Tag Archives: Andrew Edwards

Transcript of my interview with BBC RadioLeeds’ Andrew Edwards. plus link. Glyn, you are an inspiration! We need more of you in the world!”

27 Jul

Andrew Edwards BBC Radio Leeds interview with Glyn Watkins about the 2019 Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship. On 27th July 2019 at 06.50. 

The link will be open for 29 days from 27th July. I am just over 51 minutes in.  You’ll need to sign up for the BBC.


Below is my attempt at a transcript. I’ve left out all my um’s and err’s, so the word count is well down.


Andrew: … On Thursday Bradford will be hosting a Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championship, where I believe any hat, not just flat caps are accepted. The man who’s organised the event, which will take place at the Bowling Hall Museum in Bradford, who describes himself as poet, writer, showman and lover of pies. Ladies and Gentlemen it is the excellent Glyn Watkins. Glyn good morning to you.

Glyn: Good morning Andrew! On this slightly chill morning.

Andrew:  Chill is a good word for it… Chill and a little damp around the edges. What on earth Glyn is a hat throwing competition, or is it just what it sounds like?

Glyn: Well, it is a test of hand – eye coordination and manual dexterity It’s  throwing a hat at a target and being scored accordingly

Andrew: Oh I see, so it’s not distance..

Glyn: No, I would like… T.I.F.F.T.H.A. (The Transnational Incorporated Federation of Formally Thrown Hat Associations) has considered doing distance Hatting, but that would require the training of hat dogs… obviously… because the first one I ever did, oddly enough, ten years ago, was on Ilkley Moor, and that would have been ideal for distance, but if you’ve been up Ilkley Moor to White Wells you’ll know the entire area is, pretty much now, covered with bracken and brambles

Andrew: And you would never  find your hat again. ‘T.I.F.F.T.H.A.’ I love that. What a great name for your association! So is any version of hat accepted; because I’m thinking, already, without being a genius, that some forms of hat are going to be better at target hitting than others.

Glyn: Well, T.I.F.F.T.H.A. rules say that all hats have to be proper headgear, and the have to be safe to throw; and no metal is allowed, especially in bowlers; and that’s pretty much the rules as regards what you can throw. But the things is every time I do this… so I did this last year at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley, and that was for a hat stand. This year I’m actually incorporating two bits of candelabra at  Bowling Hall Museum. So it’s going to be actually slightly different. The best hat for this year is going be slightly different from it was last year…

Andrew: Oh what sophistication!  So you have to try and get it over the candelabra have you?

Glyn: It’s got to… I’m making it fairly simple, in that if it stays on the candelabra then you score, but if you want to score highly then you’ve got to get it on the top bit. And i’ve incorporated a reproduction pig face bascinet on the advanced candelabra. (laughing from Andrew) … you’re going to have consecutive goes, and it’s all…

Andrew (laughing): How many goes?… What a world you live in Glyn!! This is fantastic! How many goes do you get then? Because I originally thought you just take a hard hat or something and you just hurl it at a target and that’d be straightforward, but you’ve throw in so many elements, curved balls, you’ve got to get it on a candelabra…

Glyn: Curved hats indeed! And you can’t use a hard hat… because it’s not safe to throw. And also if it’s outdoors it has to be biodegradable , though the Head Hatter has some discretion on that matter.

Andrew:  Let me ask the question: how seriously will… Clearly you take it enormously seriously Glyn; but how seriously will other people be taking it?

Glyn: Well the thing is. What usually happens, and this happened from the very first one; you have, for instance, a family come along with children: it is suitable for children; obviously if they can’t pick up, if they’re too small to  pick an actual hat up it then it might not be..…      So the children have a go, and they make their dad’s have a go, and then about 15 minutes later the children’s saying: 

“Dad! Dad! Please can we go!? We’re hungry!” 

“NO! NO! I’m going to get it on!”

Andrew: “I’m going to win this!” Are you going to stand by or are you going to hat throw yourself Glyn?

Glyn:  No, I’m going to stand by… There’s going to be a few of us there; and it is entry by donation. It’s free into the Museum but… the competition is entry by donation, and I am splitting that with Bradford Museums Services… and it does actually need some running, you know

Andrew:  I understand.

Glyn:  By the way, did you know that the Yorkshire Day was created by the Ridings Society

Andrew:  It was them who did it originally? Well there you are! It makes an awful lot of sense for Yorkshire, doesn’t it!

