Nostalgia: Thinking big for Glossop Festival

Eight months before the 1971 Glossop Festival, the organisers had some big ideas such as booking the Red Arrows.

It’s doubtful however if the world’s top aerobatics team looped the loop over Glossop. Or if the RAF’s free fall parachute team, the Tomahawks, free-falled into Manor Park. Though they too were on some people’s wish list.

But the year-long festival did take place, despite initial doubts over finding anywhere in Glossop big enough to showcase some of the festival’s bigger indoor events.

Glossop Town Hall and Victoria Hall were deemed too small.

Then someone had a bright idea - why not use the former goods warehouse, part of the Glossop station track and buildings.

So it happened - a mini-army of volunteers was recruited and the huge job of moving decades of grime and clutter began.

The festival was to reflect Glossop’s historical and industrial past.

The warehouse - then known as the exhibition centre - was big enough to house huge displays.

So a call went out to local firms thinking of scrapping old machinery to hang onto it so it could be displayed in the exhibition.

There was a faint hope that when the festival was over the centre could remain as a venue for big events.

However, it was bought by the Co-op to become a store and is now part of the B and M chain.

Exactly 50 years ago this week we were reporting that world famous folk singer Julie Felix and the Leipzig Bach Orchestra ‘had been booked’ to give concerts.

Next week we will take another look at plans for the biggest ever festival in Glossop and one that we are unlikely ever to see again.

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