A SPORTING spectacle with a difference will return to Bradford this Yorkshire Day.

Bolling Hall Museum will host a range of hat-themed activities on the day - Thursday August 1.

Topping off the day will be the Yorkshire Open Hat Throwing Championships, the first time the historic hall has played host to the sport.

The exciting day of hat and cap flinging will give museum visitors a chance to throw their hat into the ring and take part in a contest which began a decade ago on the edge of the iconic Ilkley Moor.

The brainchild of Bradford-based poet Glyn Watkins, the competition involves throwing hats at a stationary pole or target in a test of nerve, hand-eye coordination and accuracy.

Governed by the Transnational Incorporated Federation of Formally Thrown Hat Associations the rules of the contest require all hats be safe to throw, and no metal is allowed.

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Explaining how the event started, Mr Watkins said: “In 2009, I was trying to create an alternative fringe thing in Ilkley and the song: On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at just came into my head, closely followed by a vision of competitive hat throwing.

“The combination of Yorkshire's anthem being about a man who's lost his hat on Ilkley Moor, and getting people to throw hats at a target just seemed right.”

From those humble beginnings, the event grew in size and stature, with the second year attracting international competitors and crowning a 12 year-old champion. In later years the Championship was held in Bradford’s Centenary Square and North Parade, and last year at Leeds Industrial Museum.

Now, after ten years, Mr Watkins is hoping the added attraction of hosting this year’s championships at such a historic location on Yorkshire Day will make it the best yet.

He added: “I am really glad to be making a hat stand for Bolling Hall. I have always thought it was a forgotten gem.

“I’ve already helped the Bradford Industrial Museum by creating the Blaise Wool Festival, which brought over a thousand people in this year - a record for a February Sunday.

“Hopefully hat throwing and all the things the museum have organised will have Bolling Hall blooming this Yorkshire Day.”

Other activities include a pop-up hat exhibition, a hat trail, and hat-themed craft activities. Refreshments will be available.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We are thrilled to be staging such a brilliant event for Yorkshire Day.

“By ‘eck it’ll be fun.”

Bolling Hall will be open on Thursday, August 1 from 11 am to 4 pm. Entry is free.

Entry to the hat throwing competition is by donation, with certificates awarded for grand hatting.

Hats will be provided but you can bring your own, as long as they are safe to throw.

People are encouraged to use: #hatthrowing in social media.