Glyn:  1974 as a protest against the re-drawing of the County boundaries. So you could have a ‘Ridings of Yorkshire folk’.

Andrew:  Well, I’ll have that down on the list. I quite like Sue the producers has come up with a ’Stubborn of Yorkshire people”. 

Glyn:  That’s quite good… My other suggestions A ‘Flat’at o Yorkshire folk.’ And a ‘Crust of Yorkshire folk’. Because obviously I also do the Pie & Priestley, celebrating the birthday of J.B.Priestley and a meat & potato pie that defied Hitler. That’s for later

Andrew:  He’s a big pie fan as well. Excellent. Glyn, I think this sound wonderful: If people listening want to take part give us the why’s the where’fors, the time and the place.

Glyn:  Right then. So it’s at Bolling Hall, Bowling Hall or Bolling Hall as it’s variously pronounced. It’s int’ Brat’ft. Bolling Hall Museum. From 11 o’clock on Thursday, which is Yorkshire Day, 1st August. Bolling Hall’s BD4 7LP. You can check www dot bradwan (b r a d w a n) dot com or I’ve got an instagram account  @hatthrowing, one word. And go to one of those, or just turn up at the Museum after 11 o’clock on Thursday. There’ll be cakes and tea, and pop-up hat exhibitions, and all sorts of stuff at Bowling Hall.

Andrew: Glyn, you are an inspiration! We need more of you in the world!

Glyn:  Thank you mate.

Andrew: That was just brilliant. Thank you very much indeed! There you are! Yorkshire Hat Throwing Championships at Bolling Hall, Bowling Hall Museum in Bradford from 11 o’clock on Thursday,  all part of Yorkshire Day.


Pic of me at 07.00 this morning just after the interview with Andrew Edwards.

Transcript of the Sewage Tour Sell-out interview that trumped Trump!

30 Jun

Today the radio interview I did with  Andrew Edwards, BBC Radio Leeds will no longer be available on their listen again feature, so I have done a rough transcript. 

The interview was recorded around 09.00 on Friday 1st June and broadcast at around 07.10 on Saturday 2nd June.

After the broadcast ‘Bradford sewage tour sells out!’ became a featured news item on Radio Leeds for at least the next few hours, moving the President Trump to the bottom!

Studio live.

Andrew: News now of an rather unusual weekend event for which every single ticket has gone in a flash, so don’t get too excited. Glyn Watkins invited me to join him in Bradford on a glorious spring morning for an explanation.

Recorded interview.

Andrew: Historic Bradford Sewage Tour, and it’s a sell-out Glyn. How on earth can that be?

Glyn: Well, we’re obviously flushed with success! It obviously something people feel they need to know about.

Andrew: What on earth gave you the idea for it?

Glyn: I have no idea! They come, and they just appear from nowhere, like things do at Esholt Sewage Works sometimes.

Andrew: This is nothing to do with the image some people might have of horrible, dank sewers full of all unmentionable things at breakfast time; tells us where we are.

Glyn: We are at Hepworth and Idle Cricket club; looking out over the Air Valley. The blackbirds and the sparrows cheeping in the background; the gang mower going in the outfield. It’s a marvellous, idillic spot; Westfield Lane, Idle

Andrew: And a brewery delivery in the background, but it’s a little early for us. It is beautiful, there’s a flower filled meadow here; but that’s not what we’re here to look at, let’s climb over this slightly broken down stone wall. Here we go… and here’s the cricket club, and there’s the beer barrels going in at the back; but it’s what’s in front of the cricket club that we’re looking at.

Glyn: Yes. The magnificent, tower like vent for the Esholt Sewage Tunnel. two and three quarter miles of engineering marvellousness, that brings Bradford’s sewage from Bradford to Esholt. 

Andrew: So that was a tunnel that was specifically made and dug to cary the city’s sewage?

Glyn: Indeed! It’s one of Bradford’s proudest achievements. Started before the First World War. Opened in 1923. 27 feet wide and two and three quarter mile long.

Andrew: And beneath our feet?

Glyn: Beneath our feet indeed! It’s flowing away summer and winter, day and night.

Andrew: I know you recce the route of things like this. It wouldn’t do to have a sewage tour and find that you couldn’t get to where you needed to go, so you came here, I know, in the winter. Tell us what you could see from the sewage vent?

