Just 8 tickets left for Bradford’s Sewage History vintage bus tour! See below for details

22 May

Big Hat and Blaise News Soon!

20 May

Bradford’s Sewage History Vintage Bus Tour. I’ll be doing the commentary.

4 May


A Vintage Bus Tour

Bradford’s Sewage History

Saturday 2nd June.

Ale – Cricket – Food

Sewage Powered Steam Engines

Romantic Settling Beds

Bus will leave The Record Cafe, North Parade, at 12.00., calling at Bradford Industrial Museum, Hepworth & Idle Cricket Club, Esholt Sewage Works, Saltaire Brewery & returning to The Sparrow, North Parade at 17.00.

TICKETS £12.50

Available from The Record Cafe &The Sparrow, North Parade.

Transcript of my interview on the Danny Baker Show, BBC Radio 5.

8 Mar

The interview was on the 24th Feb. and followed on from a caller the previous week, who called to tell how he became the World Hat Throwing Champion; that being heard and passed on by my mate Mike Harrison. I e-mailed the show about the event.

I did not hear anything, so on that Saturday morning was setting off on a walk, a few minutes before 09.00, and literally had my hand on the door handle ready to leave when my mobile rang with an unknown number. It was the Danny Baker show asking if I wanted to be on air.

I took of my rucksack, unzipped my coat, sat down at the computer to blog, and was on air just over a quarter of an hour later with the intro below as the warning. I ummed and arred a lot (but left those out of this transcript), but did not do so bad considering.

I cannot post a direct link because the BBC force you to register to listen. I think you have 2 weeks left to find the show in iPlayer Radio. I am on after 16 minutes.

Peps was his one woman posse. I left out some of their chat that was about the rest of the show.


Danny. Here’s our friend Glyn. Morning Glyn!

Glyn. Good morning Danny.

Danny. Glyn; do you ever sign petitions?

Glyn. Err. If I can’t help it, yes.

Danny. I don’t have many initiatives, but the last one I got enough signatures for, Glyn, was getting postage stamps fruit flavoured with various flavours when you licked them, but then they got rid of licked postage stamps, possibly as a reaction to that. I think Glyn; what’s your local station Glyn? What’s your local main station?

Glyn. Do you mean railway station?

Danny. Yeah

Glyn. Bratfert Interchange, or Bradford Foster Square, we have a choice.

Danny. Well Ian going to ask you to chose one of those, and to suggest (How about this Pepps? I’m not going into politics, but these are the ideas that win) Glyn! We a train arrives at the station, over the loud speakers, instead of fellow going: “Train arriving at…” Music plays. Right? … I live near Blackheath, in South East London.

Glyn. Fine butchers, and public houses!

Danny. There you go! Thank you, You are absolutely right. But as a train comes in and you’re sitting there waiting for it, this plays:


Danny (TALKS OVER THE MUSIC). As it roars into the station. And then they go: “”Train now arriving on platform. And every station should have it’s own music. You could have ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen if you liked…

Even if it was 20 minutes late you’d go “Here it is!” As the driver was waving his hat as he goes past. That is the sort of thing that gets a nation back on it’s feet. Why have you called us? What is the story?

Glyn. Well. Hat throwing is the story.

Danny. Ha-ha! Look at that, we’ve married that up. Tell us why.

Glyn. You had a bloke called Dave on last week, throwing things, and he told a long and through story about going up the hill a man but coming down a world hat throwing champion.

Danny. Yes! He got all mixed up in the World Hat Throwing Championships

Glyn.  He did indeed.

Danny. Well, what, do you want spit in his eye?

Glyn. WellI’m the bloke that invented it. (CRIES OF APPROVAL) I’m the mad hatter, as he claimed. Yes, I invented the Trans National Incorporated Federation of Formally Thrown Hat Associations.

Danny. Ohh. Hang on, hang on! Before you go any further, this needs (PREVIOUS MUSIC PLAYS).

Glyn. And I’m waving!

Danny. Let’s go back here… Why did you feel there was this opening in the sporting market that you needed the – give it it’s full title again.

Glyn. Well that was the International Hat Throwing context run by the Trans National Incorporated Federation of Formally Thrown Hat Associations; or TIFFTHA, as it’s known

Danny. Arrh Very good. And is it in rude health at the moment.

