Bishop Blaise’s Long Woolly Fringe Festival

31 Jan

Happy Christmas

17 Dec

I have done a podcast of the poem but don’t know were it is. So below is the text of this year’s card.

The December hard spend

Can chill our hearts 

then fog the mind

Can seem like just a duty

That leaves us powerless and blind

Leaves us forgetting what love has meant

So sharpens the winter of our discontent

So let’s resolve to mend

And with loving parts

switch on the kind

So make up the beauty

Of what fools have spent

And use the power

That love has sent.

And may that power

Be what you find.

Happy Christmas. This year’s electricity pylon was going to be multi-layered, but ended up being glue & glitter on the glass of a picture frame. The foreground is a bit of wool pad. The hill is a paper bag, and the background is a black rag glued to the backing, with a star shaped hole cut in it, with a torch behind.I started the poem on the way to Keighley(pronounced Keef-ley) to see A Bunch of Amateurs, a film you must see. Glyn Watkins 8th Dec. 2022.

Stop Press: 2 Priestley Birthday Events

29 Aug
Pie & Priestley Poster

Bradford Woolly Heritage CIC presents

Events celebrating Bradford’s best writer

Pie & Priestley Show

An entertaining, illustrated show about Priestley and a pie that defied Hitler.

Just £10 inc. meat & potato (or veggie) pie & peas & 1st drink.

Jacobs Well BD1 5RL. 12.00 SUN 12TH Sept.

Priestley Points Walk

Celebrate Priestley’s birthday with a guided walk around central Bradford, with readings.

£7 inc. any Jacobs Well made pie & peas at end.

Meet at Priestley’s statue by Science_ Media Museum.

14.00 Mon 13th Sept

Both events, & pies, just £15!

Tickets from Jacobs Well or eventbrite (fee).

Info or 01274395628

Wool Exchange Birthday Walk extras.

9 Aug

The building was designed by Bradford architects Lockwood and Mawson The foundation stone was laid 9th August 1864 by Lord Palmerston

Prime Minister Lord Palmerston laying the foundation stone of Bradford’s Wool Exchange on 9th August 1864. There was a ‘silent protest’ by Bradford’s workers (not shown)
Bradford Wool Exchange’s foundation stone marker in Pizza Pieces.

The Building opened in 1867 and was, literally, the centre of the wool’s unspun wool trade. Everything from raw, unsorted, fleeces to washed, combed and carded, and dyed wool fibre was bought and sold here.

The statues at the clock tower entrance are by James Tolmie. He has no Wiki, and died before the Wool Exchange was opened. The statues are of Bishop Blaise Patron Saint of wool combers, and Edward III a great supporter of England’s wool trade (which paid for him to spend his life winning battles, and even with wool money he bankrupted his own county. I am not a fan).

The rest of the outside busts of explores and famous men are by the Leeds firm of Mawer and Ingle I have only just discovered that, and their Wiki is making me wildly excited! Not just because one of the sculptures and business parterres was a woman.

The busts are:

Bank St

Christopher Columbus 1451-1506

Francis Drake 1540-1596

Walter Raleigh 1552-1618

George Anson 1697-1762

James Cook 1728-1865

Market St.

William Ewart Gladstone 1809-1898

Samual Cunliffe Lister 1815-1906

Richard Arkwight 1732-1792

James Watt 1736-1819

Robert Stephenson 1803-1859

Titus Salt 1803-1876

Richard Cobden 1804-1865. Also statue inside by Timothy Butler, unveiled 25 July 1877.

Finally I have 2 picture of the roof of the Wool Exchange. Before Waterstones put in the new entrance and glass wool the inside was dark and gloomy. Now you can see the shields of Yorkshire wool towns, and see that some of them are rubbish. The theory is that nobody bothered that they were rubbish, because nobody could see them.

Roof of Bradford’s Wool Exchange. Spot the shields.
Bradford’s shield in the Wool Exhange’s roof. This is quite good. You can see the boar’s well and the 3 horns the slayer of the boar had to sound when his Lord of the Manor visited the land given as a reward.

