with Special Olympic cyclists, Keira Byland and Ella Curtis'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8ye0w1KLF4&feature=youtu.be

Celebrating Diversity Festival, Thursday 23rd May 2019

School children and teacher exploring the displays at our regional exhibition at Cartwright Hall Disability sport activities in the grounds of Cartwright Hall Mind the Gap drama performance in the grounds of Cartwright Hall Paralympians, Paul Cartwright and Kevan Baker at the exhibition

We had a great day at the Celebrating diversity festival, on Thursday 23rd May 2019, where visitors 'Had a Go' at a disability sport, met members from Mind The Gap, the UK's leading inclusive theatre company and enjoyed many more activities. Thank you to Paralympians, Paul Cartwright and Kevan Baker for their support.

'Incredible Me' Day, Saturday May 11th 2019

Visitors to the Incredible Me day having a go at adaptive cycling in the grounds of Cartwright Hall

Visitors 'having a go' at adaptive cycling

Special Olympians holding a banner at Incredible Me Day at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Special Olympians attending the day

A game of disability snakes and ladders designed by Vickie Orton

Disability snakes and ladders game
by artist, Vickie Orton

The 'Incredible Me' day at Cartwright Hall was a wonderfully busy and fun day filled with sporting activities and crafts. Organised by Tim Curtis with support from Helena and Chris Widdop, Bradford Disability Sports and Leisure coaches, artist Vickie Orton, Hamm students, Outside the Box and all the other volunteers.

People First KC radio, interviews from the day:

Tim Curtis, Event Co-ordinator


Mark Lightowler, Bradford Disability Football Club


Vicky Hope-Walker, CEO National Paralympic Heritage Trust


Vickie Orton, Artist


We'd love to receive your feedback about our Bradford regional exhibition. Please send us your comments by filling in this short questionnaire and emailing it to [email protected]

Please continue to share your stories and follow us on twitter, facebook and Instagram using #paraheritagestories

Partners included:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bradford Museums

Colour logo of the National Lottery Heritage Fund