Page 13                                             Winter 1988 - 89

Braggin' About Bradford


A Report on the 1988 European Juggling Convention

Article by Sandy Brown Photos by Ginny Rose


Bradford, England, set the stage in September for the 11th European Juggling Convention, boasting a cast of hundreds and a banner weekend. Over 900 jugglers from China, Hawaii, the United States, Israel, England and the continent convened at the Manningham Sports Centre, whipped into a juggling frenzy and packed together as closely as a can of juggling sardines.


While several past conventions were located at extraordinary sites - a castle on a stony mountain top overlooking Gibraltar in Castellar, Spain, and a Middle Age Roman arena in Saintes, France, - Bradford's convention was surrounded by an industrial and economically depressed area of Yorkshire. In spite of the wind, chill, and drizzle, they were drawn to Bradford to JUST JUGGLE!


The Bradford Jugglers, credited for organizing the convention in a mere seven months, were surprised so many people came. As chief organizer Sam Scurfield matter-of-factly put it, "Bradford's a place on the map now!"


Registration was held beyond where guests passed through a brilliantly painted archway. Twelve pounds fifty pence paid the price. Rooms were easily arranged in the nearby university or in hotels, one of which was housed in a restored Victorian woolen mill, reminiscent of the 1880's when the woolen industry reached its pinnacle in Bradford.                    .


The Sports Centre, over ten badminton courts in size, was the central hub where the airspace was brimming with jugglers' props, not to mention an occasional boomerang, slicing through the air like a visiting starship, causing spectators to do a triple-take.


Adjacent to the Sports Centre, the cafe tent lent itself to the "other" convention pastimes, i. e., schmoozing, jaw-jacking, and imbibing pints of bitter and lager. After all, a juggler needs fluids on a hot summer's day, even if it is rapidly approaching October.


Blustery winds on the first day uprooted two workshop marquees, so workshops were held within the chock-full Sports Centre. They were well conducted, well attended, and covered the spectrum of juggling skills. 

1988 European Juggling Convention. Bradford England
<--- Previous Page

Return to Main Index

Next Page --->