Bradford Wool Exchange’s Birthday Walks 9th August

6 Aug
Bradford Wool Exchange’s Birthday Walks.

Mon 9th Aug. 10.30 & 14.30.

Wool Exchange clock tower on Market Street.

Glyn Watkins will be spinning yarns on the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone.

A walk of less than 30 mins. A collection will be made. Please keep a safe enough distance.

The walk may be filmed.

Bradford Woolly Heritage CIC


The Story of the walk.

The Wool Exchange, on Market Street, was once the centre of the whole world’s wool trade: and while new businesses have given it new life; what it did for wool is a fading memory. Poet and showman Glyn Watkins, of Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company, is determined to re-spin the yarns of the building’s great wool days, on the anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone, on 9th August 1864, by the then Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. 

Glyn will be walking around the building and telling stories while dressed as Bishop Blaise, Patron Saint of the wool trade; who’s statue stands by the clock tower entrance. As he explains:

“Bradford used to have a massive celebration of Bishop Blaise’s day in February up until 1825, and we are reviving it. The Wool Exchange has some magnificent stone carvings and the Blaise statue is a great reminder of a once great occasion we can reweave. Last August 9th I filmed a live to Facebook walk because of Covid19. I told some of the many great stories of the building, people, trade when the Wool Exchange once wove the world together with wool. It got a good response so I am repeating it for anyone who’d like to walk around with me.”

Glyn will be doing a walk at 10.30 am  and 2.30 pm. Starting at the clock tower and taking less than 30 minutes. People are asked to keep a safe enough distance. He will repeat a walk if too many people want to join. A collection will be taken. 

Annual Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship

30 Jul

Glyn Watkins presents the Annual County Hat Throwing Championship.

All welcome. Hats Provided. Certificates for accurate hatting.

Entry by donation. Any profit shared between Calderdale Industrial Museum & Bradford Woolly Heritage community Interest Company.

Sunday 1st August, 12.00 – 15.00. Piece Hall, Halifax.

See @hatthrowing on instagram.

I’m on BBC Radio WM 11.10 11/06/2021

11 Jun

I am being interviewed by Caroline Martin about red hair

My Wayne Jacobs Little Red Book is available on eBay

Happy Corvid 20 Christmas

24 Dec

Happy Christmas. As you can see from the above I filled to get Lottery funding from the Arts Council but Woolly Blaise 21 will still happen, but on a much smaller scale. Below is the original images of the picture and poem just after I finished them on 8th December.

Pie & Priestley

7 Sep

Never mind the Meat and Potato Pie that defied Hitler – here is the show that defied Covid. 

We are  very pleased to announce that Glyn’s one man show based on the life and work of JB Priestley will be going ahead on Sunday 13 September – An important day as it is both Glyn and JB Priestley’s birthday. 

The show, which Glyn has been producing for over 20 years, features illustrated readings of Priestley works and the story of one of Bradford’s most famous sons, and one of the most successful actors and playwrights of the 20th Century’s; and is built around the story of a Bradford pie shop that survived the Blitz; that Priestley made world famous in a wartime broadcast 

The ticket price includes a pint or a softie and a Meat and Potato Pie or vegetarian option of a Butter Pie and tickets are available direct from Jacobs Well. 

Tickets are limited to ensure social distancing so please book in advance. 

It all starts at Midday and costs £7 direct  or £8.14 online.

In the event that live performances are once again suspended Glyn and Dan are filming the show and we will have that ready to go instead, it will be held outside if the weather’s fine. 

Date: Sunday 13 September 

Time: 12 Noon

Place: Jacobs Well Pub   14 Kent Street, BD1 5RL Bradford 

Tickets:  £7

Pie & Priestley 2020. 13th Sept. Jacobs Well.12.00-14.00,

26 Aug

My 60th birthday, and what would have been J.B.Priestley’s 126th Birthday. My show, pie, peas, pint for £7!!

Check Bradford Woolly Heritage show news