Glyn: Well, you could see mild steam escaping. There’s no smell. Loads of people walked past me and said: “Oh you’re taking pictures of the water tower.” they assumed. It looks like something guarding the entrance to Mordor, doesn’t it? 

Andrew: It does!

Glyn: You know. It’s 20 foot high, or maybe a  bit more. It’s got slits as though there going to be archers inside defending it!

Andrew: It’s made. It’s got the pollution you can see into the surface of the stone (sound of patting) but this is Yorkshire grit isn’t it?

Glyn: It is. It’s Brafert grit!. The reason Bradford Canal stayed open for as long as it did was the stone dug out from beneath our feet! In fact Manchester Town Hall is built of Bradford stone

Andrew: Well: there’s a good fact. So let us just walk around it. I tell you what it remind of: when you have underground railway tunnels, tunnels are underground, you often have the vents, particularly from the age of steam, the needed to get rid of things… and if I had seen it without knowing it that’s what I would j have thought it was.

Glyn: Indeed, yes Also, the thing about vents is that you dig them down and then you can start digging the tunnels  out from the bottom of the shaft. That’s one of the main reasons for the vents; it’s not just to lets stuff out and air in; although for a sewer you might need to let some air out, just in case there’s a build up! 

Andrew: Yes, thank you for that. The tour, you’re doing it in style. Just tell us about a few of the stops on the way, and how you are getting between the stops.

Glyn: Well, we’re travelling on a vintage bus. We’re not taking the open top, unfortunately, as there is a slight chance of rain; but we’re taking the 1958 vintage bus to the Industrial Museum in Bradford to see the sewage powered steam engine. Then we’re coming here to Hepworth to watch a little bit of cricket and drink some beer, being delivered in the background, then were going down, via the Great Northern Railway’s last remaining gent’s urinal, to Esholt treatment

Andrew: Hang on! Your not stopping off at the urinal?

Glyn: No. If people want to come back latter under their own steam then they’re welcome. It’s full of leaves, but it’s there and it’s a historic monument!

Andrew: So you just point it out like a tour guide?

Glyn: Indeed, yes.

Andrew: Sorry, I interrupted. Where are you going to end

Glyn: In fact we’re going to end back in Bradford; but we’re going via Esholt Treatment works, or Sewage works really. We’re going to have a little bit of a look round the sewage works. Then we’re going to Saltaire Brewery; with a chance to see what remains of Bradford Canal, which used to occasionally catch fire in the old days!

Andrew: What! Because it was so polluted?

Glyn: Because, Indeed, it was so polluted. There was so much gas bubbling up that boys used to set the gas bubbles alight. And, in fact, silver watches used to turn black if you used to stand next the canal for too long because of the hydrogen dioxide in the atmosphere!

Andrew: You are a man who knows how to have a heck of a Saturday! A sewage tour of Bradford!

Glyn: Oh yes! Socials, masonic! I’m open to bookings


Andrew: What a very, very interesting man. Bradford poet Glyn Watkins. Organiser of today’s vintage bus tour of sewage history. You heard me correctly. It is, I stress, a sell out so don’t think you’re going to get yourself on it. It was thought up by Glyn, supported by historian Dave Pendleton and North Parade’s Sparrow Bier Cafe and the Record Cafe. And actually just as we were about to head away from the beautiful hepworth and Idle Cricket Club; brilliant location there; Glyn told me about something else. We were standing on the other side of the road looking at a flower filled meadow.


Glyn: Again we’re on Westfield Lane, and we’re just below High Busy Lane, which is one of the quietest streets in Bradford.

Andrew: What the irony is there. Now this is a field with a real historical story to it?

Glyn: Indeed! In 1941 a Junkers 88 bomber was shot down over Yorkshire and the crew bailed out. The bomber crashed on Idle High Street and killed people, the only people killed by direct enemy action in the war. And the pilot, an Oberleutnant Jurgans, actually landed in this field and was captured: or captured in a manner of speaking. He climbed over a gate and met a youngish man who he surrounded to, and the man thought he was drunk because of the way he was talking. He was actually speaking English with a German accent, and the man reported later that he thought he was drunk.

Andrew: What an amazing story! So here in the tranquil calm of the hights of Bradford we have, essentially a war prisoner!

Glyn: Indeed yes! He gave no trouble, they talked about chess and he taken off and later went to America and became a dentist in Denver., apparently.