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Politics and pony rides at Sheffield union festival

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Politics and pony rides combined as a popular trade union festival celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Hundreds of people attended the South Yorkshire Festival at Wortley Hall, Wortley, near Sheffield, on Saturday afternoon.

The free event marked the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike, which falls this year, in the grounds of the country hall, which is collectively owned by several trade union groups.

The festival was a mixture of political campaigning and family-friendly fun, with pony rides, children’s rides and a falconry display.

There were more than 70 stalls set up for the event, a combination of trade stalls selling everything from jewellery to plants and stands run to highlight various campaigns such as the Freedom Riders and The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

John Foden, president of Wortley Hall and a Labour councillor who is Mayor of Rotherham, said the day had been a success after it was moved from its traditional early July date to mid-August this year. He said the event has proved to be a good way of promoting the hall over the last two decades.

“Wortley Hall was going through a bit of a rough patch and we saw the festival as a way of raising the profile of the hall. There is something for everybody, adults and children.”

Rita King, aged 76, from Chesterfield, was attending the event for the third time.

She said it was a good opportunity for campaigners to meet each other and members of the public. “A lot of people come and they need to advertise and tell people what they are doing,” she said.

 

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