Helen Bradley

Helen Bradley

Helen Layfield

(1900-11-20)20 November 1900
Died 19 July 1979(1979-07-19) (aged 78)
Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
Nationality British
Known for Painting
Awards MBE

Helen Layfield Bradley MBE (20 November 1900 â€“ 19 July 1979) was an English artist born in Lees, Lancashire, England. Her paintings, mostly in oils, typically depict life in Lancashire in the Edwardian era.


She was born Helen Layfield[1] at 58 High Street, Lees, a village on the outskirts of Oldham. She began to paint when she was in her sixties. In the 1960s she met fellow painter L. S. Lowry who encouraged her in the creation of a narrative style based on her own childhood memories. From 1965 she became as popular in the United States as in the United Kingdom and her paintings now sell at auction for tens of thousands of pounds.

In 1971 Jonathan Cape published the first of four books And Miss Carter Wore Pink, which was an instant success. Editions were then published in German, French, Dutch and Japanese, and a special edition produced for the US. The series, illustrated with Bradley's naive paintings, topped the bestseller lists in the early 1970s. Bradley appeared on a number of television chat shows of the 1970s, including Pebble Mill at One and the Russell Harty Show. She was also a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. The BBC and the NBC network made documentaries about her life and the Northern Ballet adapted her work for the stage.

She died on 19 July 1979, shortly before she was due to be honoured with an MBE. Works by Bradley can be seen at Gallery Oldham.[2][3]

In May 2013 Bradley's Going for a Walk Before Bedtime sold at auction, at Bonhams of London, for £37,250.[4]


  1. ^ Whittle, Stephen, "Bradley [née Layfield], Helen (1900–1979), painter and writer Archived 2015-12-27 at the Wayback Machine", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  2. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-21393890
  3. ^ https://www.galleryoldham.org.uk/the-map-in-the-newsagents/
  4. ^ "Bonhams : Helen Bradley (British, 1900–1979) Going for a Walk Before Bedtime 40.6 x 50.8 cm. (16 x 20 in.)". Retrieved 13 September 2014.

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