Your Barn­aby volunteer

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE - CRAW­FORD SC­HOLES

Brief de­scrip­tion of your role at the fes­ti­val: I’m over­see­ing the Space­pod Challenge in the Mar­ket Place on Satur­day, June 25, the sec­ond week­end of the fes­ti­val, as well as vol­un­teer­ing as a stew­ard at a cou­ple of events. How did you first get in­volved with the fes­ti­val?: This is my first year as a volunteer. I’ve been a punter in pre­vi­ous years, as well as an ob­server when my wife or­gan­ised the But­ton Project in 2013 (an ex­hi­bi­tion of over 250 in­di­vid­ual but­tons, from mak­ers around the world, cre­ated specif­i­cally for dis­play in Mac­cles­field and in­spired by the her­itage of silk but­ton mak­ing in the town) and the Shop Win­dow Com­pe­ti­tion in 2014. I thought it was about time I helped out with some­thing that makes such a dif­fer­ence to the town and only hap­pens be­cause peo­ple volunteer to help or­gan­ise it. Tell us more about the events you’re in­volved with this year?: Space­pod Challenge sits within the sci­ence strand of the fes­ti­val – it’s ex­cit­ing for me, an en­gi­neer, to be in­volved in broad­en­ing the hori­zons of Barn­aby to in­clude sci­ence as well as the arts. We’re invit­ing teams to de­sign a space ve­hi­cle to pro­tect a del­i­cate cargo as it lands on Planet Barn­aby, specif­i­cally an egg dropped from a height of six me­tres to the cob­bles of Mar­ket Place. Teams can ei­ther en­ter via the Barn­aby web­site and build their space­ship be­fore­hand, or, if friends and col­leagues haven’t yet learned to love en­gi­neer­ing, any­body can come along on the day and join one of our im­promptu teams to cre­ate some­thing from scratch in a few hours. We’ve got Dr Lucy Rogers, one of the judges on the new se­ries of Ro­bot Wars, com­ing along to help judge the in­ven­tions as well as talk about her experience of work­ing in space en­gi­neer­ing. What’s been the big­gest challenge so far?: There’s lots of chal­lenges or­gan­is­ing an event from scratch, but the great thing about vol­un­teer­ing for Barn­aby is that there is a fab­u­lous team with lots of ideas and experience in dif­fer­ent ar­eas who are happy and will­ing to help you out. What did you en­joy most about last year’s fes­ti­val?: I en­joyed The Block­heads, be­cause I love live mu­sic, and, grow­ing up when I did, Ian Dury was a bit of a leg­end. But, to be hon­est, the thing I like best about Barn­aby is the buzz around town dur­ing the fes­ti­val; it’s fun just walk­ing round and vis­it­ing the venues with events for free, tak­ing time to watch the street en­ter­tain­ers and lap­ping up the fes­ti­val at­mos­phere. What are you look­ing for­ward to this year?: The As­tronomer’s Story looks bril­liant - I’ve had to bor­row some kids so that I can go along! It’s a very imag­i­na­tive con­cept to have an in­ter­ac­tive, the­atri­cal experience inside that dis­used church, lead­ing into a se­ries of outdoor events across a full week. What a fan­tas­tic way to cre­ate a story and bring the town to­gether on a mis­sion. What’s the best thing about the fes­ti­val?: As I said, I love the buzz about the town dur­ing the fes­ti­val. I feel proud to live in a town where the peo­ple I live amongst are able to cre­ate, plan, or­gan­ise and sup­port some­thing of the qual­ity of Barn­aby. What do you think the fes­ti­val has done for the town, and what would you wish for the fu­ture?: Barn­aby has helped Macc to find it’s iden­tity again; it’s given us all some­thing to look for­ward to. It’s ex­cel­lent to have such qual­ity art and entertainment on the doorstep, pro­vided both by both pro­fes­sion­als and tal­ented lo­cals. I hope it continues for a long time. All of those I’ve spo­ken to who have vol­un­teered in pre­vi­ous years have said how re­ward­ing it is, so I’m look­ing for­ward to do­ing my bit this year and be­ing part of cre­at­ing that fu­ture with the army of other vol­un­teers who help to make Barn­aby hap­pen. What have you learned from your experience as a volunteer?: I’ve learned what an amaz­ing breadth of tal­ent there is in Mac­cles­field and how, work­ing to­gether with such a large and will­ing team, it’s pos­si­ble to do some­thing quite spe­cial. The As­tronomer’s Story takes place on Satur­day, June 18 and Sun­day, June 19 with re­lated events across the week. Space­pod Challenge takes place on Satur­day, June 25, 1pm-3pm in Mar­ket Place.

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