July 2014




I have taken an amount of alcohol in the Sparrow Bier Cafe.

it is a bit hot for Bradford.

It was hotter on Saturday. I stood on North Parade in top hat wrapped with a Bradford City cummerbund; waistcoat, white shirt, cravat, and tails.

I got home today to discover I had left the oven on.

The chicken stock had become heat mummified chicken bits.

I ate the bits.

I am drinking the Cava I should have bought before Saturday, and may have a cup of tea that I had failled to buy before Saturday and all.

If I write no more I would just like to say I love the Sparrow; I love all the people I talked to tonight; I love and admire Les at the Sparrow. I have moaned less than you would expect about my experience on Saturday; but Les worked 19.5 hours that day. He was in the Sparrow today because nobody else was standing. Every time someone tried to praise him he would rebuff it with: “But I own the business.”!

Little things make a lot; but the things that make change are done by people with both heart and soul.

Les and Beth. Nigel whose idea it was; `The Dime Bar.

I had a full wind encounter with a bloke wanting to do the day down because of what one business said.

I was stood opposite the business, in full sun, for the best part of seven hours. He was not there.

Like the children who got really serious about hat throwing: I hope I make things better; even if only by a butterfly’s wing beat.

I will try and remember to put names to the pictures but I just need to get them up first.

The whole things was a positive day, and something North Parade should do again.

I had some lovely moments, hat throwing works wonderfully well for children. I had one very small girl run up to me just as she was leaving to hugh my knees.

Hft are a lovely bunch of people.

It was a very long day for me though. Top had and tails in full sunshine.

Thank you to everyone who supported.













I am getting a little bit excited abot the Hat Throwing on Saturday; and the prospect of my birthday show on Saturday 13th September, at the New Bradford Playhouse.

After I had photocopied my mother’s will at the local studies library I had one shot left, so I got a 1891 OS map of Bradford, and managed a copy of North Parade. I have been up it twice since, and learnt loads. Less from what I see, much more from people in the Sparrow looking at it and pointing out things I had not seen, like a burial plot off Cheapside I am sure nobody had mentioned when I have asked.

Went to a production of the Tempest in the grounds of whar is still called Bradford Cathedral. It was better than gripping yourself so hard your own nails make you bleed; and my mate Joe was really funny.

I was in the Corn Dolly by 2040. Best beer I Bradford, easily, but I needed someone to moan about art to, so after a pint I walked back to the Sparrow.

At the Sparrow I tested the hard Hat Throwing target for Saturday; explained it to a Bradford couple who had been watching; who them explained it to the 3 bemused foreign gentlemen who had also been watching. What I loved most was the fact the Bradford pair mimrd the throwing of a hat as they explained it!

Blessed friends Karl and Megan then came in with thier friends. They had been at the show. Megan, being a young person, asked straight out if I had left early. Turns out all of their opinion was not different to mine, but they had brought a lot of alcohol with them for half time.

Best bit was getting a lift home in Karl and Megan’s SWAT van.Saving me money.

I also taught the staff at the Sparrow (Ben and Matty) how to make a pink gin. I had been shown the new bottle of Angostura Bitters the first day I had been in after the gin tasting.I remembered today, being flush like.

You really need to throw out the extra Angostura bitters after swilling it around the glass,

I was walking down to a Bradford Library to photocopy my mother’s will. I was stopped by a very polite boy of about 15, asking if he could borrow my phone to call his mother (his term) because he had injured his ankle.

He called her mobile, and got nowt. He asked if he could call her landline, but got nowt.

Before I walked away I asked him how long he would be sat there, in case his mother called be back; and before I ended the sentence I got a call from a blocked number!

Before the caller said a word I said:

Your son has just borrowed my phone to call you, here he is.

He talked to his mum, and thanked me.

The letter I sent to Lloyds Bank about them failing to act as they should with regards to my late mother’s affairs today resulted in them phoning me, offering me, compensation, and paying it straight away on my acceptance with good grace. Not a life changing amount, but enough to make my life as easy as it should be considering the extra expense I have had, The amount includes payment for extra stress, but like I said; the amount offered seems fair, so I was happy to offer my good grace when I accepted it.

It actually makes a big difference to my short term well being. The biggest plus point is I do not have to have enough money in my cheque account to pay the Probate Fee. The slight down side is I have to collect the cheque for the fee from Crawley, but the compensation reflects that cost.

The poster is a test; there are logos to be added, and the title of the show may be changed slightly by early next week; but the other details will stay the same.

The pie will be a Dommo special, meat & potato, with Bradford sourced ox-tail (and some kind of veggie pie as well).

Tickets are not on sale yet, but when they are get yours quick. You save a pound and have the chance to try pie. Leave it too late and you may go pieless in Playhouse.


Glyn Watkins presents
his annual Pie & Priestley Night


A performance celebrating J.B.Priestley’s birthday, a meat & potato pie that defied Hitler, and a City that defies the odds. In the theatre Priestley was proud to be President of.

£7.50 (£6.50 if booked in adv). Chance to sample free pie for first 25 tickets booked.

Saturiday 13th Sept. 7.30.

New Bradford Playhouse

Bradford BD1 5DL. 01274 308727

A bradwan production. See http://www.bradwan.com

I took old mate, and gin girl, Linda to Coopers in Guiseley at the invite of Greg, who cuts hair, owns dogs, now makes gin, and has appeared on this blog before.

Linda lives in Todmorden. I met her off the train at Bradford Interchange late afternoon.

The trains to Guiseley and Ilkley on Sunday from Bradford are worse than you would imagine.

I took Linda to the Sparrow so I could get technical advice about the Bradford Hat Throwing Championship next Saturday. She was a massive help.

We were going to Mamma Mia’s, but we ended up getting the Sparrow platter at £5. Filled the void very well.

The gin tasting involved 3 gins. The actual Sword gin is a very strong flavour. Linda hated it, but I could see reasons. There are so many ‘small scale’ gins now that making just another mainstream copy leaves you competing with many. What I said is that if I knew a reason for the strong taste, a backstory, then I might buy it. Without a reason it is, as blended at present, a challenge to the taste, which will produce hater or lovers. If they are expecting a taste before they sip then the reaction will be more positive, or less negative.

Linda’s last possible train back was 20.35 to Leeds. My ticket from Bradford was ‘Not via Leeds’. My only train would have been 22.04!

I ask the Guard on Linda’s train about going via Leeds as soon as he opened the doors. He was really good. After much pressing of buttons he sold me an excess ticket of just over a pound. He could have refuse to sell me anything, or sold me a full fare with no regard for what I paid already.

I am gad the railway still attracts people to work on it who understand how trains and people work.

I had a double Tanqueray in Wetherspoons on my way home. The beta version of Sword Gin we tried tonight is so much stronger in flavour!

Earlier on I even did some ironing, and bought and jointed a cheap lemon chicken from Lidl. A fairly full day then.

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