February 2013


I had a holiday today. I would have liked it to be in Finland and then Sweden, visiting cousins, and the money spent today would have been spnet on a League Cup Final ticket if I had not been thinking about more important things, but it was a cracking day.

Clear and sunny sky all day, and the only down side was leaving my insulin in the fridge (as Bev said How old are you? How long have you been a diabetic!?). I reverted to a beer only diet, with some Pusser’s Rum and a bag of peanuts for variety.

If I manage to download then upload photos I will talk more about Brading (cute station and the Snoty Fox where me and the landlady had a deep discussion about Terry Pratchett); the 1940’s Underground railway carriage; and the amazingly thin and young looking Harriet at the Village Inn at Old Shanklin.

I also must mention the Emma Hamilton just by The Hard in Portsmouth. The train I was on to Portsmouth Harbour was cancelled when we got to Fratton, and the guard was sorry, and told us none of the crew had any idea it would be until they stopped at the station; that meant I missed the ferry by 5 minutes. I would have gone for a fried breakfast, but with no insulin I went to the pub for a beer and rum chaser, and was glad I did.

Like it said on the title: Isle of Wight is a grand day out. Crossing the Solent was a sea voyage and I had no thought of myself or family (apart from when I was telling stories about the one or other) so a proper holiday.

I went to New Maldon in south west London yesterday to see AFC Wimbledon play, and beat, Bradford City.

I had a great day out. The ground was old fashioned and we could stand on a terrace. I met a lot of folk from the days went I followed City home and away. It was like watching City when I first started in 1981, the biggest difference was that when City let two goals in in the last ten minutes after being 0-1 up, the second being in the last minute, I did not get upset and angry. Wimbledon had not scored a goal at home all season and then they get 2 against a team playing in the League Cup final next week! It makes City getting enough point for automatic promotion very hard, and most City fans were upset, but for me it was just part of a good day; even the fact that I have no ticket for the final is just fate not tragic.

I have finished painting ma’s stairs, the big wall by them, and laying carpet tiles on the surface. She had carpet and underlay which has always been unsafe, and when I pulled them off stair by stair I could feel the dirt hitting my legs through my trousers! It’s been a real drag of a job. Everything needed at least 3 coats and the gloss especially did not meet any of its claims for drying or coverage. Still, the job’s done and looks well.

Mother looked fitter today than she has since she cracked her head, which is good, but she is nowhere near as fit as she was before the accident. The latest from the hospital is that she will be sent home, but no date has been thought of yet. They have promised me 2 days notice before she is sent home, so I have a chance to get down and be there to welcome her home.

I have been working hard painting, decorating and making her house more safe. Even if her physical abilities had not changed there is a massive amount of stuff needs doing because my dad fought every change to the house.

I got phoned up by BBC’s Look North today for the second time in a month, and for the second time they just wanted Dave Pedleton’s phone number. They are doing a piece about the high cost of League Cup final tickets. Bradford City Vs Swansea. The city I have spent most of my life in versus the city I was born in. I did want to go, and was offered a chance, but with ma being so ill let the chance slip, and now it is too late.

I was in Crawley last week walking along when I got aggressively beeped by a tosser on a trout trolley who went past me, pointed at the cycle lane and kipper carriage sign by the pavement I was on. He was only slightly older than me and raced away at at least 12 mph!

He was stopped at some traffic lights up the pavement and I happened to need some cardiovascular, and I took the opportunity to point out that the speed limit for him was 4 mph and added some descriptive phrases. A dangerous tosser is a dangerous tosser regardless of age, creed colour or leisure preferences.

btw. the diy anger management programme seems to be working quite well.

Leslie Davies of Bradford, Linda Lewick of Todmorden and Bev Wright of Baildon look at the statues of King Charles and Oliver Cromwell on Bradford City Hall, while Glyn Watkins talks about them, while wearing his bright Bishop Blaise things.

Leslie Davies of Bradford, Linda Lewick of Todmorden and Bev Wright of Baildon look at the statues of King Charles and Oliver Cromwell on Bradford City Hall, while Glyn Watkins talks about them, while wearing his bright Bishop Blaise things.

