The Please Back Blaise's Festival

by Glyn Watkins in Bradford, England, United Kingdom

Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

To celebrate Bradford & the wool industry by reviving the forgotten Patron of Woolcombers, & have fun, weave our history wider, and film it.

by Glyn Watkins in Bradford, England, United Kingdom

3rd Feb. was once the biggest and most enjoyable day to be had in Bradford, when woolcombers guild organised everyone in the wool trade into a procession to celebrate Bishop Blaise. I've spent a decade bringing Blaise back. The weekend of 1st - 3rd Feb. will be the biggest Blaise day for a good while, help make it bigger and better!

Saint Blaise was an Armenian Bishop Martyr who was reputedly tortured with woolcombs, so he became the Patron of Woolcombers.

Woolcombers were a highly skilled group vital to the wool trade that made the country's wealth. Every town with a wool trade celebrated Blaise's Day on 3rd Feb. but Bradford's was the biggest and best. The procession had over a thousand people taking part, and it celebrated a town that would become the biggest wool town the world would ever see.

Unfortunately the last procession was in 1825. A few months afterwards the woolcombers and handloom weavers went on strike and lost after months of distress. Bishop Blaise's day was pretty much forgotten.

About a decade ago I started trying to revive Blaise’s day; to celebrate, wool, Bradford, and all its peoples. I have had much help along the way, and this year Bradford will celebrate its first ever wool festival, 3rd Feb. in the Industrial Museum, Moorside Rd. I will also be doing a small show on Friday 1st, and a walk along part of the route of the 1825 procession on Saturday 2nd.

The basic goal will pay for all the things I have committed to, and the associated expenses. I have promises of help already, but this is really about the stretch goals, to pay for things I cannot pay for myself.

As they said in 1825:

As friendship, love, and unity, Compose the bond of peace,

In them may our community

Join hands and thus increase.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A thank you e-mail from me, maybe with a certificate; and being let off making a donation if you come on the walk.

£30 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£30 Reward 2017 programme

As the £20 reward plus a copy of the 2017 programme. A roughly A3 fold out map of that year's walk plus descriptions and background.

£30 or more

0 of 25 claimed

£30 Reward Little Red Head Book Reward

As the £20 reward plus one of my Wayne Jacobs Little Red Head Books (a book about red headed footballers and the mysteries of red hair).

£50 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward: film credit + pos Livestream or talk

Your name or company on the film credits (if made) and the leaflet (ditto). If you are in or near Bradford I'll come to you, or meet you at a central place, and either do a Facebook livestream (subject to WiFi and my technical incompetence); or tell you things about the place we meet (no cellars or isolated sheds allowed). If you are a central Bradford business I'll try and do the livestream on the walk, but can't promise.

£100 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£100 Reward My books + credit + pos personal walk

Large credit with logo on the possible film and leaflet, and on the possible Blaise history booklet. My Little Red Head Book and My Walburgas' poetry and artwork book, and probably other stuff I've done, plus a history of the Bradford Wool Exchange. I'll also do you a personal guided walk of Bradford, or somewhere nearby. Plus a possible Livestream.

Got an idea like this?

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