A bustling Buxton at half term
The Trust had a great time welcoming over 200 visitors to Buxton for some new adventures in learning last week, in an action-packed week of family activity across the town. It is part of our growing plans to engage the local community in a range of fun, educational and inspirational activities around the town’s heritage.
Visitors from the local area and further afield braved the elements to get hands-on with make and take crafting, sensory play and a Roman-themed puppet show. Our National Lottery Heritage Fund learning and outreach programme has been developed with and for the local community, and many of the activities form part of our school and group visit scheme (check out our ‘Learning Visits’ page for more info and how to book!)
Tuesday – Crescent Crafters
Tuesday saw us making paper-craft crescent models, complete with brightly coloured Georgian frontages, as well as making some magnificent Lego monoliths based on classical architectural features. With examples and guidance from our junior learning assistants and expert ‘Legoistas’, visitors young and old created symmetrical columns, pilasters, arches and balustrades. As the work developed and imaginations were sparked, recreations of St Anne’s well, bath buildings and monuments ended up rubbing shoulders in a terrific tiny townscape behind the oval pool. Devised by our learning team and local craft artist Lara Pomeroy, the activities aim to creatively explore the architectural concepts behind the Buxton Crescent, and are included in the ‘Building Buxton’ school workshops.
We held a competition on the day for crafters to share photos of their finished work using the hashtage #BuxtonCrescent. The winners were Thomas and Maisie, who loved the activities so much they carried on their creations back home. Well done you two! They won a V.I.P. family ticket to the Buxton Crescent Experience by sharing the great photos below. Now, which two lucky adults will you chose to take with you!?
Wednesday – Pop up puppet performance at Buxton Museum
Wednesday took us to Buxton Museum and Art Gallery to introduce Porto, the plucky young puppet who stars in our Roman Buxton performance and workshop. In a packed-out gallery we explored the story of Roman Britain with an interactive story in a box, Roman challenges and games, and Buxton brooch making make and take.
This performance and workshop was devised for Year 4 Primary school classes, and has proven very popular since we launched it last year. It was great fun seeing how parents, grandparents, toddlers and older children seemed to enjoy it just as much.
Our Porto the puppet selfie competition winners were the Wild Family, who shared this fab photo on our Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust Facebook page (make sure you follow us there to keep tabs on future events!)
We loved the thumbs-up, and Porto appreciated having a shoulder to rest on after all those performances and exercises! Congratulations to the Wilds and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Thursday- Plotting the Pump Room with our senses
On our last day of half term fun, we were back at the Pump Room, to test out some brand new Arts Council-funded resources with the help of some fantastic local families. Soon to be available to borrow and explore in your own time (as long as it’s during opening hours of the Pump Room) the sensory exploration bag contains fun and thought-provoking objects, toys and games to get us talking about the building in new ways.
The big challenge was for visitors to co-create a sensory map of the Pump Room, charting the smells, sounds and textures of the historic building on our giant diagram. We had some fantastic responses, with imaginations running wild as families explored parts of the place never been explored before.
As well as plotting our giant Pump Room map, we had a go at making calming sensory bottles. An instant hit with adults and little ones alike, they were fun concoctions made of recyled water bottles, coloured dyes, balls and squares, and a nip of washing up liquid. If, like us, you’re old enough to remember lava lamps, these are a handy portable (and much cheaper) version. It was amazing just how calming and theraputic it was watching the colours and shapes swirl around, with the stunning stained glass and marble of the Pump Room as a back drop.