Celebrating JB Priestley - with a pie and a pint

By Emma Clayton

Leisure and Lifestyle Editor

Celebrating JB Priestley - with a pie and a pint

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WHEN Glyn Watkins discovered he had the same birthday as Bradford writer JB Priestley, he came up with an idea.

“I thought why not celebrate both our birthdays with a show based on his work? If no-one showed up, it would mean they didn’t like JB Priestley’s work - not because they didn’t like me!” smiles Glyn.

The birthdays in question are on September 13. Glyn, a historian, poet and showman, has organised a series of events to celebrate the Bradford writer, whose work includes The Good Companions, When We Are Married and English Journey.

The Little Pie and Priestley Festival also includes readings, a film screening, a bus tour and a pie and pea supper.

Why the pies?

“Earlier this year I ran a Bring Back St Blaise Festival which was a big success thanks to support from friends, Napoleons, the Sparrow Bar, the Record Cafe, and very good coverage from the T&A,” says Glyn. “On the back of that success, I have expanded the show to the Little Pie and Priestley Festival - celebrating a great Bradford-born writer’s birthday and a meat and potato pie that defied Hitler!”

Glyn's St Blaise festival celebrated Bradford’s 'forgotten saint' - the patron saint of woolcombers. Events included the revival of a procession traditionally celebrated by wool workers, honouring St Blaise and spinning demonstrations at Bradford Cathedral. Glyn plans to hold the festival again next year.

In the meantime, his Priestley-themed fest kicks off with the launch of a Priestley themed beer at Salamander Brewery on September 1. Then there's a "bit of a birthday show" at Napoleons Casino in Bradford on Wednesday, September 13, with readings from Priestley's work, pie and peas and music from a brass band.

Sunday, September 17 sees a screening of Lost City, Priestley's 1958 film of Bradford, followed by a vintage bus tour of sites featured in the footage. The film will be shown at Pictureville at 11am, and the bus tour includes Priestley's birthplace, his favourite pub in Frizinghall and the bar of Bradford Playhouse, the Little Germany theatre the writer co-founded. Tickets are available from the Record Cafe and the Sparrow on North Parade.

* For more about the festival visit bradwan.com