Billingham Forum 50th Birthday Celebrations
In 1967, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the town of Billingham to cut the ribbon and officially open the iconic leisure centre, Billingham Forum. Fifty years on and the North East’s most popular leisure centre is planning a week of exciting events and entertainment to mark the landmark birthday.
The schedule of events will run throughout the October half term from Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th October and will welcome entertaining comedy and dance performances from local favourites, the Van Dunk Brothers and Urban Kaos, hair raising demonstrations from Cool Science Party and an exotic petting zoo from Stockton based Animal Story. A number of themed GoClimb events, a halloween themed Fright Night UV party on ice and a special edition family skate session (tickets on sale soon, please check back) to meet some of your favourite movie characters are also confirmed, as well as performances and exhibitions from local community organisations. An exhibition Ice Hockey match is also planned in aid of SNAPS with the Billingham Bombers ‘old boys’ taking on the current Billingham Stars for your viewing pleasure.
To help younger children get into the spirit of things we will have free balloons, face painting and glitter painting available at certain points throughout the week. There will also be stalls representing various organisations including CIC and the Princess Trust. The Atrium Cafe will be offering hot food, drinks and refreshments as well as special celebratory cup cakes and hot dogs for only 50p each.
To commemorate the milestone, Tees Active have commissioned an anniversary video to include original footage of the town and the royal opening, intertwined with present day interviews and footage, as well as an exciting project between Tees Valley Arts and local schools to produce a number of pieces. Watch the original video here…
The Forum’s pioneering design was a remarkable feat of engineering and innovation that helped to put Billingham on the map and since its redevelopment in 2011 has gone from strength to strength, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and continues to provide fun and engaging leisure activities for local residents and visitors from across the region.
Programme of events
A little bit about the performances
Van Dunk Brothers
Monday 23rd October 10:00 – 16:00
Armed with a trunk full of trunks, swimming caps, goggles, armbands and verruca cream, the Van Dunk Bros will delight crowds with their award-winning dry-land synchronized swimming display. Marvel as the boys perform the routine that won the Brothers the gold medal at Burnley Baths Swimming Gala, using only a kitsch soundtrack, physical comedy and two bottles of still mineral water.
Sports Day 80’s School Teachers
Tuesday 24th October 10:00-16:00
80’s PE Teachers, Mr Stretch and Mr Armstrong are always firm but fair. They are on a mission to get the nation fit using only their enthusiasm, a roving musical pommel horse and some PE kits rescued from the lost and found locker. Be amazed as they pay homage to our home-grown Olympic legends and attempt to uncover the inner Olympian hiding in all of us. From star jumps to long jumps and a grand finale of a three-legged, egg and spoon sack race, you too can be a winner and enjoy the emotions of the medal podium! Remember, it’s not about the taking part, it’s the winning that counts!
Cool Science Party
Thursday 26th October 10:30-12:00 & 13:00-14:30
Cool Science Party provides a unique, fun and interesting twist on a social occasion. Your child’s event will be unforgettable – stress free – and mess free (We promise) Your children will help make slime, gunge and bath bombs. We then fire cannons at the children, turn one or two of them blue and shoot someone’s hair off. Also we have an amazing dry ice finale with associated explosions – All 100% safe and 100% fun. The Possibilities are endless!
Please note: These sessions are open to the public, however free giveaways are limited in availability in each session. Registration will be open on the day to secure a place.
Friday 27th October 10:30-14:30
We’ve provided over a decade of KAOS! We have given workshops in schools, created theatre performances, managed large events, created art installations, planned and been part of outdoor carnivals, had touring school productions, dance classes, parties and more. The team are now bigger and stronger. We have developed a fantastic reputation for our awesome early-years theatre experience – Club Groovy.
Tuesday 24th October 10:00-16:00
Animal Story offer exceptional animal workshops, animal encounters and animal displays for everyone. Our talks encourage an interest in wildlife and the natural world around us. Most topics are linked to the National Curriculum and are perfect for children from the age of three upwards. All are educational, fun and packed full of animals.
GoClimb by Night
Monday 23rd October 17:00-18:30 & 18:30-20:00
GoClimb by Night is one of two themed events planned during the week of celebrations. On Monday 23rd GoClimb By Night returns. Try and conquer all the obstacles in the dark wearing only head torches! Available to book online. Time includes 30 minute safety briefing.
Friday 27th October 13:00-14:30 & 14:30-16:00 available to book online soon.
“GoClimb Ahoy! On the twenty seventh day of the tenth month set sail for GoClimb, test yer head for heights and hold yer nerve while scaling the masts to the crow’s nest to fly the Jolly Roger. There be pirate games, goodies and treasures for the best dressed pirate. Just let there be no whispers of mutiny on Friday 27th October or you’ll be walking the plank!” Available to book online. Time includes 30 minute safety briefing.
Fright Night UV Party On Ice
Friday 27th October 19:30-21:30 Tickets available from reception.
Fright Night UV is the biggest Halloween party on ice in the North East. It’s always a SPOOK-tacular occasion! Get ready for Halloween at our Fright Night UV special. We love a fancy dress occasion so wear your Halloween costumes, but only if you dare!
Billingham Stars Exhibition Ice Hockey Match
Saturday 28th October 16:30-18:00
Watch a classic game of ice hockey as the veterans take on the new boys. Billingham Bombers “Old Boys” take on Billingham Stars. Tickets cost £3 for juniors and £5 for adults with proceeds going to SNAPS and British Legion.
Wednesday 25th October 14:00-16:00
A fantastic celebration skate is planned for Wednesday 26th October 14:00 – 16:00 with a chance to meet your favourite children’s movie characters in a friendly environment, grab a selfie, have a skate and enjoy rubbing shoulders with some of your favourite characters including Elsa, Anna & Olaf . Normal prices apply, places can be booked in advance at reception.
Cirque Enchantment Demo
Tuesday 24th October 14:30-15:30
Taster of the performance currently showing at Billingham Forum Theatre, Cirque Enchantment is a concert style cirque production features stunning choreography, breath taking vocals mesmerising circus performers, with an eclectic musical soundtrack including pop, rock and classical. A really stunning family sho, if you enjoy this performance why not get tickets to see the full show on Tuesday 24th at 19:00?
there will be a selection of stalls in the atrium throughout the week with various organisations and charities attending. Community Integrated Care (CIC) will be selling homemade gifts crafts everyday between 9am-5pm.
Would you like to get involved with the Forum’s 50th Birthday or have a story to share about your time at the Forum in the past 50 years, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org