Set Sheffield Jubilee Fayre for battles

Sheffield Jubilee Fayre at Norfolk Park.....
Sheffield Jubilee Fayre at Norfolk Park.....
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HISTORY is the lifeblood of the Sheffield Jubilee Fayre.

And as medieval archers mingled with 1940s Soviet soldiers, and American civil war Yankees socialised with Roman legionnaires, an estimated 20,000 people flocked to Norfolk Park over two days to watch.

Residents from across South Yorkshire and further afield - many of them drawn there for the historical re-enactments and military displays - declared the weekend a resounding success, 10 years after the Fayre was launched.

Leanne Duffield, aged 38, from Stocksbridge, attended the event with her daughter Anna, four, and said: “It’s been excellent.

“We didn’t expect this - what a display,” she said, watching a troop of archers recreate the 15th-century Battle of Agincourt.

“We will definitely come back next year.”

Darren Wearing, 47, from Stannington, had brought along daughter Ainsley, 17, and family friends Rebecka, seven, and Brooke, six.

Darren said: “We have been coming for years and it’s fascinating, seeing all the history.”

Ainsley added: “I love just seeing it all, especially the big battles.”

Michael Hardy, 39, and Keira Blake, 35, visited with two-year-old daughter Daisy from Worsborough, Barnsley.

Michael said: “It’s a really good event. I remember coming to Norfolk Park when I was young to see the Army put on displays, so it’s nice to be here and see the re-enactments.”

Paula Taylor, 43, from Mosborough, said: “It’s our first time here and we’re glad we came. It’s really good that they can put on something like this for free.”

Her husband Howard, 47, added: “The re-enactments are brilliant. A lot of events have been cancelled this year because of the weather, so it’s nice to have something like this.”

Re-enactors Ron and Colleen Devanney, part of the Soviet Red Army Infantry 13th Guards, slept in 1930s tents throughout the event, even during Saturday night’s downpour.

Their grandson Cameron Shaw, 15, also a member of the guards, admitted: “It was pretty abysmal.”

Ron, 66, who had travelled from York, said: “We’ve been bringing Cameron since he was a baby. We used to be in the British Army, but joined the Soviets because they actually had men, women and children in their ranks, so the whole family could get involved.”

In an event brimming with history, it was only fitting that organisers set up a special tent to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, particularly as the Fayre was founded a decade ago with money from the Queen’s Golden Jubilee fund.

The historical links between Norfolk Park and the Monarchy, however, go back even further.

Norfolk Park played a key role in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, when 50,000 schoolchildren gathered there to sing to the monarch, watched by 200,000 Sheffield residents.