Archive | January, 2014

Pie Poetry & Proud of Bradford poster

19 Jan


The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival

Poetry &

A show of Bradford & poetry, with pictures,
stories, anecdotes & strong opinions
Warning: the poems will rhyme,
& pies will be sold!
Tickets £5

Sunday 2nd Feb. 8.00
Glyde House (opp ice rink)

Bradford BD1 0DQ. 01274 271111

A bradwan production.

Event poster for full festival.

19 Jan

Blaise 14 festival poster 10m

The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival

A weekend celebrating Bradford’s forgotten saint and hidden histories.

A guided Festival Walk through
Bradford’s Hidden Histories. Sat 1st Feb.

11 am. Glyde House. Little Horton Lane. Leave by 11.30.
12.00 New Bradford Playhouse, Chapel St. Leave by 12.30.
1.30 pm. Sparrow, North Parade. Leave by 2 pm. for The Titus Salt. There’ll be a talk and/or refreshments at each venue.
Donations taken. Each part is a little over a mile. Some stairs, but no-step diversions available. You can walk any/all parts.

Pie, Poetry & Proud
of Bradford Show. Glyde House. Sun 2nd Feb. 8 pm.

Show with pictures, stories, anecdotes & opinions of Bradford; plus poems. Warning: the poems will rhyme, and pies will be available! £5. Call 01274 271111.

The Comedy & Errors
What Bradford has done for fun.
Theatre in the Mill. Mon 3rd Feb. 8 pm.

A brief history of popular entertainment.
In the bar. Donations taken.

Until 1825 Bradford’s woolcombers organised a procession every
7 years celebrating Bishop Blaise, an Armenian reputedly murdered
with woolcombs. The 1825 procession was the biggest ever in Bradford,
and this year’s walk follows part of the route.

The verse below is from the 1825 St. Blaise Day, picture top below from 1811. Poster by bradwan.

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

The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival – full press release 1

17 Jan

A set of events to celebrate Saint Blaise, Bradford’s forgotten patron saint, are set to return for the second year running, after nearly 200 years of neglect.

A small group. led by Bradford based poet and showman Glyn Watkins are organising a walk along the route of the last big procession celebrating Bishop Blaise, which was in 1825! As well as a couple of shows focusing on Bradford’s hidden histories.

Saint Blaise was an Armenian bishop who was reputedly done to death with wool combs in the 4th Century; who became the patron saint of wool combers. Wool towns all over England celebrated his feat day on 3rd February, but Bradford’s was by far the biggest and most famous.

The last procession, in 1825, was perhaps the largest ever in Bradford, and involved everyone in the wool trade, from shepherds to merchants. Unfortunately the wool combers went on strike soon afterwards, lost, and the procession never happened again.

There are a few reminders of St. Blaise in Bradford, but they are few and largely fading from memory. The Bradfordians behind ‘The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival’ intend to help remember him, and Bradford’s rich history.

The events start with a walk on Saturday 1st February. Starting at 11.00 at Glyde House, at the bottom of Little Horton Lane. The walk will feature ghost graveyards; Bradford heroes and sieges; lost becks, goits, breweries, markets, public houses, theatres, chapels; and more.

The walk will be lead by Glyn Watkins dressed as a bright bishop, include stops at the New Bradford Playhouse; The Sparrow Bier Cafe on Northgate; The Lord Clyde on Thornton Road; and finish by 15.00 at The Sir Titus Salt. The venues will provide different sorts refreshments celebrating the day, with one serving homemade cakes and another bread and dripping!

Glyde House will also have a show called ‘Pie, Poetry & Proud of Bradford’ at 20.00 on Sunday 2nd Feb. featuring words, pictures, stories and opinions about Bradford

The Theatre in the Mill will be hosting a different show called: ‘Comedy & Errors – A Brief History of Bradford’s Showing Off’ on the evening of Monday 3rd February. Based on what Bradford has done to entertain itself.

For details check

Photo by Joe Ogden of Glyn Watkins outside Glyde House


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:
On THURSDAY, February 3rd, 1825,
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.