Traditional childhood games from yesteryear were revived in a Yorkshire-wide scheme inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Games in the Park events were held across the region in 2012, allowing people of all ages to indulge in nostalgic activities such as hopscotch, blind man’s buff and hide and seek, as well as take part in more modern activities like free running and wheelchair rugby.
The project was just one of more than 100 events taking place across the region commissioned by imove, Legacy Trust UK’s celebratory programme for Yorkshire and part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Various Games in the Park events took place from May to August 2012, the first on Saturday May 26 2012, where the organisers created a day of free musical games in the central streets of Beverley from 11 am to 3pm
Around the region, other Games in the Park events included dazzling demonstrations of skipping and freerunning, plus show-stopping performances by dancers from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, combining athleticism with feline grace as they perform responses to the various movements embodied in games.
A Games in the Park exhibition ran from 28 July until 2 December 2012 at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, in Bradford, including a photographic reconstruction of Bruegel’s Children’s Games.
Games in the Park is a collaborative project run in association with Bradford Council’s Department of Regeneration and Culture, Alchemy, National Centre for Early Music, Harewood House, Hull City Council and Ryedale Folk Museum, with creative support from the National Media Museum and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Nima Poovaya-Smith, Alchemy Director, said: "Children’s games show the connections between different cultures of the world in simple yet powerful ways. The number of partners involved, demonstrates the immediate appeal of the idea."
Tony Stephens, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director for Culture and Tourism, said: "Games in the Park is for all generations – from children to grandparents and great grandparents. It is a light-hearted way in which to celebrate London 2012 while getting people moving, skipping and hopping or just enjoying the buzz in different parts of Yorkshire."
Arts Engagement Officer
Richard Eurich, 1903-1992; Gay Lane 1952; oil on canvas; Collection: Bradford Museums and Galleries; © The artist’s estate/The Bridgeman Art Library