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Pie & Priestley at Jacobs Well a steaming success including an upper crust steaming pie! Owner Dan Horsman, showman Glyn Watkins and chef Chris Hall

15 Sep



Pie & Priestley a steaming success.

14 Sep

Dan of Jacobs Well happy because I helped him sell beer and pies, me happy because I managed 2 good shows and made my pie steam, and Chris Hall with one of his brilliant pies.

About Glyn Watkins, Bradford based poet and showman, in Bradford Review 43

3 Sep


Read the whole magazine via this link

Rough transcript of the contents of the Glyn Watkins article below

Many places in the world have special things that mark the changing of the seasons. Japan has cherry blossom marking the beginning of Spring and England has shops starting to sell Christmas stuff marking the ending of Summer.

Bradford seems to have developed it’s own peculiar signs of early spring and passing summer in the shape of a oddly dressed bloke who appears on the streets as a fluorescent bishop in January, and carrying a foot wide pie any time from June.

He also appears dressed as a mad hatter to advertise ‘Hat Throwing’ competitions he has invented.

The man is Glyn Watkins, Bradford based, self proclaimed, ‘poet, writer and showman’. 

This year Glyn is wearing his top hat to advertise the Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship at Bowling Hall Museum, Bradford; part of a full day of events celebrating Yorkshire Day, Thursday 1st August, from 11.00. 

The competition involve landing a hat on a target, so is a measure of skill and hand eye coordination, rather than strength, and is suitable for all ages. T.I.F.F.T.H.A rules (Transnational Institute of Formally Thrown Hat Associations) say that all hats must be safe to throw, that no metal is allowed, and that neither hat abuse or hat fighting will be tolerated.

The Museum is free to enter and the Hat Throwing entry is by donation.

The fluorescent Bishop is part of Glyn’s remarkably successful campaign to get Bradford celebrating Bishop Blaise, the Patron Saint of Woolcombers, after a near 200 year gap. The Saint’s Day is on the 3rd February, and this year saw the Bradford Industrial Museum had a record February attendance figure for Bradford’s first wool festival; a festival both Glyn and the Museum have committed to repeat next year on the first Sunday in February.

The pie is baked by Glyn has his website in the crust (making it his iPie) and is to draw attention to his celebration of J.B.Priestely’s birthday on the 13th September, and: ‘a meat and potato pie that defied Hitler!’ 

That pie was made famous by a BBC Radio broadcast Bradford born Priestley made in September 1940, part of a series called ‘Postscripts’. Bradford had been bombed and while nobody was hurt, Priestley had been told that a pie shop that used to have a massive pie in the window that had steam coming out of the top had been destroyed.

Priestley came home to see the damage, and perhaps stand in the ruins of the shop to  “…catch perhaps a last faint lingering whiff of that steam…”. But to his joy the pie was damaged but the pie was still there “Every puff and jet of that steam defied Hitler, Goering, and the whole gang of them. It was glorious.”

So for 20 odd years Glyn has been doing shows on 13th September where people listen to him reading Priestley, look at pictures he project, and eat meat and potato pie (or vegetarian alternative) and peas.

This year the celebration is at the Jacobs Well public house on Kent Street in central Bradford. He will be doing two shows. One at 16.00 and another at 19.00. It is free entry, but pies will have to be paid for. There will be a choice of home made meat and potato or a vegetarian butter pie (potato and butter in a pie!). This event will also be the launch of Jacobs as a pie provider, which intends introducing a Pie of the Month feature.

Check Glyn’s show page at for details, or find @hatthrowing on instagram.

Pie & Priestley 2019

5 Aug

Free shows of illustrated J.B.Priestley readings at Jacobs Well, Bradford, but to be sure of pie you  need to book. £5 for pie (Meat & Potato or Butter) and peas and a pint of Bright Day Bitter or soft drink. Tickets from Jacobs Well, or Eventbright (with processing fee). Eventbrite link below.

Eventbrite page to buy advanced pie and drink for £5 (plus Eventbrite fee)

There will be 2 free shows off around an hour at 16.00 and 19.00. Pies will be served before and after.

