The Shed’s 11th Birthday Party (2003)

Billy © Tony Bartholomew

Thousands attend 11th birthday party of offbeat music venue

A DIVERSE mix of music marked the 11th birthday of one of the north’s more unusual arts venues over the weekend.

The Shed, at Brawby, on the edge of the North York Moors, makes up for what it lacks in size with a big reputation, attracting rave reviews across the national media. Creator Simon Thackray was the man behind the idea of mixing music with knitting, which caused a national stir last year, and it him who dreamed up the first Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race, screened on Sky television. For the race, giant Yorkshire puddings were made and coated in polyurethane so they floated.

Photo © Tony Bartholomew

But on Saturday and Sunday, Malton Market Place was packed for celebrations to mark 11 years since The Shed’s first event – a performance by Labi Siffre to 70 people who packed Brawby Village Hall in 1992. Mr Thackray’s shed door was used on the promotional material at the time, and has since become a trademark for the venue, which has attracted hundreds [he means thousands] of people.

Performers over the weekend included the Snake Davis Band and the Annie Whitehead Band, as well as a number of up-and-coming groups from the area.

Two thousand people packed the market place on Saturday, with three thousand yesterday.

Mr Thackray said: “It was magical. It has been like St Tropez in our area one day and Marbella the next. “The audience were fantastic, a cross-section from every generation. Usually you just do not see this sort of the thing in the UK.”

© Northern Echo 9 June 2003