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Rachel Goulcher

Rachel Goulcher gives her experiences of living in Bradford

How did you come to Bradford and why Bradford?

I ended up in Bradford because I had a friend who lived in Bradford and as a teenager I used to come over and visit her, and one day I met a man who became my boyfriend and so I tried to get a teaching job in Bradford, when I trained as a teacher and I moved to Bradford in1981 as a teacher.

Has the Jewish community changed a lot since you came to Bradford?

From what I know of the Jewish community in Bradford, which isn't a lot, I feel there are less Jewish people in Bradford. I have been to events at the synagogue in Bradford that relatives have organised, and in Shipley; but I don't know many other Jewish people and don't really feel part of a community here.

Tell me about your family background.

My mother's parents came over at the turn of the century from Poland and Lithuania, and settled in the north east of England and then eventually they moved to Leeds; so my mother was brought up in Leeds, so I have a lot of relatives in Leeds still. My own family I have a daughter who is 18 and a son who is 21, and I am married.

What are the big differences between Bradford twenty years ago, and Bradford now?

Bradford twenty years ago was a quieter place and I feel that it is very run down now and there are a lot of social problems and economic problems and issues and I didn't feel that was so much the case twenty years ago; and I think the people who live in Bradford now are more divers, and there are more diverse cultures and that is continuing to grow.

How do you find living in Bradford?

I don't like Bradford itself as a place to live in - I like the outskirts, I like the surrounds, I like the countryside. There are some things that I like about Bradford; I like it visually, I like the fact that it is in a valley and there are some beautiful places; but actually socially and in terms of culture I don't like living in Bradford very much.

Do you feel that the Bradford Jewish community is a close community?

I think it is close out of necessity, because I think people have moved away from Bradford and those people who are left in the area, in the extended area, including Halifax, Ellend and outlying districts, have had to keep in touch with each other and I have invites and I have correspondence quite regularly from a group which is lovely and even if I don't go to things it is just nice to know that that community is there and that people are wanting to keep in touch and keep it going.


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