MIDDLETON Park visitor centre doubled up as a big top for a circus skills workshop this afternoon.
Children’s entertainer Professor Fiddlesticks helped more than 30 youngsters learn a wide range of new skills including juggling, unicycling, diabolo, plate spinning and devil sticks.
It was organised by the Friends of Middleton Park, who are staging free events for families at the park ever Sunday throughout the summer.
The groups chairman of trustees, Alan Shaw, said: “The circus show went really well, all the kids enjoyed it.”
Professor Fiddlesticks, aka children’s entertainer John Cossham of York, said: “We have had a lovely time. There are some remarkably talented unicyclists in this part of south Leeds.”
Leanne Haw, 34, of Morley, said he nine-year-old son Stanley had a great time at the workshop, adding: “It was excellent. He enjoyed unicycling the most.
“My family is from Middleton and everyone is really pleased that activities and events for families are being held in the park and that it is being used in a positive way.
“It is a beautiful park and not enough people know it’s here. People seem to associate this area with have a bit of a bad reputation and they don’t appreciate what they have on their own doorstep.”
Mum Gillian Denton, 37, of Middleton was at the event with nine-year-old son Josh and daughter Rebecca, aged seven.
She said: “It is great that they are encouraging more people to come to the park by staging more events. The children have had good fun and enjoyed having a go at the circus skills.
“It has kept them entertained for an hour or two and it encourages people to come and use the park.”
Christina Simantiri, 36, of Morley, took part in the circus skills workshop with her two-and-a-half-year-old son Alexander.
She said: “I thought it was absolutely engaging and refreshing. Everybody got involved, including mums and dads.
“This is the first time we have been to Middleton Park and it is a gorgeous park with a lovely play area for kids.”
Next Sunday’s free event for families at Middleton Park is a summer wildlife woodland walk and photography session, which will start a 2pm and run until 4pm.
Local bird enthusiast Linda Jenkinson and parks and countryside ranger Steve Joul will be on hand to offer expert advice. For more information about events at Middleton Park, go to www.fomp.co.uk