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What's On at Middleton Arena

What's On at Middleton Arena

Events for everyone at the Arena - from comedy to live music and theatre



Low cost fitness classes and sports for adults across the Rochdale borough

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Big Games fun at Middleton Arena

The sun shone down on Middleton Arena on Saturday (13 July) as hundreds of children and their families came out to enjoy this year's Big Games celebrations.

Organised by Link4Life, the free family funday provided taster sessions in a range of sports including rugby, football and tennis. There was a taste of adventure outside the Arena with climbing and mountain biking proving popular.

Local groups taking part included Middleton Tapestry Group raising money for local charities, Bowlee Arts Club, Middleton Scouts and Katana Jiu Jitsu Club. Performances on the Arena's stage also featured theatre and dance groups showing off the talents of local children and young people.

The Big Games is a London 2012 legacy project and Link4Life's Event Co-ordinator, Donna Livesey said: "The Big Games gives local people the chance to find out more about regular activities that they can join in with, try something new and do something together as a family. It's great to see so many people enjoying what was a fantastic day"

A selection of photos can be seen on our Pinterest pinboard.

More information about regular sessions and local groups can be found online at

Middleton Arena's next event will be its Summer Taster Day on Thursday 25 July when for just £1 all activities will be free between 1pm and 3pm giving a chance to try out what's on during the school holidays.

Middleton Holiday @ Home 2013

An action packed programme of activities is taking place again this Summer Holidays for children and young people in Middleton.

Sponsored by Middleton Township, activities on offer will include; summer play schemes at local community centres, fun days in the parks, sports coaching such as tennis and tootball, FREE swimming plus much more.

The Middleton Holiday @ Home guide includes activities for all ages covering exciting music, arts & crafts, dance, drama and play, and sports activities.

Not to be missed – get yourself booked on today

Full details of the programme are available to view at: Middleton @ Home PDF .

Library prepares for Middleton residents to 'Please Sign Here' and Embroider their name into the History of the Borough

signature-quilt-project-emma-kershaw-and-alison-cooperMiddleton Library are preparing for artist Lynn Setterington's inspirational community workshop on Monday 15th July as she engages in a new textile project to capture and document a snap shot of people living in Middleton, Heywood, Rochdale and the Pennines. The project, 'Please Sign Here' is inspired by a historic quilt from Rochdale Arts and Heritage Service Museum collection. Made for the charity the NSPCC the quilt is embroidered with two hundred and fifty signatures of prominent Rochdale residents from 1895, over 115 years ago.

In response to the historical quilt, from July to September artist Lynn Setterington will be asking residents of the Rochdale borough to add their signatures to create a new quilt in 2013. As part of the project researcher Dr Alison Slater will also be finding out more about the significance of the original quilt. The two quilts will be presented together in an exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale from December 2013 - March 2014.

From July to September Lynn is leading a number of workshops and drop-in sessions across the borough to enable as many people as possible to contribute and sew their signatures into history. Senior Library and Information Assistant Emma Kershaw met with Arts and Heritage Assistant Alison Cooper to discuss how the session will work at the library. Emma was extremely keen to add her signature to the quilt and sign one of the blank textiles pieces. Emma said, "The project is very exciting for residents of the borough and it's great that a session can take place at Middleton Library to include as many local resident's signatures as possible."

Artist Lynn Setterington will be visiting Middleton Library on Monday the 15th July from 1pm-3pm. Both novice and accomplished stitches alike are encouraged to embroider their signatures to squares of fabric which will make up the quilt. Lynn will be on hand to give expert guidance, so even if you haven't embroidered before you can still take part. The project is purposefully inclusive and open to all adults. It does not require complex skills or prior knowledge. If you'd prefer to just provide your written signature, volunteers will be on hand to embroider it for you.

If you are unable to attend the drop-in session at Middleton Library but would still like to take part, textile packs with all the necessary materials and information will be available to collect from and return to Touchstones Rochdale. You could even set up your own signature sewing session with friends. Just hand them in to Touchstones before 3 September 2013.

Lynn Setterington is an internationally recognised artist specialising in textiles. She has work in major museum collections including the V&A Museum, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Denver Art Museum and the International Quilt Study Center in the USA and has undertaken a wide range of engagement projects with groups throughout the North West of England.

Dates of public sessions:

  • Monday 15 July - Middleton Library 1pm-3pm
  • Saturday 27 July - Touchstones Rochdale OL16 1AQ 12noon-4pm
  • Tuesday 30 July - Phoenix Centre, Heywood 10am-12noon
  • Tuesday 30 July - Knitty Gritty at Touchstones Rochdale OL16 1AQ 1.30pm-3.30pm
  • Saturday 3 August - Ebor Studio, William Street, Littleborough OL15 8JP 2pm-4pm

For more information please contact Touchstones Rochdale on 01706 924492.

Also visit  for further information.

Andy Parsons returns to arena with new show

andy-parsonsOne of Britain's sharpest topical funnymen returns to Middleton Arena this autumn during his UK tour. Multi-award winning Andy Parsons, who performed a sell-out show at the arena back in 2011 returns on Thursday 17 October.

A regular on television, Andy, a self-styled likeable 'Mr Angry', is best known for his numerous appearances on the BBC's 'Mock the Week,' 'QI' and 'Live at the Apollo'.

He'll be performing his new show 'I've got a Shed,' which he says is his favourite yet.

As a lynchpin of London's famous Comedy Store Cutting Edge team, Andy Parsons remains one of the most prolific performers on the circuit, having to update weekly to keep up to speed with his co-stars take on current affairs and political banter.

In addition to his television appearances, he has a formidable reputation as a live performer, and as well as three national sell-out tours, he's a stalwart of the world's major comedy festivals. He's also had two best-selling comedy DVDs.

A multiple award winner, Parsons' accolades include the Time Out Comedy Award, the New Zealand International Comedy Award, and the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival Award.

Widely regarded as one of the country's best satirical performers and writers, Andy Parsons will be at Middleton Arena on Thursday 17 October.

Tickets (£15) available from or 0871 230 0010. Or in person at the arena box office.

Sun shines on Rochdale's Big Games

chloe-hurdiss-collects-her-treasure-trail-prize-from-pirate-leader-elaine-stottThe arrival of a pirate ship outside Touchstones Rochdale was a sign that something special was happening, and a warm and sunny day brought hundreds of local people out on Saturday (29 June) to enjoy the Rochdale Big Games.

Organised by Link4Life and the Friends of Broadfield Park, the free family funday provided fun taster sessions in a range of sports and arts including climbing, crown green bowls and rounders.

Children in pirate hats – just one of the activities at Touchstones – followed the treasure trail to Broadfield Park where magic and Punch & Judy performances drew the crowds as did the Drumming workshop by Pandemonium. Free face painting, henna art and crafts sessions helped to make the day a great success with the 'Commando Joe' mini assault course adding to the fun.


Neta Smart from the Friends Group said, "It couldn't have been a better day. We escaped the rain and it was so good to see the park full of people of all ages joining in the activities and having fun."

Link4Life's Event Co-ordinator, Donna Livesey said: "The Big Games day was a fantastic success in Rochdale and we are looking forward to the borough's other Big Games days coming up in July."

To find out more about the Big Games and other summer activities visit .

See a selection of photos from Rochdale Big Games 2013 on Pinterest.