For the first time in its history, England’s largest festival of heritage and culture will feature online events as well as in-person activities.
The festival, which is held from Friday 11 September until 20 Sunday September, invites members of the public to explore historic buildings. Events will include live virtual, and socially distanced, tours around off-limit areas such as:
The exquisite ‘Clevedon Torc’, at Weston Museum, is on loan from the British Museum and well worth a view.
On Saturday 12 and 19 September, look out in the afternoon on the High Street for ‘Susann, the Social Distancing Robot’, providing a surreal and futuristic twist to daytime shopping. This walkabout from ‘Cat and Mouse’ Theatre is perfect for our times as Susann interacts with the public from a safe distance, engaging and surprising shoppers with her fun, quirky robot personality. Intrigued by the history of the area, she will ask and respond to questions and magically reveal facts about Weston and the heritage of the town centre.
Get set for Saturday afternoon fever on 19 September at the Italian Gardens. ‘Carboot Disco Bingo’ will bring together two popular family activities, bingo and disco dancing, in a special, socially distanced version of this popular, interactive extravaganza. With two performances at 1pm and 3pm, ‘Carboot Disco Bingo’ provides classic, seaside entertainment and features feel-good pop tracks from the 60s and 70s when Weston’s golden pavements were trodden by the likes of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. A collaboration between artist Megan Clark-Bagnall and Jasmine Loveys, players cross the numbers off the bingo card and learn the disco dance moves attributed to each number drawn throughout the game, in a part dance lesson, part bingo performance guaranteed to be lots of fun. To ensure social distancing and following Covid-19 Secure Government Guidelines, limited places are available bookable in advance at cultureweston.org.uk.
After Carboot Disco Bingo, rev up your own engine of ideas around Weston’s heritage highlights and deposit them in an evolving creative installation ’The Memory Bank’, which launches an exciting new cultural initiative for the high street Heritage Action Zone, funded by Historic England.
In nearby Anchor Head Cove, a series of stories exploring the coast’s past heritage will unfold in a new, sound work led by Weston-based artist Sam Francis and artist Phil Owen who grew up in the area. ‘A Ballad of Anchor Head Cove’, commissioned by Culture Weston for Heritage Open Days, will uncover a unique soundtrack for this small beach spot situated on Weston-super-Mare’s coast between Knightstone Island and Birnbeck Pier. The piece explores the history around a swimmer, Kathleen Thomas, the first person to swim from Penarth to Weston in the 1920s; a song ‘The False Bride’ by peasant folk singer Lucy White (1849 – 1923) and memories of a former hotel at the Cove.
We can also find a Blue Plaque for Kathleen Thomas along with many other famous names in Weston-super-Mare. Arrive at a Blue Plaque and use your smart phone or tablet to click onto the Town Council’s Blue Plaque page to listen to an audio guide about why this person deserves a Blue Plaque. https://wsm-tc.gov.uk/our-services/blue-plaques
People can join the artists for a walk-and-talk around Anchor Head. Taking place on Saturday 19 September at 11.30am and 2pm, each socially distanced tour will last approximately 45 minutes, with the chance to find out more about the inspirations behind the work. Limited places are available, bookable in advance at cultureweston.org.uk.
There are filmed tours of the Winter Gardens, the Blakehay Theatre, Weston Museum and Grove House. Giving you a look around the inside of the buildings and some history of the buildings themselves and who once lived in them.
A Zoom seminar on the Local Studies Library
A series of ‘Hidden Nature’ virtual tours and events
And much more…
To find the program of information please see: