Anyone living in or near Manchester should think about visiting Platt Fields Park between Friday May 7th and Sunday May 9th. Why? Because there are some brilliant sounding events going on to celebrate 100 years of this great urban park.
100 years ago Platt Fields was saved from being a housing development by a determined local resident, William Royle, who put pressure on the council to save it. There’ll be a nostalgic feel to some of the festivities such as the striped marquee, bandstand Victorian funfair. However, the festivities will reflect the local arts scene and the multicultural local community, with music, food and entertainment from around the world.
If you’ve never been there, Platt Fields is just south of Manchester City Centre down Oxford Road. It’s a large, flat park with lots of opportunities for play, sport and general leisure and relaxation. I wrote a mini review of it for Creative Tourist not so long ago. Platt Fields is also well worth visiting for the recently refurbished and reopened Costume Museum housed in Platt Hall.
You can read more about the centenary festivities on the excellent Friends of Platt Fields website. It promises to be a unique opportunity to enjoy arts and culture along with fairgrounds, food and all kinds of fun.
Proceedings will kick off on Friday in the bandstand in front of Platt Hall with the first reading of a poem specially commissioned from local poet Mike Garry to celebrate the centenary. Read one of Mike’s poems “God Is A Manc” at his blog of the same name and get a flavour of what you could be enjoying if you can make it down here on Friday afternoon from 3 onwards. From 7pm, the “Eastern Evening” begins, with music from Kurdish Iraq, a trio from Pakistan and a Bollywood brass band.
Saturday afternoon will see activities, street theatre, strolling perfomers and music in the bandstand from 1pm onwards. Saturday evening will be “Dance Night” in the marquee with reggae, salsa and the intriguingly titled “African Palm Wine Pop” of Alafia.
Events continue from 1 until 6pm on Sunday afternoon.
Get yourself down there, it sounds like it’s going to be a fantastic celebration of 100 years of local people making the most of the facilities that Wiilaim Royle fought to save for them.