Christmas in Holbeck: Part One

st matts fairThe people of Holbeck were spoilt for choice this weekend, (Saturday and Sunday 6 & 7 December 2014) with the range of festive activities to choose from in the community.

On Saturday there were three different venues offering a host of Christmas cheer for all the family to enjoy. Then on Sunday there was the Christmas tree lights switch on and the community carol service by Mosaic Church (that’s the part two bit). All of these were of course available on a budget and for all the family.

About a month previously the organisers of Slunglow Theatre company, Northern Monk Brewery and Holbeck Gala realised their Christmas fayers were on the same day.image


They decided to embrace the clash and drew up a map to connect the visitors together. The maps were given out at the venues and footprints were chalked along the route. What ensued was a diverse trek through different parts of Holbeck.

So, we started at St. Matthews community centre first at 12.30. We were greeted in the foyer by choral singers providing some top quality singing for us to enjoy whilst we sat and drank tea. The hall was packed with stalls and my daughter didn’t have any problem winning loads of knitted animals and sweets in jars.

Then at 1.30 we took the 10 minute walk towards the HUB (Holbeck Underground Ballroom and Slung low Theatre). We followed the footsteps towards the arches of the viaduct on Bath Road. A blue gazebo in the courtyard covered a spitted hog roast stand, where pulled pork was stuffed into bread buns and apple sauce. Mulled wine was in constant flow, as was the hot chocolate (with rum if you wanted it!).  As always with Slung Low it’s pay-what-you decide policy to help with the spending.

Hands UpTwinkling lights and boudoir style canopies dropped from the ceiling making a bohemian atmosphere, with comfy sofas and an Aga stove. Live music and singing continued here too with a Ukelele band. Audience participation was required as we all had to put our hands up if were independent ladies! Further into the room were all the vintage stalls. My daughter left with some lovely bunting and a bow in slunglow





As always there are places to sit and rest and take in the atmosphere. (We did stay a bit longer here). We watched as new faces ventured along the trail, people who wouldn’t normally go further into Holbeck ventured south and vice versa.



Northern Monk Brewery





My attempt to conquer all three was quite ambitious and I’m afraid to say I missed the craft tables on the ground floor in the Northern Monk Brewery on Marshall Street as I arrived at 5pm (a mere two minutes walk from the HUB) . I did see lots of men with big beards though as I sampled a coupe of different ales.

Thanks to everyone who made this a success. It was an experience that gave people more than they bargained for!