A fundraising drive to bring a 1,000 year old site in Millhouses back to life will help kick off 2013 with a special Christmas and New Year tradition.
A Wassail event, which will take place at the Waggon and Horses pub on 5 January, is being organised by Friends of Millhouses Park and will raise money for the restoration of the park’s historic mill buildings.
As part of the Wassail, which is traditionally celebrated on the Twelfth Night of Christmas, a pub quiz will be held and hot food will be served by W.L Leisure managed Waggon and Horses.
A mill has been on the site in Millhouses for more than 1,000 years and the area, one of the oldest suburbs in Sheffield, was originally named after the corn mill. The mill has been the story of how Sheffield fed itself, first with water power taken from the River Sheaf in Millhouses Park and later by steam, ultimately ceasing work in the 1930s.
The Friends of Millhouses Park, in association with Sheffield City Council, is working to bring the well-known buildings back into use and has secured nearly £130,000 to kick-start the development.
Work has already started on the small building to make it secure after a four year battle by Friends of Millhouses Park to save it from destruction.
However, the group needs to raise a further £9,000 to ensure that all the funding is in place to make the small building weather proof, energy self sufficient, and enable it to take a large step towards the whole being available for use by the community, with a protected courtyard area also planned for the exterior.
Simon Argall, from W.L Leisure, which also owns the Millhouses Pub on Abbeydale Road, said: “We are delighted to support this event and hope that the local community come together to help raise vital funds for the works on the mill site. It is set to be a great way to kick-start the New Year in Millhouses!”
Jane Bradley, owner of Perfectly Dressed clothing boutique in Millhouses and organiser of the Wassailing event, said: “The idea behind the Wassail was the fact that the traditional festival dates back to Anglo Saxon times around 1,000 years ago and that a mill has been on the Millhouses site for around the same time, so it seemed quite fitting to tie the two together.
“We’d encourage people to come along to this unique fundraising event and support a fantastic local cause.”
John Brighton, secretary of Friends of Millhouses Park, said: “These buildings have huge historical significance to the Millhouses area and we have fought tirelessly to save them from being knocked down.
“Ultimately we hope that, with the support of people within the local area and beyond, we can bring these buildings back to life and start the next part of their history in the Millhouses area.”
The event will feature an auction, with prizes including Sheffield United tickets, family skating sessions at iceSheffield and meal vouchers at a number of local restaurants, and local group the Gamebirds will lead Christmas Carol-led entertainment on the night.
Tickets for the event are priced at £5 for individuals or £15 for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two children.