Inauguration of the restoration of Ernle Bradford’s marble plaque in Kalkara

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On Sunday 7th November, after thirty five years since the death of the writer and historian Ernle Bradford, Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara officially inaugurated the restoration of the commemorative marble plaque as a remembrance of this author who lived in Kalkara. During the last months, Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara expressed the urgent need to restore this marble plaque which due to time and elements ended up in a very bad state, such that the engraved words were unreadable. After the authorization from the owner of the house, the Association submitted an official request to the Kottonera Foundation for restoration works. The Hon. Glenn Bedingfield, Chairman of the same Foundation, accepted this request and the restoration works started shortly after by the Restoration Directorate. The restoration has been completed in the last days, and the marble plaque has returned back to its former glory. In the meantime, on a proposal from the same Association and works carried out by the Kalkara Local Council in conjunction with the Street Naming Committee, as of this year, the alley that leads to this house was changed to Sqaq (alley) Ernle Bradford.

Chairman of Cottonera Foundation, the Hon. Glenn Bedingfield

Ernle Dusgate Selby Bradford, better known as Ernle Bradford, was born on the 11th of January 1922 in Norfolk, England. His father was Jocelyn Bradford and his mother Ada Louise. He is most famous as a British historian regarding the Mediterranean and naval topics. He received his education in Uppingham school in Rutland while from 1940 he started serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and ended this career as a Lieutenant on a destroyer. During this war he fell in love with Malta when he spent some of his time on the island. In 1946 he became the founding editor of the Antique Dealer and Collectors’ Guide. For thirty years he sailed around the Mediterranean on yachts, and because of this several of his books were inspired and written during these voyages. He also managed to sail the Atlantic Ocean three times on sailing boats. One of his books The Journeying Moon describes his voyages and adventures ending up with the selling of his boat Mischief to Bill Tilman.

Bradford lived a large number of years in Kalkara and besides working as a broadcaster for BBC and editor of magazines, he published several books. In his Kalkara residence, he wrote and published the following books: Great Siege of Malta 1565 (1961), The Touchstone (1962), The Sultan’s Admiral (1969), Antique Furniture (1970), Cleopatra (1971), Gibraltar (1971), The Mediterranean (1971), The Shield and the Sword Knights of Malta (1973), Christopher Columbus (1973), The Sword and the Scimitar-Crusades (1974), Paul the Traveller (1975) and The Essential Hero: Nelson (1977). He died in Kalkara on the 8th of May 1986. During the same year, on the 3rd of September, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Culture, Dr. Alex Sciberras Trigona, inaugurated a commemorative plaque affixed on the facade of the house where he lived in his remembrance erected by Kenneth Roger Rooney.

Two of Ernle Bradford’s books written while living in Kalkara

During the inauguration organised by Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara, this plaque was re-inaugurated by the Hon. Glenn Bedingfield, Chairman of the Cottonera Foundation. In his speech he stressed the need for the upkeep of our local heritage within every locality while also reminded the attendees regarding the much-awaited refurbishing project currently underway along the Kalkara promenade. During the same activity, the Kalkara Mayor Wayne Aquilina among others, mentioned the need to commemorate every person that contributed for the benefit of the Kalkara community. Also taking part were the author Charles Flores, the poet Omar Seguna and the educator Rosanne Talbot who gave remembrance to this author through his writings and even personal anecdotes.