Magna chief swaps business suit for lederhosen

27 August 2014

The chief executive of Magna has swapped his business suit for lederhosen – all in the name of charity.

John Silker will be taking part in Magna’s first Oktoberfest, which will be raising money for Weston Park Hospital and Rotherham Hospice.

The event featuring German lagers, frankfurters and an Oompah band, is thought to be the biggest Oktoberfest in South Yorkshire, with 2,000 people expected to attend over two nights.

John said: “I couldn’t expect people to turn up in traditional outfits and not do so myself. So I decided I should get into the spirit of the event.

“It will be a fun night out with the Oompah band, party games and guest appearances from current and former Miss South Yorkshires,” said John. “But we also thought it was a good chance to raise a bit of money for charity as well and these are both such worthwhile causes.”

Organisers will be selling lederhosen printed T-shirts before and during the event to help raise money for the charities. There will be other fundraising activities on during the weekend.

The two-day event will run on Friday October 3 from 6pm to midnight, and Saturday October 4 from 5pm to midnight, with tickets starting at just £5. There will be special buses running between Magna, Meadowhall and Rotherham town centre for people who want to leave the car at home.

If revellers fancy getting dressed up they can get out their own lederhosen and traditional outfits and there will be a fancy dress competition and prizes for the best dressed.

More details at or contact 01709 723 118 or

Magna has space that can be hired to cater for between 30 and 3,000 people.

It is housed in the former Templeborough steel works which were built during World War One and shut in 1993. They remained derelict until being transformed in 2001.

As well as being a corporate and events venue, Magna, which is near junction 34 of the M1, is also an award-winning visitor attraction.

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows John Silker in lederhosen outside Magna.

For more information see or contact Donna Shaw at Magna on 01709 723 146 or at

Magna is housed in the giant former Templeborough steel works, which opened in 1916 and at its height employed 10,000 people. It shut in 1993 and was mothballed until its conversion to Magna in 2001. At one time the steelworks, which were a mile long, were said to be Europe’s largest. There were 14 open-hearth furnaces and 14 chimneys, which were replaced in the 1960s with electric arc furnaces. One of the arc furnaces is now a giant pyrotechnic display in the visitor centre called the Big Melt. The steelworks, which became known as Steelos, after the owners Steel, Peech and Tozer, produced up to 18 million tonnes of steel a year. Regular steel tours telling the story of Magna are led by former steel workers.

Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891 or at

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