After a gap of nearly 200 years the city’s lost patron saint reappeared on the streets of Bradford on Sunday. Bishop Blaise of Armenia was reportedly put to death with woolcombs around 1700 years ago. He became the saint of woolcombers, and the woolcombers of Bradford used to organise a procession on his day, 3rd February. The last one was in 1825, was nearly a mile long, and was probably the biggest celebration Bradford has ever had.

This year a small group decided to try and bring St. Blaise’s day back to Bradford with a show and a walk.

On Saturday The New Bradford Playhouse had a Pie & Priestley Night by local showman Glyn Watkins, which celebrated Bradford’s most famous writer and a meat and potato pie that survived an air raid to steam defiance at ‘Hitler, Goering and the whole gang of them.’.

On Sunday the group organised a walk along part of the route of the 1825 procession, lead by Glyn dressed up as a very bright Bishop Blaise, complete with a woolcomb made out of coloured pencils, some cork pads, and a painting pad. The walk started at the Sir Titus Salt. called at the Sparrow Bier Cafe and ended at the New Bradford Playhouse. Stories included everything from the last Ice Age, the Civil War sieges, Victorian clog fighting and the tale of the long buried Beck!

After the walk Glyn said:

“The St. Blaise weekend was a great sucess! Well over a dozen people joined us and we all leant something about Bradford’s history. Bradford was made by the wool trade and celebrating St. Blaise again is a way of celebrating all the histories of this city, things we can learn from and things we can all be proud of. The venues did the walker proud with refreshments and everybody had a good time. We are already planning for the 3rd February 2014 to be a much bigger and better day for Bradford!”

My motehr has been moved to her own local hospital is much, much better.

Today’s walk was a triumph, yesterday’s show was (according to Bev, who has seen more of them than anyone else) the best I have ever done.

My mother has had 2 really bad days this last week. No call from the hospital, and she wants me to do well with the Priestley and St. Blaise, so I have stayed put and tried to work on the shows, but it has not been easy. Physically she may be getting better but she is obviously suffering from exhaustion and depression.

I have not said this in a blog because I have had no time to create a separate show page, so this has to serve.

No show I ever do will be perfect, there will always be things that could be made better, but disregarding the massive failings in marketing (some due to the above, but most beyond my control) the show, the way I arrived for it, and the way I did it were very good. If it were not for tomorrows walk I would have cancelled today’s show on Tuesday and gone to see Ma, and the last two days have felt like I was forking fog, but I am glad I stayed. There was a late rush, and I will make some money, but more importantly I informed, educated and entertained some very good people.

So the Pie & Priestley Night is 7.30 pm tomorrow with the Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival Walk on Sunday at 1.00 pm from The Sir Titus Salts (get there early for a free coffee) and 2.30 pm. from the Sparrow Bier Cafe, ending up at the New Bradford Playhouse for refreshments by 3.30 pm.

If you want to be sure of a free pie and peas for tomorrow you must book beforehand. Go to New Bradford Playhouse booking page or call them on 10274 308727.

You can also book the £2 tickets for the walk at the same time.

Blaise.pie poster8

A short guided walk by Glyn Watkins celebrating Bradford's forgotten Saint and hidden histories On Sunday 3rd Feb. PART 1 – The Sir Titus Salt, Morley St. Gather from noon, free coffee with ticket. Walk starts at 13.00 to the Sparrow. PART 2 – The Sparrow Bier Cafe, North Parade. Rest or Gather from 13.45, refreshments available. Walk to New Bradford Playhouse starts at 14.30. Finishes 15.30. Each part involve stairs but wheelchair accessible alternatives available. You can walk either or both parts. Tickets £2.00 Includes info pack & some refreshment. From New Bradford Playhouse 01274 308727 Until 1825 the woolcombers of Bradford organised a precession every 7 years to celebrate Bishop Blaise, an Armenian who was reputedly killed with woolcombs. The last procession was the biggest Bradford ever had and the walk follows part of the route. Illustration of the 1811 St. Blaise Day Procession

Poster for the Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival Walk. 3rd Feb.

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