Today, The Reader announce the next stage of work will begin to transform Calderstones Mansion House into The International Centre for Shared Reading.
‘A life in colour ’ photography by Michael Barooah
The Reader are raising money to support older people experiencing loneliness across the UK. Join the free festive fun at Calderstones.
In The Reader Gallery this week we have a fantastic exhibition of Kantha embroidery from Bangladesh collected by Ruby Porter MBE during the 27 years she’s been volunteering for Sreepur Village.
The Heritage Open Days returns to Calderstones this September with an opportunity to get up close with the hidden treasures of the Park’s history and heritage.
Local schoolchildren bring Jet’s Memorial back to it’s former glory.
Returning to Calderstones after the huge success of last summer’s production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, award-winning MATE Productions, in partnership with the Shakespeare North Trust & RSC Open Stage, will mark Shakespeare’s 400th birthday with a production of As You Like It.
Journey deep into the Forest of Arden for this hilarious and magical outdoor promenade performance, as cross-dressing heroines and triumphant heroes learn how to embrace their imaginations, let go of their fears and surrender to romance.
MATE Productions is a Knowsley based community arts organisation that work in film, theatre, dance, storytelling and music to engage communities and young people across Merseyside, staging high quality productions in various theatres, arts and community venues and festivals. This has extended into greats halls, museums, docklands, pubs, and gardens such as our own lovely patch here at Calderstones.
You might have heard the Shakespeare North Trust mentioned in the news recently. They’re been granted planning permission and funding to build a £19 million commemorative theatre in the heart of Prescot’s historic town centre which boasted, over four hundred years ago, the only purpose-built playhouse outside London. The new theatre will have at it’s core an International University College, the first of it’s kind in the world focusing on Shakespearean performance practice.
Shakespeare North aims to make Knowsley once again a place where actors, writers, artists, students and young people will be able to study and practise the plays of Shakespeare; place which will attract scholars, students and visitors from all over the world.
With live musicians and singers, stunning design and a talented local cast, this production promises an abundance of magic and fun for all the family.
Calderstones Mansion House gardens, Calderstones Park, L18 3JB
Saturday 11th June – 2pm & 6.30pm
Please bring a folding garden seat or a blanket to sit on.
Tickets are available to purchase in person from Calderstones Mansion House (Monday-Friday 9am – 5pm)
Alternatively you can purchase tickets online here.
For more information telephone: 0151 426 4979 / 07833204058
Toilets might not seem like the most exciting topic for some light reading on a Friday afternoon but stay with us – it’s important. Because toilets are important, especially in a publicly used space like Calderstones and recently we’ve had feedback that the toilets here have been getting into a less than ideal state.
Firstly, we want to assure everyone that we’re working really hard to deal with the toilets here. They’re cleaned every morning and we are now looking at how we can work with our cleaners to change their hours to keep the toilets in better shape. However, what we have inherited are some really really old toilets. The toilets themselves might look fairly modern but taking a look at the systems behind them shows something that pre-dates 1894 – take a look at the advert below from that year hailing the drainage system! Liverpool Mercury etc (Liverpool, England), Thursday, June 14, 1894; Issue 14492.
What this means is they’re prone to blockages and when we get those blockages George, our dedicated Building Coordinator goes and spends a long time sorting them out. One toilet is particularly tricky and in order to stop people using it George has scaled the walls of the toilet and locked it from the inside. However what we’ve then had are people that also scaled the toilet to re-open it and then unsuspecting members of the public are greeted with is a very unusable – out of use but now open toilet. Nobody wants to come for a lovely day out in the park and be faced with that. When this happens however our committed cleaners work to get the toilets back into action, and George ascends the cubicle again but it doesn’t last forever and what we’ve seen alongside this are a couple of repeat issues that arise when people put a lot of non-toilet related objects down there. Most people are really respectful of public loos but when this happens and people pop bottles, pants or on one occasion a shoe down…..we soon get the problems that have been raised. We’ve also had to put out the toilets after having been set on fire one summer evening too.
For the meantime we’re going to try to stop the mess happening and look at how we can work with our cleaners to get this sorted but long-term we’re going to create a much better solution. More loos!
That’s right the really exciting toilet news comes when we re-open after our redevelopment (if you haven’t heard that brill news read the announcement here) and massively increase the overall toilet provision inside the house whilst having some more modern toilets outside (no more old drain problems for George). Loads of loos! When the building is closed for refurbishment, we’ll be closing the toilets too. Don’t worry you won’t have to search for the nearest tree – we’ll be getting in some lovely portable, modern flushing toilets.
What we really want to do right now is let people know we’re listening, we’ve heard you. We’ve seen the toilet situation when it gets bad and we’re doing our best to fix it. Do keep letting us know if there are problems. If people don’t tell us – we can’t sort them. If you’d like to take a look at the plans for the redevelopment and toilet provision these are available on the council planning website.
We’re not sure how we stop people putting their shoes down the toilets but we’re working on that too.
The Reader Team.
From Katie Gwilt, PQASSO Intern at The Reader and Knit and Natterer
Hello again happy crafters!
It’s only a couple more days until the Craft Fair takes over the Mansion House. This Saturday, 16th April from 10am – 4pm, we welcome a whole host of stalls, including the Knit and Natter Group who donate all of the proceeds from their stall straight back to The Reader.
Everyone has been super busy crafting a whole host of goodies for the stall, a colourful mixture of knitted, crocheted and sewn items in all different shapes and sizes. Some beautiful jumpers and cardigans for children made by Sally with different patterns and designs, finger puppets by Jenni, knitted pompom bookmarks by me, two quirky dessert inspired headbands by Sue and many more beautiful handmade gifts to browse including hats, bunting, a monkey, a banana (maybe for the monkey!) and two beautiful cushions. Have a peek below:
One of my best friends came up to visit me from London recently and I brought her along to the Knit and Natter group (of course!).
I started a small craft group a few years ago with my three best friends and we would meet every week to craft and catch up, rotating meeting at each others houses. In all the time I have known her Suzanne hasn’t ever tried knitting.
This was my chance to finally teach her and I seized it! By the end of the two hour session she had made a great start on her first scarf. She learned to cast on, knit, purl and repair mistakes as well. I sent her home with a set of needles and some wool and I’m happy to say she has kept up her knitting back in London.
Sadly we have had to say a fond farewell to group member Rosie. She was a much loved member of the group but has moved back over to Texas, America.
The group organised a farewell card which we all signed. They also had a rose that we could write on and sign as if we were all Lords and Ladies to impress her American friends! I think I signed it as Cat Lady Katie.
We wish her the best of luck and really hope she keeps her promise to start a Knit and Natter group in Texas which we can all come and visit!
Knit and Natter meets every Tuesday in the Calderstones Mansion House from 10.30am-12.30pm led by our illustrious leader Sue. Come along and join us, any experience level is welcome . We also have crochet specialists and sewing enthusiasts who regularly attend. Just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A message from our Heritage Stories Maker Richard MacDonald on upcoming developments at Calderstones:
Last Friday I had the pleasure of showing BBC Radio Merseyside DJ Sean Styles around The Calderstones.
Sean has long been a champion of Liverpool’s hidden heritage and having heard about The Reader’s plans to move the stones he was keen to get the details and learn more about their importance in Liverpool’s history. Sean said he’d seen the stones many years ago but had never been up close so it was a real treat to allow him access to the greenhouse to appreciate them up close.
You can hear the full interview with Richard, starting at 1 hour and 9 minutes in, here.