Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust launches programme of public talks and events

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The Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust is launching a season of public talks and events next week, in a project which has suffered almost as many delays as the restoration of the building itself.

The long-planned public engagement programme can finally go ahead as Covid restrictions ease, offering High Peak residents new ways to learn about the Georgian architectural masterpiece.

Stephen Owen, chief executive officer of the trust said: “After over two years of seeing a woefully-empty event listings page on our website, it’s so encouraging to finally see it growing with more and more activities being added each week.

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“As a small charity with a pretty big responsibility of looking after the heritage of the Buxton Crescent Visitor Experience and Pump Room Visitor Centre, income from events is an important part of our fundraising plan.

The award-winning Crescent Hotel in Buxton.The award-winning Crescent Hotel in Buxton.
The award-winning Crescent Hotel in Buxton.

“Every penny raised through ticket sales goes straight back into the charity: employing staff, and helping keep us open after a really challenging 2021.”

The first talk, at the Pump Room on Wednesday, February 9, will see Buxton Museum curator Anna Rhodes sharing her research on the Georgian Derbyshire Grand Tours, described as an illustrated ‘romp’ through staycations of the 1800s.

The charity will be holding open days and family activities in the Assembly Rooms throughout the year, starting during half-term, February 22-24. Young visitors can enjoy taking part in the Buxton Alphabet craft project, play the popular Georgian card game Faro, or just marvel at the stunning space which was once the backdrop for aristocratic balls and assemblies.

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Scott Russell, head of education and engagement for the trust, said: “We’re really pleased to finally be able to open our doors to the local community to learn more about the history of the Crescent, Buxton and Derbyshire.

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“Heritage talks have always been an important part of our plans for sharing the fascinating heritage of this town, and they are just the beginning.”

The trust will also be hosting online events, including an appearance on Wednesday, February 16, by Cheltenham author Lesley Sainty, whose novel Taking the Waters features the spa town elites of the Regency era.

Scott said: “The increase in online events happening during lockdowns means we’re able to look across the country and world to find some of the best speakers to appear.

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“Being able to ‘dial in’ also makes things really accessible for people who aren’t able or ready to travel to an in-person event.”

The emphasis on inclusion is a key focus for the trust, as it seeks to reach new and more diverse audiences.

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Scott said: “It feels like a fresh start after such difficult times and we are developing ways to put on events and activities which we hope non-traditional audiences will enjoy.

“We’re talking with other organisations in the area, and will be reaching out to young people in particular to find out from them what kind of things we could be doing to make our spaces and stories more accessible.”

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For more information and tickets, visit buxtoncrescentexperience.com/events or call in to the Pump Room visitor centre.

To be in with a chance of winning two free tickets, worth £20, for the Anna Rhodes talk, email [email protected] with the subject title ‘Buxton Advertiser Crescent Comp’. Winners will be announced at noon on Monday, February 7.

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