The Ernest Bradbury archive

Scope and Content

The archive mainly comprises a large number of newspaper cuttings of articles on music written by Ernest Bradbury, most usually published in the Yorkshire Post. There are also other items: letters, concert programmes, festival brochures, and material for lectures given by Bradbury. A substantial part of the archive consists of other writers' works (mainly cuttings).

Administrative / Biographical History

Ernest Bradbury was born in Leeds on 3 March 1919. Having played the piano and organ since he was a boy, he studied composition privately under Sir Edward Bairstow, the organist and choirmaster at York Minster, and wrote a number of songs, some of which were broadcast on the BBC. During the Second World War, as a pacifist, he worked as a forester and with Jewish refugees. In his early twenties he started his long association with the Yorkshire Post, initially as a freelance contributor. In 1947 Bradbury joined the staff as the paper's music critic. During his long career Bradbury sometimes wrote for other newspapers or magazines, like Music and Musicians, Musical Times, and the Radio Times. He was a champion of the composers Peter Warlock and Edmund Rubbra. Ernest Bradbury's work includes introductions to concert programmes and articles on subjects other than music, notably art and drama. He also wrote broadcasts for BBC music programmes, and, whilst working on the Yorkshire Post, covered music in London and numerous British and International music festivals. In 1966 Bradbury was awarded the Hannen Swaffer Award for his consistently high standards of music criticism. In 1984 he retired, but continued to write occasional articles on music. During his career and also after his retirement he lectured in the extra-mural departments of Leeds and Bradford Universities. In 1977 he became a deacon at Bradford Cathedral. Ernest Bradbury died on 18 November 1994.


The items are arranged in chronological order, year by year. For every year Ernest Bradbury's cuttings on music are separated from cuttings on other subjects and from copies of other writers' works. Ernest Bradbury's cuttings on music were dated and indexed by his widow Susan Bradbury, who also provided a guide and a detailed index for every year; these guides and indexes now form part of Handlist 133. The cuttings on subjects other than music and relating to other writers' works are only dated, and not indexed. In addition to the year-by-year folders there are other folders with items covering several years; this material is sometimes dated only by year.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is unrestricted

Acquisition Information

Gift of Susan Bradbury, second wife of Ernest Bradbury, during the 1990s


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 133

Additional Information

Obituaries of Ernest Bradbury from The Times and the Yorkshire Post can be found in the folder relating to the year 1994.

Corporate Names