Locals and visitors flocked to Liskeard over the weekend of September 9 and 10 to join in with the annual Liskeard Unlocked events.
For once, the sun was shining and just in time for visitors to explore the new expanded Cattle Market events space as well as visiting buildings not usually open or which were hosting special events.
A spokesperson from Liskeard Town Council explained: “The theme of this year’s Heritage Open Days is creativity unwrapped and Liskeard certainly showed its creativity, including themed yarnbombing, an exhibition on decorative Liskeard at Stuart House, a special exhibition and children’s activities at the Museum, a display of embroidered vestments and church plate at the Catholic church and craft stalls at the market. The programme of events started with a very interesting talk by Brian Oldham on J K Broad, artist and recorder of life in Liskeard.”
Over the summer groups of children and adults had been given the opportunity to work with local artists and challenged to look at Liskeard in new ways. The results are displayed in a series of panels in the bus shelters on the Parade and shops in Fore Street. Close to each of them is an empty pink frame so, as well as seeing what others have made, everyone can ‘Frame the town’ to see the buildings in new ways. If they like the view people are invited to take a photo and post in on social media with the hashtag #LiskeardUnlocked.
“There was a lot of interest in the new Workshed in the Cattle Market, which was open to the public for the first time on Saturday,” a spokesperson continued.
“The offices and workshops are being let so it was a unique opportunity to see inside them. Real Ideas ran fully-subscribed tours of Liskeard Library to give people a sneak peak before the planned opening at the end of the month. Other buildings opening included the Church of Impact (formerly Greenbank Community Church), the Guildhall, the Masonic Hall and Westbourne House, which has been renovated preserving the Georgian architectural features. The gates of the Pipe Well were open.”
The very first monthly market also took place in the new events area. The market took place under the new Workshed’s canopy which has been developed on the former Cattle Market site as part of Liskeard Unlocked. Visitors were able to enjoy a selection of local food and drinks, stalls selling arts and crafts produced by local artists and a local artisan quarter.
Becky Mason, owner of Bumblebee Design Treasures, was taking part in the market.
She said: “The market had quite the buzz from the get go. I really feel the mix of stalls drew people in as well as the fact we had live music. Have the Liskeard work shed support also helped as Daniel was directing people to us after the tours. For me as a small business it has given me a new opportunity not only to meet other businesses but to connect with people face to face when I have mostly been online and I think that is what local community is all about.”
Furthermore, the Moor to Sea project’s travelling exhibition ‘Celebrating the Valley: Continuity and Change from Moor to Sea’ was at the Liskerrett Community Centre on the Saturday. This exhibition will move to a number of venues over the month of September including Stuart House on September 18 to 19.
On the Sunday, geologist Calum Beeson led a walk around the west of the town to look at the artistic features of the stonework on Liskeard’s buildings.
Liskeard Unlocked continued over the weekend of September 16 to 17.
The museum and Stuart House exhibitions and the opportunity to visit the Church of Impact continued to open until September 16.
A Open Studios art trail was held from Friday, September 15, to Saturday, September 17, which showcased the work of Liskeard Market Makers.
On Saturday, September 16, there was a creative jam at Liskerrett Community Centre were visitors had an opportunity to drop in and try something new in a variety of art forms including printing, stitching, photography, jewellery making, spinning, dancing, singing, junk instruments, writing, collage, storytelling and wild knitting.
There was even an opportunity to help smash the record for longest community poem ever written in Liskeard.
Moor to Sea also held a Poetry Jam at Liskerrett for people to share words and music inspired by Liskeard and the valley.
St Martin’s Church opened it’s doors for people to find out information about the history of the building and the opportunity to try ringing one of the bells.
Finally, to finish the events, Liskeard Unlocked held a guided walk around the town centre by Brian Oldham called ‘Where Liskeard’s Artisans and Artists Honed their Skills in Days Gone By’.
The event is organised by a collaboration of organisations, coordinated by the town council. Town councillor Rachel Brooks, who chairs the group, said: “It was brilliant to see so many people enjoying the wide variety of events on offer. It was especially good to have such a successful market in the new covered events space, which really showed how this space can be used by the town. I know lots of people who came into town also visited our lovely shops and cafés.”
Liskeard Unlocked is organised by a collaboration of organisations, coordinated by the town council.
Cllr Brooks added: “It was brilliant to see so many people enjoying the wide variety of events on offer. It was especially good to have such a successful market in the new covered events space, which really showed how this space can be used by the town. I know lots of people who came into town also visited our lovely shops and cafés.”