Poet Ian is headline act at Broomhill’s 37th festival

Yorkshire Post columnist Ian McMillan of Darfield, Barnsley' See story  Picture Chris Lawton
Yorkshire Post columnist Ian McMillan of Darfield, Barnsley' See story Picture Chris Lawton

FOR the 37th year the bunting is out in the suburb of Broomhill as residents stage their annual festival to bring the community together and to raise funds for charity.

This year the event has expanded to 16 days to spread it over three weekends starting this Saturday and the programme includes some celebrity names in among traditional festival attractions, along with a special tribute to a committee member who died tragically young over the past year.

John Shuttleworth

John Shuttleworth

Top of the bill is Barnsley Bard Ian McMillan, Poet-in-Residence for the English National Opera and Barnsley FC, Humberside Police’s Beat Poet and a Radio 4 mainstay, who will be holding court at St Mark’s Church on Thursday, June 16.

Festivalgoers have been encouraged by hearing him say on Desert Island Discs that once he starts performing he doesn’t want to stop.

In one of the most intriguing events eccentric singer-songwriter John Shuttleworth, the comic creation of Graham Fellows who grew up in Broomhill, will be performing to the residents of care home Lifestyle House, who include his parents. A limited number of tickets are available to the public.

The festival is commemorating the life of David Stoker, who died last year from a brain tumour at the age of 30.

The University of Sheffield graduate was involved with the Broomhill Festival for several years, designing logos, maintaining the website and doing more menial tasks like helping setting up stalls. A keen photographer, he took many pictures of festival events and, with the help of his parents and the Can Studios where he worked as a software engineeer, a selection of his photographs of Sheffield and Derbyshire are going on show.

Showing alongside work by the artist Jean Luce, the exhibition will be launched at the Festival Family evening barbecue at St Mark’s on Friday evening. The art and photography will be on sale throughout the festival.

There will be an evening of crime writing with local authors Danuta Reah and Stephen Booth next Wednesday and the following evening a talk on The Wisdom of Birds by Prof Tim Birkhead, both at Broomhill Methodist Church.

Once again there is a programme of Open Gardens around Broomhill including the Endcliffe Edge Triangle. Last year the open gardens raised £1,000 in one afternoon alone.

The popular five-a-side tournament, usually attracting around 80 teams of local schoolchildren, takes place on the middle Sunday (June 12) and there is a Family Fun Afternoon in the Botanical Gardens on the Saturday.

On the last Saturday the festival climaxes with a procession through the streets and past the shops of Broomhill (with prizes for fancy dress) down to St Mark’s Green for the traditional Garden Party.

Three of this year’s charities are based locally – Safe@last, Sheffield Women’s Aid and Twin & Twin Trading Ltd, and the fourth is the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust in memory of David Stoker.