Magical transformation of Rotherham
CHILDREN went potty for the magic and mayhem of a family fun day with more than a hint of Hogwarts.
The latest event in Rotherham’s A Slice of Summer Fun series took place in All Saints’ Square on Wednesday, with families invited into the weird and wonderful activities conjured up by the town’s own literacy charity, Grimm and Co.
Actor Paul Clayton and entertainer Wizzo the Wizard were among those making an appearance, while the Advertiser’s own Dave Doyle manned a Grimm and Co stall offering macabre and magical gifts.
Actor, director and author Paul Clayton is a veteran TV star of Hollyoaks, Peep Show and Coronation Street.
He is also one of Grimm and Co's celebrity patrons and a native of Rotherham.
He said: “I’m in town because I heard that today is the day magic happens in Rotherham, which I think Rotherham deserves and should have.
“I'm impressed. I come from Rotherham and I remember the centre of it being quite lively until all the shops moved away.
“To see loads of people coming into town, interacting, standing around chatting and enjoying themselves !a and putting life back into what is a lovely town !a I think is brilliant.
“It makes me very proud to come from Rotherham.”
He added: "The train running up and down the square would have very much impressed me as a kid. In fact it still does impress me.
“There are massive queues at the face-painting, which is brilliant. And the DJ is taking me back to my youth with lots of 1970s music. It’s magic, absolute magic.
“I like anything which brings people together and gets them away from the easy solutions of digital media.
“Anything which gets people talking to each other, telling stories, telling anecdotes in the pub or the coffee shop, or creating something from your imagination like these kids are, I think it’s brilliant.”
Children also took the chance to get crafty and take a ride on a miniature steam railway.
Mia-Rose Tidmarsh (9), of Elton Lane, Woodlaithes, said: “We went in the Grimm and Co shop, found out about Grimm and Co, borrowed books and got magical soaps.
“Now we’re going to do a booklet about our own fairy-tale character. It’s really exciting.
“I haven’t had a ride on the train yet, but I would definitely like to.
“And later we’re going to the old-fashioned sweet shop and doing the fairy-trail.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before in Rotherham – I would definitely like to see more of it.”
Adam Brown (9) also of Elton Lane, Woodlaithes, added: “I think it’s amazing that everyone has come to enjoy the day and the people at Grimm and Co have been really nice.”
Adam’s brother Thomas (11), said: “We’ve been writing down our dreams and we got a book to make our own fairy-tale character.
“This is very different from other things I’ve done on my summer holidays, but it’s very exciting.”
The summer fun series switches to Clifton Park next Tuesday, with children’s entertainment and deckchairs lined up for three days from Tuesday to Thursday alongside the park’s water play area.