After busy careers dedicated to health and education, Councillor John and Jean Godward were installed as Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford in May 2009. Both are former students of Bradford College.
John explained, "I left school at fifteen and worked for nine months as a clerk for textile firm Rob't Jowitt & Sons. I first came to College in the early 1960s when I was sixteen to do my 'O' Levels. The Westbrook Building was not built then and so students were scattered all over Bradford and I never went to the main Technical College (Old) Building. My classes were mostly held at Drewton Road, at the top end of where Hamme Strasse is now, in what became Rosemount and some premises were up Manchester Road."
John returned to office work, this time for the butchers Dewhirst Ltd, where armed with his O Levels, he progressed to becoming Chief Clerk by the age of twenty-one. He then worked for the Church of England Children's Society as Organising Secretary from 1967 to 70, then the British Leprosy Association as Education Officer for the North of England.
"I left to go to Bradford College from 1975 to 1978. I was twenty-nine by this time and much more interested in learning then and made the best of it. I did the two year Dip HE and then spent an additional year to top up to the new Organisational Studies degree. I was one of only four students in the first cohort of the degree. I remember the others were Cathy Page, Katherine Zemroch and Peter Carr. My classes were all held at Margaret McMillan where most of the intake comprised mature students. This was a culture shock for staff that had been used to eighteen year olds. Mature students would question why and challenge them. Some lecturers welcomed it and found it stimulating but the 'old school' didn't like it all. Students like me had been in jobs where we had to be efficient and would not tolerate any lecturers being slow off the mark. This was a time of great change in education.
The Principal, Paul Robinson was very dynamic and introduced a system of matrix management which meant that lecturers never really knew where they were, as they were charging around from place to place. Robinson was very pro students and declared they were customers and staff were there to provide a service. These ideas had not been heard before. Under Robinson's regime students could smoke in lecturers but they had to bring their own ashtray! Staff complained about this and so Robinson called a meeting of students and staff in Westbrook Hall, where he announced that he was entirely independent and would go with the vote. It was difficult to see him as he addressed the meeting due to all the smoke from his pipe! Robinson was a personal friend of Harold Wilson and modelled himself on him. Needless to say, it was decided that you could still smoke in lectures.
CNAA held a degree ceremony every year to include a representative from each institution. I remember sitting at my desk at work when Principal Robinson rang and said he would like me to represent the College at the CNAA degree ceremony in Cardiff. So I had my hand shaken by Prince Charles when received my degree."
After attaining his degree John returned to work for the British Leprosy Association before joining Airedale Community Health Council, where he became Chief Officer until he retired in 2003. He was first elected as a Labour Councillor for Bradford in 1980, and in years of dedicated civic service he has taken on responsibilities relating to health and education, including serving as Chair of Social Services, Chair of the Schools (Special) Sub-Committee and Member of the Health Improvement Committee. John is currently the longest serving member of the Council.
Jean also studied at Bradford College. "I had a Teaching Certificate from Leeds Polytechnic and trained for work in special schools. I worked at Roundthorn School with children with very profound learning difficulties and groups of autistic children. My mother had done a teaching certificate and a course for remedial teaching at Margaret McMillan in the early 1960s, so I was following in her footsteps when I came to McMillan from 1977 to 1980 to study for the B. Ed over three years part-time. Classes were held from 5pm until 9pm two nights per week. The degree was CNAA validated and I remember one of the lecturers said that it was set at a higher standard than most universities. It was really rigorous as when we changed to CNAA from being validated by Leeds University our marks were adjusted upwards. I enjoyed meeting people from other schools on the B.Ed course but we never socialised because we were all so worn out by the heavy demands of work and studying.
I came back to evening classes from 1983 to 1985 to take the Diploma in Professional Studies in Education (Special) which was not as heavy going. I later enrolled on the MA in Education but left before the dissertation stage, so only qualified for Post Graduate Diploma in Education, as I had just become headteacher at Wedgewood in 1993 and I needed to devote all my time to my new responsibilities at work. All my evenings at Bradford College paid off as I would never have become a headteacher if I had only had my Cert. Ed. By the 1980s teachers had to have more academic qualifications."