Pie&Priestley2019 posterS

Glyn Watkins presents his annual Pie & Priestley Night

J.B.Priestley Pie & Proud of Bradford.

Jacobs Well 

Kent St, BD1 5SH

To celebrate J.B.Priestley’s birthday Glyn will be doing illustrated readings, including the wartime broadcast about the Bradford meat and potato pie that defied Hitler.

At 16.00 and 19.00.  Fri 13th Sept. 2019.

Also the launch of Jacobs’ Pie of the Month. Meat & potato (or Butter) pub made pie & peas. Show is free, pies aren’t.  You can pre book pie and pint (or non alcoholic alternative) for £5 at Jacobs. Sorry, but licence means no children.

Tickets fromJacobs Well or Eventbright (search Pie & Priestley).

See for details, 



Transcript of interview of me on BBC Radio Leeds, by Gayle Lofthouse, 07.20, Thursday 1st August

5 Aug

Below is my transcript of an interview with Gayle Lofthouse (sitting in for Richard Stead) on BBC Radio Leeds, at 07.20 Thursday 1st August.

You can listen to it for about 3 weeks if you go to

You have to register with the BBC, then I am 1 hour 24 minutes in.

I’ve taken out most of my eh, um’s and arrh’s. If I’ve cut dialogue I’ve put (cut)

Gayle had been talking about jelly babies.


Gayle: …we going hear about something that’s going to be happening at Bolling Hall a little bit later on today. The Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship get underway, I think, at 11 a.m.. So we’re going to find out a bit more about this because the man behind this is Glyn Watkins. Welcome to the show Glyn. Hello!

Glyn:  Hello Gayle… I was going to say that I hope the jelly babies cleared your palate and given you an energy boost.

Gayle: Well a lot of runners have jelly babies, don’t they? First of all: Bowling Hall, or Bowling Hall?

Glyn:  You see I’ve had arguments with the British, eh, the Bradford Antiquarian Society many years ago. I mean it’s East Bolling, if you live in Bradford… (cut)  It’s spelled Bolling Hall in East Bowling, so obviously two completely different names aren’t there?… Whatever you call East Bowling that’s what you should say the name of the Hall is; yer know. Somebody wrote it down and it’s the obsession with how it’s writ, not how it’s said

Gayle: Exactly

Glyn: Have you ever tried to write York-sha dar-lect daarn, it gits reet hard!

Gayle: (laughter)  Your absolutely right. Glyn, tell me all about the Hat Throwing Championships. When did it start, and why did it start?

Glyn: The started ten years ago, on Ilkley Moor, Bar’ tat… when I decided to do something during the Ilkley Literary Festival, when they didn’t even short list me for the roll of Poet on Residence 

Gayle: (sympathetic noises, followed by chuckling during Glyn’s next few lines).

Glyn: So I started an Uncut Fringe, and it just came into my head. So I started the Transnational Incorporated Federation of Formally thrown Hat Associations to oversee it. So T.I.F.F.T.A. is now the World Hat Throwing organisation:.. and it’s about getting hats on target; so when you threw your bobble hat at Nick he says it skimmed his head. Well, if it had stayed on his head that would, indeed… although, strictly speaking it’s a moving target, that would have counted as free hatting, which we’re we’re not running competitions for free hatting yet. It’s only on stationary targets.

Gayle: I see, Glyn, for anyone who missed that, I’ll do a little bit of my own version of hat throwing, that I did earlier this morning, so here we go:

Goes to recording

Well, good morning. Here we are at BBC Yorkshire. So we’re in the very empty Newsroom at the moment. I’m in front of a picture of a dry stone wall. A beautiful Yorkshire scene behind me. So we’re going to have a little go at Hat Throwing. So I’ve got a bobble hat. I that that… won’t hurt somebody if it hit them clean in the eye, whereas a peaked cap, a top hat, that might cause some damage. 

So I think the idea is, when you’re doing Hat Throwing, you have to aim at something. It’s got to land somewhere. So I thought I would use the producer of BBC Radio Leeds Breakfast Show, which is the Ginger Wizard, Nic Wilmshurst. So, hat in hand, a very, very big, fluffy bobble hat, the kind of hat you really don’t want to wear on a warm summer’s day; but it’s got quite a bit of weight behind it so I reckon I can absolutely wang it!

