Olympic soul in Portobello

The annual Soul Portobello festival now in it's 7th year.'Storyteller Rachael Hodson with Saphire Milner-Myatt.'w304a231
The annual Soul Portobello festival now in it's 7th year.'Storyteller Rachael Hodson with Saphire Milner-Myatt.'w304a231
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A COMMUNITY celebrated as their summer festival reached its goal of being staged every year until the London Olympics.

Soul Portobello returned for a seventh year to bring music, dancing, sport and arts to the estate this week.

The annual Soul Portobello festival now in it's 7th year.'Bryony Hargreaves.'w304b231

The annual Soul Portobello festival now in it's 7th year.'Bryony Hargreaves.'w304b231

Young and old partied together as a daily programme of events was staged around the Rainbow Cafe on Duke of York Avenue.

Organiser Sally Martin said: “The festival started in 2006. We thought the Olympics would bring long-term perseverance and challenges so we set ourself that goal.

“It has been amazing and a little bit different every year.

“There has been an Olympic theme this year. Olympic flower circles were created in the cafe garden and we had sports every day.

“This time it had the usual ingredients of dance, drama and lots of focussed activities and young people all engaging with in something that all ends with our talent show Bella’s Got Talent.”

At 5pm today, Olympic torch bearer Karen Townend will join a procession from the Rainbow Cafe to celebrate new paving and flower beds on the estate.

The improvements were commissioned by Wakefield and District Housing and carried out by Groundwork.

Mrs Martin said: “This is the final piece of the jigsaw on the estate and every year we celebrate something that’s been created.”

The procession will pass through a peace arch built during the festival by youngsters and community artist Rik Stack. Bella’s Got Talent will start at 6pm at Manygates Education Centre, on Manygates Lane.

Mrs Martin thanked contributors to the festival including Mr Stack, Yew Tree Theatre Company, Nomad Drums and community arts organisation Faceless. And she paid tribute to the hard work of Sheila Brook and her team who ran the kitchen at the Rainbow Cafe all week.