Archive | September, 2013

Is Bradford’s Pie Big Enough for Edinburgh?

20 Sep

Following the success of J.B.Priestley, PIE and Proud of Bradford Show, Bradford based poet, writer and showman Glyn Watkins’ presents:

  Bradford Hat Throwing Contest. Noon to 2.00 pm. Sat 28th Sept. City Park, Bradford. A fun contest throwing a hat at targets. Entry by donation. Certificates for best throws.  Extra points for bringing a hat (hats to be safe to throw). Hat fighting strictly forbidden  Positive

Bradford City Show. 5:30 pm. Sat 28th Sept. The 2013 Suite, Valley Parade, after the game. A collection will be taken. Multi-media show by Glyn Watkins & Dave Pendleton celebrating the best season and telling some of the best stories.

Glyn has also declared that the last show at the Gumption Centre so good, with the best meat & potato pies he’s tasted, that he has already booked the Centre for another pie show, and is thinking about taking his pie to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next year.

Glyn Watkins, Bradford based poet, writer and showman, created the Pie and Priestley event over 15 years ago. The idea came from a wartime BBC broadcast about a Bradford meat and potato pie shop called Roberts which had a giant pie in the window that steamed like a volcano. The shop had been damaged in an air raid but the pie had survived to steam again.

Glyn was so happy with the venue, and the wonderfully positive response from the audience, that he already has a show there for National Poetry Day on Thursday 3rd October.

Glyn said:

“The Gumption Centre were so professional, and the meat and potato pies were so good, I decide to invest the small profit I made on creating a new show with pies and the poetry of favourite old poets – poets who died long enough ago to be out of copyright!”

“If that show works I have already talked to the Centre about booking a residency there, and hope to develop a show to take Edinburgh, and raise the money to take it. The key thing is being able to walk around the city with my massive pie. I find a big pie gets people talking to me like nothing else I have found.”

The show is called: They’ve Been Dead A Long Time. They Wrote Poems That Rhyme (A show with pleasant poetry and pies)
7.30 pm. Thursday 3rd Oct. Gumption Centre, Glyde House,
Little Horton Lane, Bradford BD5 0BQ – 01274 241111.

Tickets £4 in advance, £5 on door. Pie & peas extra. Tickets from venue, or contact me for details




J.B.Priestley PIE and Proud of Bradford show

3 Sep

This is a page about the J.B.Priestley shows created and performed by Bradford based poet, writer and showman Glyn Watkins. If you are looking for Glyn’s blog click this link.

Tickets for J.B.Priestley, Pie and Proud of Bradford show only £4 in advance to personal callers at the Gumption Centre, or from me. Use form at bottom to contact me.



Glyn Watkins presents his annual Pie & Priestley Night

J.B.Priestley Pie and Proud of Bradford

A celebration of J.B.Priestley’s birthday, a meat & potato pie that defied Hitler, and a City that defies the odds.

Performances, pictures, anecdotes and opinions.

Tickets £4 in advance, £5 on door. Pie & Peas available on night.

Friday 13th Sept. 7.30

Gumption Centre
Bradford BD1 0BQ 01274 271111
A bradwan production. See

Glyn Watkins and big pie at the Gumption Centre, BD5 0BQ, advertising his J,B.Priestley PIE and Proud of Bradford show, 13.09.13.

Glyn Watkins and big pie at the Gumption Centre, BD5 0BQ, advertising his J,B.Priestley PIE and Proud of Bradford show, 13.09.13.

Contact form for general enquires or to be e-mail ways of buying tickets.

The J.B.Priestley, Pie and Proud of Bradford Show Press Release

2 Sep

Bradford based poet and showman Glyn Watkins is bringing his one-man show marking J.B.Priestley’s birthday, after performing last year’s event in Sussex. 

The J.B.Priestley, Pie and Proud of Bradford Show celebrates Priestley’s work, a meat and potato pie that defied Hitler, and a city that defies the odds. It is being presented at the Gumption Centre, on 13th September at 7.30 pm.

Tickets for the show are £4 in advance from the Gumption Centre, Bradford BD5 0BQ – 01274 241111, or £5 on the door.

Pie and peas will be available, including meat and potato and vegetarian pies. 

The show features readings from Priestley favourites such as: When We Are Married, as well as stories about his life and home town of Bradford, accompanied by pictures.

Priestley was born in 1894, on Mannheim Road in Manningham, Bradford. He became one of the 20th Century’s most successful authors and playwrights, and during the early years of World War II his broadcasts to the nation did much to help morale. 

One of the most famous broadcasts was about Robert’s, a Bradford meat and potato pie and peas shop, famous for having an enormous pie in the window that steamed every hour the shop was open: ‘…a perpetual volcano of a meat and potato pie.’ 

Priestley had been told the shop had been destroyed in an air raid in September 1940. He  came home to see for himself, intending to write an elegy to the lost pie, but to his delight he found it had survived to steam again:

 ‘Every puff and jet of steam defied Hitler, Goering and the whole gang of them. It was glorious.’

Glyn had the idea to celebrate Priestley’s birthday with readings and a meat and potato pie supper in the early 90’s, both because he is a fan of Priestley, and because he has the same birthday. As he has said: 

I get to perform the work of my favourite writer: tell stories; show pictures; celebrate the great British pie; eat pie; and get people to pay to come to my birthday as well!

Since then he has celebrated this great occasion in Bradford, London and last year in Lewes, Sussex. At each place he walks around the town with a big pie to advertise the event, claiming that there is nothing like a pie to get people talking.

This year Glyn is linking the show to the Positive Bradford day on 28th September, and including more stories and pictures about Bradford’s history, especially the area around the bottom of Little Horton Lane, the site of Gumption Centre, at Glyde House. 

Priestley would have known the area very well, as he was a regular at the 4 theatres that once stood close by, especially the Prince’s Theatre, which stood almost opposite the Sunday School that became Glyde House. Priestley later premiered 4 of his plays at the Palace.