One of the things I found when clearing the small room was the cache of Bradford history books I was desperate for when planning the Bring Back St Blaise’s Festival.

The main find was The Journal of DR.JOHN SIMPSON OF BRADFORD 1825, Bradford Libraries, 1981. He only wrote from 1st January to 22nd July of that year, but that included much on the way Bradford was already changing massively:

Thirty years ago Bradford was a very inconsiderable place, little better than a large village and completely surrounded by woods so as to be almost entirely concealed. Now you have some difficulty finding a good tree & what were then fields are now populous streets.

The vital thing to me in the journal is the fact Simpson also gives a first hand account of the last big St Blaise Day parade and celebration, and it is not quoted in any of the Bradford history books I have read. Fieldhouse’s history quotes a first hand account from a source he does not name (like all his sources) but it is not the same. I suspect he was lazy and unprofessional and rewrote Simpson to better fit his book; but I may be doing Fieldhouse disservice, as the event was widely reported before being almost forgotten.

The book also has an illustration of a flyer for the event. I may scan and post it in the future, but will copy out part of the ballads it contained next post.

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