Bright St. Blaise Events Shine!

5 Feb

This year’s celebration of Bishop Blaise, Bradford’s forgotten saint, has been declared the best in modern times by organisers, after a walk and two events showed off some of Bradford’s hidden past.

Saint Blaise was the patron saint of woolcombers, and until 1825 the woolcombers of Bradford would organise a massive procession to celebrate Blaise and all of the wool trade, from shepherds to merchants.

The walk on Saturday was led by Bradford based poet Glyn Watkins, and followed part of the 1825 procession route. Pausing to hear lots of stories; including: lost graveyards, cannonballs found in pub attics, clog fighting and how Bradford used to be the home of the most famous artificial leg maker in Britain. As Steve Ellement said after the walk:

“A grand day out Glyn. Who ever thought Bradford could be so interesting or so funny?”

There were also shows at Glyde House on the Sunday and Bradford University’s Theatre in the Mill on the Monday (St. Blaise’s actual day) which featured different stories and pictures from Bradford’s rich and diverse past.

Afterward’s Glyn thanked all those that helped make this year’s event a success, and said:

“I think that with just a few more folk helping, and a few more venues taking part, Bradford could have a happy little festival which could bring a little bit of pride and colour to a drab time of year. The people of Bradford in 1825 had the right idea for a celebration, and had a rhyme about it that says more than I ever could:

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

———–

Pictures:

1. Glyn Watkins dressed as a bright Bishop Blaise, complete with woolcomb, with some of the happy walkers about to set of from Glyde Hose. Fiona Horner of Sowerby Bridge and Mary Loy of Wibsey closest to camera.
Glyde House at start of St. Blaise walk2m

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