Tuesday, 10 June 2008

It's started...

It's June 10th, the bunting has appeared - it's the Broomhill Festival!

The festival may be a local affair, with most events taking place within the suburb of Broomhill, but it is gets bigger year on year, both in terms of the number and quality of events and the amazing amount of money raised for the festival charities - well over £17 000 last year.

We've bought tickets for several events, which means that you will be subjected to my attempts at reviewing them over the next couple of weeks. So, basically Mr TLC and I get to go out and have fun, you get to share it with us. Sounds good to me!

Originally published here on my main blog http://three-legged-cat.blogspot.com/
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Thursday, 5 June 2008


I've always liked bandstands - that's a childhood spent watching Trumpton for you - so it has been particularly satisfying watching this one come back to life. This is Sheffield's only surviving Victorian bandstand. It has been restored as part of the major works undertaken in Weston Park. It's not quite finished, but it's back in business.

I do have a 'before' photo somewhere, but I'm pretty sure that was taken with actual film (remember that?) and I can't find it. Suffice to say it was a mess, boarded up and rather run down, it was a sad little bandstand. Not any more.

Bandstand - March 30th
March 30th 2008
Most of the bandstand is elsewhere being refurbished, rebuilt and (in parts) replaced.

Bandstand - April 21st
April 21st 2008
The framework for the roof has been put in place. This is so exciting that it gets reported in the local paper. But then again, the local paper does have a lot of space to fill.

Bandstand - May 25th
May 25th 2008
The new zinc roof is gleaming. I don't remember that beautiful metalwork, but it looks reet smart (as we say round here). The new panels are piled up waiting to be installed. These will hold sash windows, that can be lowered to ground level.

Bandstand - June 1st
June 1st 2008
A very important detail has been added - there's a band! Everyone sits around on folding metal chairs, in the traditional manner for enjoying a concert in the park. The bandstand isn't quite finished yet - there are a few gaps above the panelling into which stained glass panels will be fitted in the next few weeks.

I don't remember stained glass panels, or a weathervane, but the bandstand was already in a pretty bad state when I arrived in Sheffield, so they probably weren't there. It's looking good now though.

Originally published here on my main blog http://three-legged-cat.blogspot.com/
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Monday, 2 June 2008

Open Day

Musee LuxembourgOne of my favourite places is the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris. It isn't the gardens that appeal to me so much, although they are of course very nice, it's the atmosphere: it's wonderful.

I think the appeal lies in that sense of a bygone age, a gentler time. The last time we visited it was a bright spring day and we wandered past children playing with toy boats, spinning tops and all manner of traditional toys. We strolled past tables where old men played chess in a relaxed and laid-back manner, despite the fact that every move had to be completed before their stopclocks reached zero. We sat on a park bench and ate ice cream as we watched the world go by. Finally we made it to the Musée de Luxembourg, where we enjoyed an exhibition of Matisse's work and were astounded by the enthusiasm shown by the many, very young French children who were there, most of whom were making wildly inaccurate copies of some of the artwork in their sketchbooks. It was a fantastic day, a day that left me feeling contented and nostalgic.

Yesterday afternoon that feeling came flooding back, but this time I didn't have to go all the way to Paris; Mr TLC and I just strolled to Weston Park in Sheffield where the grand Open Day was in full swing. The park has been undergoing major restoration work, in fact it still is - it wasn't finished in time for the Open Day, but enough was done that it looks pretty good.

We expected to see the carousel and helter-skelter, and whilst we knew that the almost-complete bandstand would be back in use, it was still good to see it come back to life. There were a few surprises: we hadn't expected to meet Queen Victoria, or watch a game of croquet - in which good-natured cheating seemed to be a major factor in the game!

A very small version of Ivor the Engine was chugging up and down, to the delight of small children and childish grown-ups. There were drama groups and bands performing, and (of course) the once-controversial ice-cream van was in attendance.

Circus SkillsFor me the best part of the day was watching one very talented teacher who was managing to encourage literally dozens of children and adults to walk on stilts, spin plates and catch diabolos. He was unbelievable: relaxed and chatting, whilst doing just enough for his students that they saw success within their grasp and continued to practise and persevere when he moved onto another group.

We rounded off our visit with a final hit of nostalgia: we called in at Weston Park Museum to say hello to Snowy the polar bear. That's where the spell got broken: it's a modern museum, complete with the obligatory bells and whistles. This being both the last day of the half-term holiday and Weston Park Open Day, it was incredibly busy. There were a gazillion children charging about, good-naturedly but noisily, pushing every button and trying everything on offer. "Shall we come back when it's quieter?" asked Mr TLC. I think that's exactly what we'll do.

Croquet on the Lawn We Are Not Amused War Memorial
Carousel Band Concert '
Thank You Ice Cream Van

Originally published here on my main blog http://three-legged-cat.blogspot.com/
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