Bringing Blaise Back Festival – A weekend celebrating Bradford, her forgotten saint, and her rich past.

3 Jan

Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd February.

Until 1825 Bradford woolcombers would organise a massive procession of all the wool trades, every 7 years, on 3rd Feb. to celebrate the Arminian Bishop Blaise, reputedly martyred by having his skin scraped off with woolcombs.

Saturday 1st Feb.

A Bishop Blaise Walk through the history and mysteries of Bradford.

The times below are still provisional so check here closer to the day. There are one set of steps after the Cathedral but there is an alternative suitable for wheelchairs.

This walk follows a lot of the route of the last procession of 1825, although in reverse order. Glyn Watkins will be leading the walk dressed as a bright Bishop Blaise, carrying his home made wool comb, and talking loudly about most of the things we walk past.

11.00. First Leg Meet at Glyde House. There will be refreshments available and Glyn Watkins will be showing slides of the walk that follows, and giving background.

11.30. Set off for The New Bradford Playhouse via City HAll and the Wool Exchange.

12.00. New Bradford Playhouse for cakes (supplied by ace cake maker Megan).

1230 Second leg. Walk to The Sparrow Bier Cafe via Paper Hall, the Cathedral and St. Blaise’s Court.

13.30. Sparrow Bier Cafe.

14.00 Third Leg. Walk to The SIr Titus Salt via the site of Bradford’s first steam powered mill; with a possible stop at the Lord Clyde.

The walk will finish before 15.00.

Sunday 2nd Feb.

A ‘Pie, Poetry & Proud of Bradford show’ at Glyde House, 19.30.

A show about pies, and tales of Bradford, including ghost graveyards; a meat and potato pie that defied Hitler; City Till July – the sour grapes and sometimes sweet wine of supporting Bradford City; and poems that actually rhyme, none of h=your rubbish! Pies and drink will be available.

Monday 3rd Feb.

Fun events awaiting confirmation to celebrate the actual day of St. Blaise.


As friendship, love, and unity,
Compose the bond of peace,
In them may our community
Join hands and thus increase.

Part of a 1825 pamphlet/flyer entitled:
THE ORIGINAL AND CORRECT SPEECH,
TO BE SPOKEN AT
THE GRAND SEPTENNIAL FESTIVAL
AT BRADFORD
On THURSDAY, February 3rd, 1825,
IN COMMEMORATION OF
BISHOP BLASE…
From an illustration in: The Journal of DR.JOHN SIMPSON OF BRADFORD 1825, Bradford Libraries, 1981. The spelling, line make-up, and cases are an exact copy.

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