Yorkshire nostalgia: Churchill heaps praise on ‘powerhouse of north’

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On this day in 1945 Winston Churchill visited cheering crowds in Bradford and gave them his traditional Victory ‘V’ sullute.

Mr Churchill praised the industrial might of the north and told them: “You may look forward to moving slowly and uninterrupedly into the broader fields of life.

He heaped praise upon the city and the north of England in general and toyed with the crowd.

He said: “I hope you will excuse me if I put my hat on. I do not want to catch a cold from such a warm welcome.

“I always have had a great interest in Bradford. My father... in the closing years of his life... made many speeches here. I have been here before during the war and you must admit that things look a little better now than they did.

“When we look back over the course of the war we see this remarkable fact, that the British nation is the only great unbroken power that declared war on Germany and went into the war of its own free will for the sake of honour and without being attacked.

“I think looking back on it you will see that was the right course of action for our Government to take. We had promised our word to Poland... and when Hitler attacked them, although we were not as well armed as we ought to have been - in fact, we were very poorly armed, except in the air and on the water - we immediately put ourselves on the side of total war.

“For eight months nothing much happened but in the spring of 1940 Hitler huled his whole strength on France, Belgium and Holland and very terrible disasters occurred.

“When France was beaten to her knees - beaten down so that she could no longer offer any resistance -0 what did we do? All over the world everyone was expecting us to give in. But not in England. There was no thought of giving in here.”

Churchill added Hitler’s mistake was to attack Russia in 1941. He also outlined plans to build more houses.