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Free activities aim to inspire creativity from chaos

Posted onPosted on 8th Nov

A host of activities will be on offer at the National Civil War Centre, Newark. on Saturday, 20th November, as part of the nationwide Being Human Festival of the Humanities. The day has been put together by the centre’s Learning Team working alongside experts from Loughborough University.

The diverse range of events share the theme of ‘Creativity From Chaos’ and will include cookery demonstrations where you’ll be able to have a go at making pickled mushrooms with Loughborough’s Dr Catie Gill, a screening of a short film of gardening tips, and poetry workshops led by Nottingham poet Ioney Smallhorne.

Art historian Isabella Rosner will lead craft workshops inspired by historical embroidery practices and another Loughborough specialist, Dr Sara Read, will offer a chance to learn about childbirth in the past and show visitors how to make their own reusable sanitary pads. The day’s programme also features illuminating talks from author of 1666: Plague, War, and Hellfire, Rebecca Rideal, and Siân Adiseshiah, who’ll examine creative responses to the Civil War.

Sarah Clarke, Learning and Participation Manager at the National Civil War Centre, said: “We’re aiming to have something for everyone at this exciting day, from those who want to have a go, to those who want to sit back and enjoy a talk. We hope that visitors will be able to use this day as an opportunity to rethink, to do things differently and to renew, especially after the strange events of the past year.”

The day will also see the launch of an exciting new initiative from the Centre: The Restorians, a group of people who are passionate about mending old and preloved belongings instead of buying new. The first of a series of restoration projects, upcycling old clothes, will be launched to coincide with the Being Human Festival. Visitors can bring their favourite holey old jumper and learn how to give it a new lease of life with an expert in visible darning, learn some quick fixes such as changing a broken zip or altering a hem, and turn a tired old sweater into this year’s Christmas jumper, or a t-shirt into a work of art. Participants are welcome to bring their own much-loved clothes, or have a go on some pre-loved pieces donated by local charity shops.

Being Human Festival is the UK’s only festival of the humanities. Led by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, it celebrates the amazing research being done in this field by providing enjoyable events for the public to engage with.

All of the activities are free and suitable for both adults and children aged 7 and over. There’s no need to book as guests can simply turn up for the events they wish to attend. For the latest information and programme details, visit