Tag Archives: backblaise

Bring Back Blaise’s Festival 2019 Schedule. 1st – 3rd Feb.

31 Jan

Friday 1st Feb. Hello Blaise and Brewing show. Salamander Brewery, 22 Harry Street, Dudley Hill, Tong, Bradford BD4 9PH . Bradford Glyn tells tales illustrated of Bradford’s forgotten Saint of Woolcombers, and some Salamander pump clips. Official launch of Blaise’s Armenian Ale. pumpclip-blaise17

The bar will be open before 16.00. Glyn will do a show at 18.00. and may do talks before and after (depending on the crowd).

The jawdroppingly talented Mila Lee ( @milaleemusic ) will be singing and playing later in the evening.



Saturday 2nd Feb. Blaise 1825 Procession Walk. 11.00 for 11.30 in Sparrow 32 North Parade, Bradford BD1 3HZ A guided historical amble along part of the route of the last procession to properly celebrate Bishop Blaise (in 1825). £10.00 suggested donation.

We will be calling in at The Lord Clyde, where bread and mucky dripping will be served (the veggie alternative is you buying yourself some crisps).

We will be briefly calling in at the Wool Exchange and Bradford Cathedral. Finishing at The Peacock, North Parade, with a free curry for those who’ve lasted the distance.

Estimated: distance a little over 2 miles; time around 2.5 hours.

Some steps but step free alternatives available for them all.

Wrap up and wear sensible shoes. It’ll be cold.


Sunday 3rd Feb. (Saint Blaise’s Day). Bring Back Blaise’s Wool Festival. Bradford’s first Wool Festival. Bradford Industrial Museum. Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford BD2 3HP 10.00 -16.00

All sorts of wool related stalls, demonstrations and stuff; including a pop-up bar run by Les (ex-Sparrow) and alpacas (weather permitting). Plus the Hall Royd Brass Band, and Bradford Voices Community Choir.




We are in the T&A, with a front page mention in the print version.

2 Feb


Link below is to a photo feature.



As friendship, love, and unity, Compose the bond of peace, In them may our community Join hands and thus increase. (part of a poem read out during the 1825 celebration.)

22 Jan

The biggest processions to ever take place in Bradford were to celebrate Saint Blaise. These recurred every seven years. Saint Blaise was an Armenia Martyr Bishop, famed for curing a child choking on a fish bone; and reputedly being tortured with woolcombs; becoming the Patron Saint of Woolcombers. All English wool towns used to celebrate his day, but Bradford’s were the biggest and best.

 Bradford developed with the wool trade, especially the trade in fine worsteds, made from long fibres (tops) that could only be got from combing; using heavy, heated combs. Worsteds made Bradford the largest wool town the world will ever know.
Bradford’s woolcombers were a craft guild with a long apprenticeship.  As Bradford grew, the Bishop Blaise procession grew. There may have been a thousand people in the 1825 procession, but unfortunately the woolcombers and handloom weavers went on strike soon after. After 23 weeks the strike was broken, and so were the woolcombers. Without the woolcomber’s organisation the Blaise celebration was almost forgotten. Mills replaced hand work, and almost every building standing in 1825 was knocked down before 1899.
 I have been trying to get people to celebrate Saint Blaise again for years: partly because of my love of history, but mostly because early February is a grim time of year and Blaise gives us a good reason to have a bit of fun remembering and rediscovering histories we all share. So why not join in?
Glyn Watkins. January 2017

The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival weekend.

3 Jan

The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival

wants to celebrate, Bradford, wool

and all our shared histories

(and have a bit of fun in early Feb.).

This year’s Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival runs over the weekend of 3rd Feb. Events booked so far:

From 2nd Feb. Bring Back Great Knits Exhibition at Bradford Cathedral. Knitting with a Bradford link or a story.

Friday 3rd. Bring Back St. Blaise Evening at Salamander Brewery. Pictures, stories and some music. With Saint Blaise’s Armenian Ale available.

Saturday 4th. Bring Back St. Blaise Procession. Guided walk of about 7000 steps around Bradford. Starting at the Record cafe, North Parade. Meeting 10.00. Setting off 10.30. Cathedral; Paper Hall; Wool Exchange; City Hall; Jacobs Well; Priestley Statue; Bradford Beck; Lord Clyde; Kirkgate; finishing at the Sparrow before 13.30.

Sunday 5th. Bring Back Blaise Wool Day at the Bradford Industrial Museum. A small exhibition on Bradford and Bishop Blaise; the Guild of Spinners and Weavers will be demonstrating; there may be music; and the Sparrow will be running a pop-up bar.

Any event happening over the weekend can be in this festival. It is a woolly fringe fest.

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

(part of a poem read out during the 1825 celebration.)

First press. City Gent bigs up the Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival 2017. 

31 Dec


Finally a contact form for The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival.

12 Dec

First International contact for Bradford’s Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival, with Dubrovnik!

2 Dec

Martin, a Friend of the Festival, is in Dubrovnik, and has made contact with the organiser of their massive celebration of St. Blaise! Who was excited that he was from Bradford.

Following on from that we also now know that macroni with meat sauce, followed by hrostule donuts, is their traditional lunch on the feast day.

Samantha Wass becomes St. Blaise Bradford Events Coordinator.

20 Nov

Samantha Wass signs up.jpg

Samantha has already combed through loads of mixed fleeces and come up tops!

Click here for her `flickr gallery of Glyn Watkins parading around Bradford as Bishop Blaise.

We’re combing out some good threads.

14 Nov

Things are still provisional, but we already have several things organised. If you would like to sponsor an event, or set up your own, please get in touch.

Friday 3rd February (evening). I will be presenting a show about St. Blaise at the Salamander Brewery,

Saturday 4th February. The annual St. Blaise walk will start at the Record Cafe; visit the Cathedral; Jacobs; The Lord Clyde; and finish at the Sparrow in good time for people to get to the Bradford City v Gillingham Game.

Sunday 5th February. The Bradford Industrial Museum will have a display about Saint Blaise, including material from old celebrations. There will also be wool spinning, weaving, and hopefully an illustration of combing. Discussions are underway about a possible bar serving Salamander’s Blaise themed ale.

The should also be an exhibition of local knitting at Bradford Cathedral, over the week of the Festival, called Bring Back Great Knits.