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4th Jul, 2022

Bromsgrove's Avoncroft Museum chosen to hold International Living History Festival

Tristan Harris 3rd Apr, 2022 Updated: 6th Apr, 2022

BROMSGROVE’S Avoncroft Museum has achieved a great coup and has been awarded the International Living History Festival which will take place on the first weekend of the school Easter holidays.

Almost 30 re-enactment groups will occupy the grounds of the popular venue from April 9 and 10 with eras represented from the Stone Age, through the Vikings to the 1940s and beyond.

There will be around 30 trader stalls, inside and outside, selling historically inspired artefacts from jewellery and hats to handmade tools, costumes and cloth to historic pottery.

Visitors will also be able to get a real taste of history with The Copper Pot’s chocolates, a medieval kitchen display and multiple mead-makers among the traders.

Museum director Zoe Willems, who is leading the museum’s recovery from Covid shutdown, is thrilled to have the International Living History Festival move its base to the Midlands.

She said: “My vision for Avoncroft Museum is for it to be an exciting place where history comes to life.

“To have so many re-enactors from different periods on the same weekend will be a fantastic experience – imagine smelling the smoke rising up from an English Civil War encampment, then being invited to join a Tudor dance, before turning a corner to find a full Napoleonic artillery section drawn up by the Windmill.”

She added it would provide accessible fun for people of all ages and interests.

“And it’s amazing how much you can learn when you’re having fun.”

The International Living History Festival was previously based in Essex, where it was held successfully for a number of years.

Dave Allan from Pike and Shot Events, which organises the festival, said on the move to Avoncroft Museum: “Re-enactment and living history is growing ever-more popular, and we had just run out of space at our previous site.

“We are excited to partner with Avoncroft Museum, which is the perfect place for multi-period re-enactment, living history and trading, with lots of open space and historic buildings from every era.

“It’s also really handy to get to from all over the country, just off the M5 and M42. We look forward to this weekend and hope to make this a regular event at Avoncroft Museum”

Trains will be running on the model railway from 11am to 3pm on both days, thanks to the Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers, for just 50p a ride.

Zoe added: “We are also encouraging people to travel by train, and we’ve been working with the Transport Museum at Wythall and Worcester Community Rail Partnership to make this part of the historic experience.

“It’s a great opportunity to partner with other local groups to offer a great day out that’s accessible for everyone.”

The Transport Museum will provide a free half-hourly heritage bus shuttle directly to and from Bromsgrove Station and the Museum throughout the festival weekend

Visit avoncroft.org.uk/international-living-history-festival for cheaper advanced tickets.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the day, at £12.50 per adult, £6 per child, £10.50 for concessions (over 65s and students) and £33.50 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children). Museum Members enjoy a discounted rate of £8, £4 and £22. Weekend tickets also available.

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