Festival spirit returns to Broomhill in Sheffield for 44th year

A child in  fancy dress at the Broomhill Festival
A child in fancy dress at the Broomhill Festival
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The Broomhill Festival is back for its 44th year this weekend – bringing arts, literature, music and events with a sense of heritage to the Sheffield suburb.

Sticking to the motto ‘by the community, for the community’, there is a strong emphasis on health to mark 70 years of the NHS, with competitions, recitals and wellness checks planned at the library on Taptonville Road.

Broomhill Festival

Broomhill Festival

In 2017 a new organising committee took over that instigated a streamlined, week-long programme – previously the festival had straddled more than a fortnight – and the same approach will be taken in 2018.

Tomorrow (Friday) there is a craft workshop with a gardening theme at the library, while at the Beacon Methodist Church the Broomspring Writers group will be reading their new work, which has an international flavour.

Then on Saturday at St Mark’s Church and Green there is the return of The Great Get-Together, part of a series of events across the country to remember the murdered MP Jo Cox.

Alongside stalls, games and a fancy dress parade of NHS-inspired costumes, the Great Broomhill Bake-Off is having another outing and author Michael Glover launches his new poetry collection in the church’s upper room.

All this weekend, gardens are opening to visitors. On Saturday, Broomhill Infant School is showing off its wildlife garden, and on Sunday it is the turn of the Endcliffe Triangle – four homes on Woodvale Road, Endcliffe Vale Road, Fulwood Road and Endcliffe Edge. Gardens on Westbourne Road, Southbourne Road and Ashdell Road are also opening on Sunday, and Broomhill Library’s is open throughout the festival.

On Monday, a free exhibition of photographs exploring the history of the Rutland Hotel launches in the venue’s foyer, running until Friday. The same day, Michael Copeland is talking about the World War One ambulance service at the Beacon church, and a schools concert is happening at St Mark’s involving Sheffield High, Birkdale, Westbourne, Nether Green Junior and Broomhill Infants.

An evening history walk on Monday – and repeated next Thursday – will look at the houses on Sale Hill and Lawson Road and the people who lived in them. The same night people can try contra dance, a type of American folk dance, in a taster session at Birkdale School.

Tuesday brings 2018’s most unusual listing. In the fully-booked Woofyt Day, groups of Y6 pupils from Lydgate Junior School will be at St Mark’s building a ‘wooden one-octave organ for young technologists’ out of plastic plumbing pipe and wooden valves, learning about air pressure, sound waves and pitch.

On Wednesday Paul Iseard of the Famous Sheffield Shop leads a quiz and a short talk on city cutlery through the ages, accompanied by a display of historic locally-made examples.

The Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra plays tunes from classic musicals at St Mark’s next Friday, and next Saturday the By the Book Theatre Company stages the play Mother of Laughter in the church’s upper room.

Proceedings come to a close at St Mark’s next Sunday, June 24, with a festival service and a ‘bring and sing’ performance of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem.

Children can enter treasure hunt and ‘art on a postcard’ contests, and Broomhill shop windows will have a special festival look.

However, the usual five-a-side youth football tournament, which was set for Sunday, has been called off because of a lack of numbers; the Buzz charity plans to run it in July instead.

Visit www.broomhill-festival.org.uk for details.