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Activities on being human held at Newark's National Civil War Centre

A host of fascinating activities were on offer at the National Civil War Centre on Saturday, November 20 as part of the nationwide Being Human Festival of the Humanities.

The day was put together by the Centre’s Learning Team working alongside experts from Loughborough University.

The diverse range of events shared the theme of ‘Creativity From Chaos’ and included cookery demonstrations where people were 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.

National Civil War Centre (8388499)
National Civil War Centre (8388499)

Art historian Isabella Rosner lead craft workshops inspired by historical embroidery practices and another Loughborough specialist, Dr Sara Read, offered the chance to learn about childbirth in the past and show visitors how to make their own reusable sanitary pads.

The day’s programme also featured illuminating talks from author of 1666: Plague, War, and Hellfire, Rebecca Rideal, and Siân Adiseshiah, who examined creative responses to the Civil War.

Before the event, 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 also saw 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 launched to coincide with the Being Human Festival. Visitors were able to 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.

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.

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