Tag Archives: bradford

Wool Exchange Birthday Walk extras.

9 Aug

The building was designed by Bradford architects Lockwood and Mawson The foundation stone was laid 9th August 1864 by Lord Palmerston

Prime Minister Lord Palmerston laying the foundation stone of Bradford’s Wool Exchange on 9th August 1864. There was a ‘silent protest’ by Bradford’s workers (not shown)
Bradford Wool Exchange’s foundation stone marker in Pizza Pieces.

The Building opened in 1867 and was, literally, the centre of the wool’s unspun wool trade. Everything from raw, unsorted, fleeces to washed, combed and carded, and dyed wool fibre was bought and sold here.

The statues at the clock tower entrance are by James Tolmie. He has no Wiki, and died before the Wool Exchange was opened. The statues are of Bishop Blaise Patron Saint of wool combers, and Edward III a great supporter of England’s wool trade (which paid for him to spend his life winning battles, and even with wool money he bankrupted his own county. I am not a fan).

The rest of the outside busts of explores and famous men are by the Leeds firm of Mawer and Ingle I have only just discovered that, and their Wiki is making me wildly excited! Not just because one of the sculptures and business parterres was a woman.

The busts are:

Bank St

Christopher Columbus 1451-1506

Francis Drake 1540-1596

Walter Raleigh 1552-1618

George Anson 1697-1762

James Cook 1728-1865

Market St.

William Ewart Gladstone 1809-1898

Samual Cunliffe Lister 1815-1906

Richard Arkwight 1732-1792

James Watt 1736-1819

Robert Stephenson 1803-1859

Titus Salt 1803-1876

Richard Cobden 1804-1865. Also statue inside by Timothy Butler, unveiled 25 July 1877.

Finally I have 2 picture of the roof of the Wool Exchange. Before Waterstones put in the new entrance and glass wool the inside was dark and gloomy. Now you can see the shields of Yorkshire wool towns, and see that some of them are rubbish. The theory is that nobody bothered that they were rubbish, because nobody could see them.

Roof of Bradford’s Wool Exchange. Spot the shields.
Bradford’s shield in the Wool Exhange’s roof. This is quite good. You can see the boar’s well and the 3 horns the slayer of the boar had to sound when his Lord of the Manor visited the land given as a reward.


Bradford Wool Exchange’s Birthday Walks 9th August

6 Aug
Bradford Wool Exchange’s Birthday Walks.

Mon 9th Aug. 10.30 & 14.30.

Wool Exchange clock tower on Market Street.

Glyn Watkins will be spinning yarns on the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone.

A walk of less than 30 mins. A collection will be made. Please keep a safe enough distance.

The walk may be filmed.

Bradford Woolly Heritage CIC


The Story of the walk.

The Wool Exchange, on Market Street, was once the centre of the whole world’s wool trade: and while new businesses have given it new life; what it did for wool is a fading memory. Poet and showman Glyn Watkins, of Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company, is determined to re-spin the yarns of the building’s great wool days, on the anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone, on 9th August 1864, by the then Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. 

Glyn will be walking around the building and telling stories while dressed as Bishop Blaise, Patron Saint of the wool trade; who’s statue stands by the clock tower entrance. As he explains:

“Bradford used to have a massive celebration of Bishop Blaise’s day in February up until 1825, and we are reviving it. The Wool Exchange has some magnificent stone carvings and the Blaise statue is a great reminder of a once great occasion we can reweave. Last August 9th I filmed a live to Facebook walk because of Covid19. I told some of the many great stories of the building, people, trade when the Wool Exchange once wove the world together with wool. It got a good response so I am repeating it for anyone who’d like to walk around with me.”

Glyn will be doing a walk at 10.30 am  and 2.30 pm. Starting at the clock tower and taking less than 30 minutes. People are asked to keep a safe enough distance. He will repeat a walk if too many people want to join. A collection will be taken. 

Launch of the Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company 19.00. Thurs 9th Jan. at Bradford City Hall

5 Jan


Invitation to the Launch of Bradford Woolly Heritage C.I.C

Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company aims to support the Blaise Festival & other events and encourage an interest in and engagement with the history & culture of Bradford and/or al aspects of wool.

19.00. Thursday 9th Jan. Meeting Room 5 Bradford City Hall.

Entrance on Channing Way. Ring bell to enter. Meeting will be an hour or less. Refreshments at Jacobs Well afterwards.


Bradford Woolly Heritage, set up by Bradford based poet and showman Glyn Watkins; local landlord Dan Horsman, (Jacobs Well) and educator Julia Armstrong (Greyswood Art + Design)

intends to inform and entertain the people of Bradford about the rich and important history of the wool trade in Bradford.

Our first event is the 2020 Bring Back Blaise Festival, from Friday 31st Jan. to Monday 3rd Feb.

The festival was initially started by Glyn over a decade ago as an attempt to help Bradford to recognise the importance of Bishop Blaise, the Patron Saint of Woolcombers. All wool towns used to celebrate his day on 3rd February, but Bradford’s was the biggest and best. Unfortunately the last one was in 1825! The Blaise Wool Fair will be the held at the Bradford Industrial Museum. and will include stalls, music and much more.

Bradford Woolly Heritage will aim to build the celebration of St Blaise to a point where it becomes a community generated, city wide celebration of Bradford, it’s people, and wool culminating in a programme of events in 2025; the 200th anniversary of the last big Bishop Blaise Festival, and the year of the Bradford Bid.

To grow the Bishop Blaise celebration and other events and activities we need support. If you are interested in helping, or just want to find out more, please come along to the meeting. We are interested in connecting with people and organisations with an interest in local history, textiles and the wool industry and any local community groups to explore how we can work together. The meeting will be an hour or less and you are invited to join us at Jacobs Well afterwards


Spreading the brim of Hat Throwing at Bradford Festival

14 Jul

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.