Sunday, 12 June 2016

Birthday celebrations

Picnic in the Park is back in 2016!

  • Charnwood Arts is 40 this year!
  • Loughborough's twining with Schwabisch-Hall is 50 this year!
  • Loughborough's twining with Epinal is 60 this year!
  • John Storer House is 50 this year!
  • Loughborough University is 50 this year!
  • Her Majesty the Queen is 90 this year!

  • Zeppelins raided Loughborough 100 year ago this year!
  • Luddites attacked the factory of Heathcoat and Boden 200 years ago this year!

So what are we doing to celebrate and commemorate???

Preparations for BIG celebrations in Queen's Park are under-way, and there's an exciting programme of events planned! 

Some commemorations have already taken place, and we have seen the unveiling of the memorial plaque to those inhabitants of the town who died on the night of 31st January 1916, when the Zeppelin airship dropped its bombs on the town, popular accredited tour guide Bob Stephens led a walk of discovery around the sites where the bombs fell, (which has been interpreted also as a virtual walk), a vigil has been held, and there has recently been a huge commemorative event in the form of a weekend of short plays telling the story of each the town's citizens who died.

A local descendant of a family who fled the town after the Luddite attacks recently led a walk of discovery around the sites associated with Heathcoat and Boden, (which has been interpreted also as a virtual walk), and last week, on June 2nd, I attended the launch of an exhibition on the Luddite attack in 1816, at the local public library. "Loughborough's Lace and Luddite Heritage", was created by the Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers, and others, and after an introductory welcome by one of these, the exhibition was officially opened by Dr Robert Knight from the Politics, History and International Relations Department at Loughborough University.

This is a wonderful exhibition, and much research and thought has gone into it (as we've come to expect from the volunteers, I might add). What was even more exciting was that the Tiverton Heathcoat Walkers sent three representatives from their group to be here in Loughborough public library for the opening of the exhibition. If you don't know the story of the Luddite attack and the subsequent events, the significance is that after the attack, Heathcoat transferred his business to the town of Tiverton, and took many, if not most, of his workers with him. They travelled to Tiverton on foot, following the Fosse Way.

So, back to Picnic in the Park! During the events on the weekend of Friday 24 - Sunday 26 June (for more detail see the LoveLoughborough website) there will be a "Ludd Hub" in Queen's Park, where all-things Luddite will be happening. This will be run by the Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers, together with the Politics, History and International Relations Department of Loughborough University. The Tiverton Heathcoat Walkers will be attending, and after the event they will be walking back to Tiverton, just as their ancestors did in 1816, although the walkers in 2016 will be following the canals to Somerset, before taking a footpath and then picking up the canal again (I believe). The walk is expected to take 14-15 days and Loughborough people are very welcome to join the Tiverton Heathcoat Walkers on their long journey! Once you get to Tiverton, there is a local Heathcoat trail which can be followed, which links up the both the beginning and the end of the lacemakers' journey. 

In support of the commemorative events, a reprint of a publication called "The Lacemakers Story" is available from the Local Studies volunteers at Loughborough Library and costs £4.00. Free copies of "The Lace and Luddite Story" and the "Loughborough Luddite Trail" are available from the exhibition area in the library.

Here's how the local paper, the Loughborough Echo, has publicised the event, and how it has been publicised in the Exeter region.

Useful links:
  • Follow the Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers, and get advance notice of upcoming exhibitions: Twitter - @Loughlibvol
  • Follow Charnwood Arts on Facebook:
The opening of the exhibition Loughborough's Lace and Luddite Heritage
Dr Robert Knight opening the exhibition
Just before the opening ceremony
You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, whilst giving appropriate credit. The correct citation for this post is as follows:

Dyer, Lynne (2016). Loughborough Union Workhouse. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 9 June 2016]

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