Glyn. Well, I haven’t done it for a couple of years…

Danny. That’s not the spirit!

Glyn. but the wind of publicity is lifting my brim, yer know (LAUGHTER) I feel the hat should be thrown back into the ring, in all it’s glory.

Danny. If only, if only there was a national radio station dedicated to sporting events that didn’t just look at the ripe fruit at the top..

Glyn. Indeed!

Danny. that somehow looked down the tree and said: “You know what? This is the people’s sport. Are you close to reinvigorating it?

Glyn. Yes! I’ve had the idea, and that’s probably close enough. You have the idea; and then you do it; like a dog with a rat.

Danny. You build it and they will come, as they say.

Glyn. Hopefully, yes.

Danny. How many World Hat Throwing Championships have there been?

Glyn. Well I’ve done, I think, 5 or 6. I haven’t claimed them all to be world championships…

Danny. And the furthest a lid has been thrown?

Glyn. It’s not distance you see…

Danny. Isn’t it?

Glyn. Oo no! It’s hat on target…  …What you have to do is throw your hat and if you hit the target, or it hangs on the lamp post, or whatever it is, then your next 2 goes count.

Danny. `Of course James Bond did this when he entered the office every day

Glyn. He did indeed; and at Ilkley we had the zero zero seven, no copyright infringement, throwing the hat across the plunge pool at White Wells in Ilkley and if it fell in the pool it was either lose points or wear a wet hat, and we had a hat stand.

Danny. And you’re given the choice or is it imposed upon you: the wet hat or the loss of points?

Glyn. You’re given the choice.

Danny. Let me just ask Peps. Peps: … loss of points or wet hat?

Peps. Wet hat

Danny. No! Loss of points. Always, always; for once this frivolous contest is over you’ve stuck with a cold for the next two months. Glyn: if people want to get behind you again  and say ‘Let’s go with this.’ Are you willing to stage another world championship?

Glyn. I am indeed, intact I am willing to stage regional heats anywhere that… raises my hat for me.

Danny. …I think the regional heats may depend into It’s A Knockout a little. We’ve got to get everyone from Uruguay

Peps. We’ve got to get Dave to defend his title.

Danny. Well there’s Glyn, and it’s a real thing, and a very erudite man he is as well.

The Pickled Egg film about the last Hat Throwing Championship on Ilkley Moor.

25 Feb

Hat Throwing – praised by Danny Baker 24 Feb. 1st 10 mins. Interviews me.

24 Feb

Hat throwing pick


Woolcomber’s Saint Festival Was Tops!

18 Feb
Organisers of a festival trying to revive a celebration of Bishop Blaise, patron saint of wool combing, have declared their weekend to be ‘tops’.
In the days when Bradford was the most famous wool town in the world the combing of wool gave Bradford mills long ‘tops’ for wostead and short ‘nails’ for woollens. Two hundred years ago woolcombers organised massive processions to celebrate Saint Blaise, the patron of their trade, on the 3rd February. The last one was in 1825 though, and he has been, pretty much, forgotten since then.
This weekend saw the latest ‘Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival’. which seems to be steadily bringing Blaise back to mind.
Chief organiser Glyn Watkins, a Little Horton based poet, reckons the three day festival has gone wonderfully well; especially considering the fact the festival lost a major sponsor with just a few months to go. He told us:
“We had to stretch our thread really tightly this year, but I think we managed to weave a really good festival out of it.
The launch event for this year’s St Blaise Ale at Salamander Brewery was so popular it was standing room only.
The historic walk on Saturday reached a whole new audience, despite it bing the coldest and wettest Saint Blaise day I can remember. Bradford Cathedral was a great place to start, and the welcome we got from the Sparrow and Lord Clyde really warmed us all up.
My Blaise Lite Stand Up History of Bradford on the Sunday at the Record had one of the best audiences I have ever had. People came from Harrogate and even a bloke from Zagreb! And I have to admit he did not come from Zagreb just for my show, he did say he’d loved it.”
GlynBlaiseCathedralAbove: Glyn Watkins as Bishop Blaise, at Bradford Cathedral, with a real woolcomb and his home made one (you can guess which is which). Photo by Tony West