Pie Night a Steaming Success.

13 Oct
An event on Wednesday at Napoleons Casino that celebrated J.B.Priestley’s birthday and a Bradford pie that defied Hitler has been declared a steaming success.
The evening consisted of readings of Priestley works by Glyn Watkins, including a wartime broadcast that told of Priestley coming back to Bradford after it had been bombed in 1940. He had been told a famous pie shop that had a massive steaming pie in its window had been destroyed, but to his delight the pie was still there:
“…steaming away like mad. Every puff and jet of steam, defied Hitler, Goering and the whole gang of them. It was glorious.”
The celebration also included meat and potato pie and peas, a brass quintet organised by Jim Shepherd, that played Yorkshire tunes that had the audience singing along.
Glyn was full of praise afterwards:
“The seemed to be close to a 100 people there. Some knew more about Priestley than I did; and some just came to eat pie and didn’t even know there was a show on, but everyone enjoyed it.”
The show ended with a set of contrasting Priestley pieces including a harrowing reading from English Journey about a reunion dinner for the survivors of an Army battalion he had joined in the first week of World War One. This was followed by Samantha Wass getting up from the audience, walking on stage, and started the part of Annie Parker with Glyn as Albert, the man see thought she had married 25 years before, only to discover the parson was not qualified. The scene is from  When We Are Married, and had the audience in stitches.

The Sparkling Brass Quintet.

15 Sep

Sam Lovett and Jim Shepherd on cornets; Helen Varley on tenor horn; Anna behind the tuba; and Ian Clough trombone. A delight to work with and hear. They had the audience singing along to Ilkley Moor Baht’at, with a little help from me. Photo by Jax Griffin.



Celebrate J.B.Priestley’s birthday tonight at Napoleons 01274391820. Pie, bucks fizz, Priestley readings, brass band, free £5 bet, all for just £10! Jax Griffin photo

13 Sep

Priestley17 JaxGriffin

Little Pie and Priestley gather steam.

3 Sep

Despite the disappointment of having to cancel the vintage bus tour of J.B.Priestley’s Bradford, the other parts of the Festival seem to be coming together.

A reminder that the J.B.Priestley Pie and Proud of Bradford show is on Wednesday 13th Sept. at 19.30.

Glass of bucks fizz (to celebrate Priestley’s birthday, and mine), meat and potato pie and peas (vegetarian option available if booked); a bit of a brass band; Priestley readings performed with projected images (including Samantha Wass as Annie Parker of When We Are Married), and a free £5 bet; all for just £10!

Booking essential. You can do it by calling in at Napoleons, or by calling them on:


Priestley’s Old Ale pump clip.

3 Sep

Designed by Yorkshire artist and film-maker Susannah Gent, featuring a drawling by Glyn Watkins of the J.B.Priestley statue outside the National Science+ Media Museum, one of his pies, and the following quote about Yorkshire from Priestley’s The Good Companions:

The people here work – the women never stop – and go to football matches, drink old beer (very good stuff), listen to Handel’s Messiah about twice a week, and make you eat cheese with cake!

Priestley's Old Ale pumpclipSM


I help launch ‘Salamander Brewery’s’ Old Priestley’s Ale. Sold out in less than 3 hours!

1 Sep


Lost City screening will run as planned on the 17th Sept. The vintage bus will not.

31 Aug

Ticket sales for the bus tour have been slower than a steam tram going up Church Bank on icy rails. Seeing I would be paying for any shortfall I took the decision today to cancel early.

The documentary about Priestley coming back to Bradford will be screened at Pictureville, and I will offer to take the few that have bought tickets for the bus trip to the places seen in the film, by service bus; but not on the 17th.