WOOL LOVERS Blaise-d a trail to Bradford Industrial Museum at the weekend to celebrate the patron saint of wool-combers.

A Wool Market was held for the second time at the museum to honour Bishop Blaise and the history of wool in Bradford.

The event, on Sunday, the feast day of St Blaise, saw stalls selling woollen yarns, textiles and hand looms, as well as fun family activities including spinning and weaving demonstrations.

Food was also on offer and there was a pop up pub specially brewed Blaise Ale from Leeds-based Sunbeam Brewery. Entertainment was provided by Hall Royd Band from Shipley and a local choir.

The free event was organised by Bradford Industrial Museum in conjunction with Glyn Watkins with sponsorship from Napoleons Casino.

Bishop Blaise was a physician and bishop in Sebastea, Armenia, and was believed to have lived around the end of the 3rd or early 4th century. People went to him for cures of both spiritual and bodily ailments and he was thought to have also healed animals. He was reported to have been tortured by being flayed using pins from a wool-comb and beheaded because he refused to renounce his faith.

Bradford was once known as Worstedopolis due to the number of mills and wool processing businesses including wool-combers that operated in the district and up until 1825 the wool-combers of the district would hold a parade through the city to celebrate their patron saint. It was a four day festival where one of the wool-combers would dress as Bishop Blaise and parade through the town.

A new Bradford Woolly Heritage Community Interest Company has been set up to support the wool festival with the ultimate aim to have a major citywide internationally linked celebration of the Bishop of Blaise’s Day in 2025 which will be the 200th anniversary of the last time there was a major celebration of the saint in Bradford.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This is only the second time we’ve held a wool market at the Industrial Museum, which is based in an original small worsted spinning mill.

“We have two ‘Bishop Blaise’ coats that were worn in the parades in our collection. One from Bradford and one from Keighley, as well as some other memorabilia from these parades.”