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 I was a volunteer for the day at last weekend’s Tram Sunday event in Fleetwood and was privileged to view the events from a different angle which gave me more of an appreciation of the intricate delivery of such a day.

When Sean Payne and I arrived on the day we were briefed by the LeftCoast team on our roles and given a rough schedule of the day, most of which was common sense; muck in where’s needed and even though the festival had the name Spare Parts it didn’t mean we had to impersonate one, which we were highly unlikely to do given the versatile and engaging roles we were to take part in.

Spare PartsOur first tasks of the day were to push the LeftCoast branding out there by setting up the newly made LeftCoast branded pop up flag banners and by handing out leaflets.

The latter was a great opportunity to not only stop to chat with the public about the day’s programme but there was also the opportunity to explain about other cultural opportunities LeftCoast are bring in the Fylde Coast which the public can get involved with.

Milling through the Tram Sunday end of the festival was a mammoth, but enjoyable task.. If you have ever been to (Tram) Transport Sunday before you will know it brings a blend of transportation vehicles from vintage and cult to celebrity and heritage. The event holds onto its traditions but this year there was a slight break from the mould with the addition of the Spare Parts element.

After making our way across Fleetwood, handing out leaflets to the town folk, we met with a performance company, Rag and Bone which, as the name suggests, uses recycled/junk material in their performance. Armed with a variety of junk-inspired peddle and push vehicles, it was up to the Rag and Bone gang to lead the day’s parade, which Sean and I were to take part in.

Slightly arm twisted into the role, but with the chance to wear a novelty hat, it was a chance neither of us would turn down.  We were both given supportive roles in the movement of the junk vehicles along with the young people for the National Citizenship Service, a fantastic initiative whereby a group of recent school leavers completes a summer programme which combines valuable courses, team building, community projects and volunteering. The young people I spoke to were polite, well mannered and really appreciated taking part in the event.  They were an absolute credit to the NCS.Spare Parts

These young people, like the rest of us volunteering on the day, gained an experience no other volunteering opportunity can match. This not only taught us about different creative processes, it made us feel part of the overall event, so I would fully recommend creative volunteering. 

During the day we were able to take in breathtaking performances from Motion House with the superb Traction performance (heaven knows what the trawler men of the town made of dancing JCBs) and The Urban Play Ground Team with an exceptional display of parkour.

The newly refurbished Mount Pavilion was teaming with visitors during the day, taking in the music workshops, and poetry performances.Mister Dee and Boz brought a feel of the Bronx to the town with their urban wall and underground train for young people to tag and spray.

Inside the Marine Hall was an intriguing video display that held a sense of serenity and tackled issues of climate change.

The one thing I love not only about Transport Sunday but Fleetwood as a whole is the sense of community. Everyone is welcome and no one is left out.  If the town could bottle this they would have something to rival the sale of their world famous Fisherman’s Friends.

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