Are you ready Ginger Wizard?

Nick (in distance. : I am, yes!)

Gayle: Right. OK. I am going to chuck the hat at you. And if it hits you I’ll consider that a big win. How far away from me would you say you are?

Nick: 12 feet.

Gayle: I reckon I can do 12 feet! Here we jolly well go. One! Two! Three!… And GO!

(distant exclamation!)

It didn’t even skim yer, but I reckon I could have thrown that a lot further. That’s done, what? 15 feet? Something like that? I could do better than that, I reckon, with a bit of practice, I could really smash this.

Returns to live interview.

Gayle: The video for that, which is going to be a viral sensation, obviously, will go on @radioleeds, our twitter feed: but Glyn, how did I get on. Did I stay within the rules at all?

Glyn: Well, the thing about the rules is, the way I run it, is that you get a reasonable number of chances, and as soon as you get it on target, that and the next 2 count, and then you carry on until you miss. So if you get your wrist action right there’s some potential there. Obviously you need to come to Bowling Hall, after 11 this morning, and you need to give it a go.

Gayle: Well, exactly.

Glyn:  I’ll take a photo and put it instagram. I might take a film, if I can manage that!

Gayle: Can you turn up with your own hat then?

Glyn: You can do. T.I.F.F.T.A. rules say it’s got to be safe to throw, and no metal is allowed, especially in bowlers. And any hat abuse will result in disqualification from that day’s event; and any hat fighting will result in a Sine Die, life long, ban. The dark underbrim of hat fighting is something we really need to stamp out.

And by the way, I am the author and publisher of the Wayne Jacobs Little Red Head Book, celebrating Red Headed Footballers and the Mysteries of Red Hair.

Gayle: Oh wow!

Glyn:  (cut) but if you come to the hat throwing I will bring some spare copies, I have one or two left. Available to the general public and people who like red headed footballers and red hair.

Gayle: And finally, what will the winner get?

Glyn: The winner will get the deep satisfaction. All Grand Hatting will receive a certificate, but because it’s points total, the winner can’t be declared until the competition closes. So if you look on there as soon as I get home and manage to get the results up; … and I am going to try and get it on Instagram. I have a whiteboard where I’ll be keeping a running total, … (cut) check @hatthrowing, you should see the on-going development, and the nail biting…

Gayle: Glyn, Glyn, I’m really sorry to stop you but I’ve got to go to the travel. I feel we could talk about Hat Throwing all day. Have a great day, Thank you so much for coming on. Take care

(Travel intro music plays)

He was going to talk till 8 o’clock wasn’t he? Let’s get the latest on the roads. How’s the roads look David?

David:  You can’t knock someone with a passion, can you?

Gayle: Ah, No




Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship a Topper!

2 Aug

The organiser of the Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship has declared this year’s event, at Bowling Hall Museum, a topper.

Glyn Watkins created the first event at White Wells, Ilkley Moor, ten years ago, and has since run championships across West Yorkshire, reckons the Yorkshire Day event one of the best yet. Around 800 people visited the ancient Hall, a Yorkshire Day record.  Many of the visitors having a go at throwing a hat at a target in exchange for a donation.

Glyn said: 

“It was a lovely day, especially with so many families taking part, and taking the hat throwing very seriously. I must have written out a hundred or more certificates for Grand Hatting! Bowling Hall was a brilliant venue, and is a Museum Bradford should be proud of. I just hope what I have done help’s keep it open”.

The joint highest scorers were both juniors: William Stone and Mia Dutton, who also convincingly beat her dad, Graeme, Methodist Minister of the South Bradford Circuit. 

Highest adult score was scored by Councillor Dave Green, who threw the first hat on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Bradford.


All of the Jackson family get into Hat Throwing.


I’m talking about today’s Yorkshire Hat Throwing on BBC Radio Leeds at 07.20. Listen again from about 09.30. Doors open at Bolling Hall at 11.00.

1 Aug