Celebrate Rotherham’s achievements – and be inspired to write about them – at Civic Day

ROTHERHAM through the ages and its achievements on the global stage will be showcased with the borough’s first Civic Day.

The theme will be “discovering world class Rotherham” when the event takes place at Clifton Park Museum.

Civic Day is a national movement where towns and cities celebrate their historical strengths – and Rotherham District Civic Society has been busy planning for the big day on Saturday, June 15.

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And the society has launched a short story and poetry competition in the run up to its exhibition at the museum.

Event organiser David Wadkin said: “We are very proud and excited to be showcasing Rotherham through the ages.

“Our exhibition will provide a backdrop of events, people and places recognising Rotherham as being world class.

“A bold statement or fact? Come along to Clifton Park Museum and see if you agree.

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“The poetry and short story completion is one of the ways we want to showcase our amazing place where we live, through creating stories and poetry on the theme of world class Rotherham.

“We have in the exhibition an up-to-date profile of Rotherham’s achievements where everyone can learn about our rich past, present and future.”

Poet, writer and broadcaster Ian McMillan is among the judges who will provide feedback on the shortlisted poems.

The winning entries will be published in a booklet which will be made available to schools to engage more people in learning about Rotherham’s heritage.

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Schools, colleges and libraries are also being offered the chance to book the Civic Day exhibition stands after the event is over at the museum.

“We have already been asked if there will be a follow up exhibition,” said David. “If we continue to receive encouraging feedback and the exhibition is well received then we have a lot more to add to the Rotherham story.

“We originally thought ‘discovering Rotherham’ would convey the overall theme, but quickly realised as we built up our story that it is so much more. Some of the many questions raised included; How many Rotherham Olympians can you name, Have we ever achieved a gold medal?

“Who singlehanded challenged the Government of the day and changed conditions for the better for the whole country?

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“Where in Rotherham would you be able to find a link between Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Tata family and a ship that was three times bigger than any other vessel in the world?

“We have a rich history and our story needs showcasing. What better way to spark creativity and a sense of belonging than through an understanding of Rotherham through verse or storytelling?”

Poems can be up to 40 lines and short stories can be 1,000 words. The deadline for submissions is October 31.

Town centre walks linked with National Civic Day take place at 10am on the following Saturdays: May 18, May 25 and June 1. Meet behind the museum at the Roman Granary.

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Three more walks take place on June 15 itself as part of the celebrations, which run from 10am. There will also be a cycling trail, vintage bus ride and arts workshops, in addition to the main exhibition.

Visit rotherhamcivicsociety.org for details of Civic Day and the writing competition.

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