Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New location for Chesterfield's May Day Gala

Chesterfield's Crooked Spire

Chesterfield’s 35th May Day Gala, on Bank Holiday Monday May 7th, will this year take place in Rykneld Square, outside the Tourist Information Office and underneath the Crooked Spire. The move prompted by the renovation of the Town’s Market Hall will mean the stalls this year will be located mainly in the Winding Wheel.

As usual, people will assemble at 10.30 AM outside the Town Hall. At 11.00AM the march will proceed, banners aloft, towards the Town Centre. This year, due to roadwork’s, the parade will not cover the distance of previous years - many participants will be grateful for that! The Ireland Colliery Band will lead the march and the Nottingham Samba Band will add to the carnival atmosphere of the occasion. On arriving at Rykneld Square, the May Day crowds will be addressed by Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of PCS, the Public and Commercial Services Union, Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield and Cheryl Pidgeon representing the construction workers Union UCATT. Bringing news of the situation facing Greek workers will be Kostas Katarahais, General Secretary of the Greek Health Workers Union who is based in a Greek Cancer Hospital in Athens.

Following the speeches, Rykneld Square will burst into music and dancing with Merry Hell supported by Metrum and Orchid Star. Some community stalls will be erected around Rykneld Square and on the green space in front of the Crooked Spire along with a bouncy castle for the kids. The rest of the stalls and exhibitions will be in the Winding Wheel. They will be joined in the auditorium by the Nottingham Clarion Choir, the Brampton Community Band, Ichabod, the Boomerang Generation and Kworyl. There will also be an exhibition of anti-war art by Chris Holden and a slideshow depicting peace activism in Chesterfield since the Second World War. At the Crooked Spire Church itself, there will be an exhibition of peace paintings by the children of Bethlehem Peace School of Palestine throughout the wekend.
In North East Derbyshire District Council Chamber at 1.30pm a meeting will take place entitled ‘Overcoming the North-South divide’. If that’s not your thing then there is break dancing on Vicar Lane throughout the day with flying acrobatics, fancy footwork and death defying dance.
As part of the May Day Festivities Sheffield’s Roy Bailey will be performing in a concert for peace on the Sunday Night prior to the bank holiday hosted by Chesterfield Stop War and on Monday evening there will be an event hosted by the Chesterfield Co-operative Party entitled Love, Life and Liberty. Both activities will be in the Winding Wheel.
‘A carnival parade, a brass band, rabble rousing speeches, international and local bands and performers, art and theatre – there is something for everyone, young and old, at the best May Day Gala in the country.’ said James Eaden President of Chesterfield & District Trades Union Council ‘With Government’s crudely attempting to recoup their system’s losses, workers are under attack all across Europe. We must stick together, campaign together but also dance, sing and celebrate the cultural activities of working people the world over.’ James went on to say.

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