Free family event gives a taste of Doncaster's First World War at Cusworth Hall


Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 July 2015

Doncaster’s families will be able to travel back 100 years to explore life on the home front during the First World War at a major – and free – event at Cusworth Hall and Park on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July 2015.

Lady Isabella of Cusworth and son Robert c 1910
Lady Isabella of Cusworth and son Robert c 1910

Visitors to ‘Life on the Home Front Weekend’ can taste wartime cooking, try out costumes and crafts, encounter vintage vehicles, and even meet soldiers and nurses in living history camps, experiencing military training and medical care just like people in Doncaster in 1915. The weekend is being organised as part of Doncaster 1914-18, a four-year project which aims to build a picture of life in the Doncaster borough during the First World War, so visitors are also being encouraged to share their own family or local stories at the event.
Dress up like this
Dress up like this

“Life on the Home Front Weekend is based on genuine events experienced by local people 100 years ago, so visitors will get a vivid, first-hand insight into how life changed – for everyone – during the First World War. Not only did brothers, sons and husbands serve as soldiers, but families back home did their bit for the war effort, growing their own vegetables and fruit to deal with food shortages, fundraising and making clothes and gifts to send to relatives at the Front. Doncaster miners and railway workers in reserved occupations did valuable work to support the war effort and keep the country running and its supply chains moving,” explains Jude Holland, Project Manager for Doncaster 1914-18. “What is most striking, though, is the way that people rallied round to support each other and the war effort. Everyone played their part with indomitable spirit, finding ingenious ways to make do and mend. In fact, the Weekend will reveal some really useful tips for today!”
A packed programme of activities will take place throughout the weekend between 10am – 4pm, including:
Taste – and learn how to cook – original First World War cakes and biscuits, sent from Doncaster homes to soldiers fighting on the front line. Local cook and author, Meryl White will recreate traditional recipes including trench cake, imperial biscuits, parkin, and cocoanut haystacks, all inspired by her Grandma Abson, a South Yorkshire housekeeper in the 1900s.
Explore a soldier’s life in the First World War Training camp, including a tented encampment and displays of drill, weapon firing, tactics and gas warfare, recreated by expert living history group, The Manchester 1914-18 Regiment.
Meet the nurses and Frank, a patient who has literally been in the wars, at the Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses’ station. Visitors to the medical tent will also witness medical tools, equipment and hundreds of other everyday items from the home front.
A vintage 1916 Model T ambulance and officer’s motorcycle take centre-stage alongside many original objects, including uniforms, which reveal how we lived during the First World War.
Make do and mend, getting creative – and picking up a few money-saving tips – with hands-on crafts suitable for all ages, including ‘sew and save’.
Visitors will discover more about the Borough during the First World War at the Great War on Roadshow, handling original objects and dressing up in First World War uniforms. Members of the public can bring along their family’s First World War letters, objects and memorabilia and have them digitised for the new, online archive.
“The First World War brought about significant change, including the introduction of British Summer Time to increase daylight working hours, restrictions on lighting – dubbed A Night of Grease, Grime and Gloom by the local Doncaster Chronicle – and even a ban on buying rounds at the pub to discourage drunkenness,” adds Victoria Ryves, the project’s Community and Education Engagement Officer, “but it’s the everyday stories that are most poignant, revealing the realities of wartime life for Doncaster people, and the contribution they made. Local people donated entire buildings to the war effort as hospitals for convalescing soldiers – including Lady Isabella of Cusworth Hall whose family home in Stamford became a hospital. Schoolchildren made food parcels for injured soldiers in local hospitals – in just one day, one school’s parcel included 194 eggs, 68 lbs of sugar, 5 lbs of treacle, and also a jar of Bovril.”

To find out more, visit www.doncaster1914-18.org.uk.

Admission is free to Life on the Home Front Weekend, but car parking charges apply, ranging from £1 for an hour to £6 for an all-day ticket. Cusworth Hall and Park is located in Doncaster, DN5 7TU. During the weekend, visitors can also explore, at no additional charge, the 18th-century country house, museum displays and its historic parkland, complete with lakes and pleasure grounds, shop and tea room.

toys WERE us! Exhibition

13th July- 20th September 2015 @ Cusworth Hall
This Exhibition brings together some of the most iconic examples of toys within Cusworth hall’s collection — from Victorian times to the present day. We all have memories of our favourite childhood toys. Perhaps we have even lovingly hidden them away in a secret cupboard or drawer. Who knows maybe you will spot something you recognise!


18th July – 13th September 2015 @ DONCASTER MUSEUM & ART GALLERY

A pair of overhead cranes are lifting a newly-built Great Northern Railway O2 Class 2-8-0 locomotive in the erecting shop at Doncaster Works on 14th December 1919. The cranes, built by Craven Brothers of Manchester in 1901, could each lift 35 tons.
A pair of overhead cranes are lifting a newly-built Great Northern Railway O2 Class 2-8-0 locomotive in the erecting shop at Doncaster Works on 14th December 1919. The cranes, built by Craven Brothers of Manchester in 1901, could each lift 35 tons.

An exhibition celebrating Doncaster’s fine railway heritage, BRINGING TOGETHER AN ECLECTIC MIX OF RAILWAY ARTEFACTS & MEMORABILIA FROM DONCASTER MUSEUM SERVICE — including items loaned from the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection.
Flying Scotsman in Doncaster
Flying Scotsman in Doncaster

Many of these significant items will be on display for the first time ever, as we recognise the Importance of Doncaster as the starting point for so many a great Railway journey.

Avenue Q opens TONIGHT @castindoncaster #DoncasterCreatives QUESTION who's going to see it?

avenueQWinner of the Tony Awards Triple Crown for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart.
Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy The Slut and other colorful types who help him discover his true purpose in life!
Following five years in the West End, sell-out runs worldwide and a smash-hit tour in 2014 (packed with mischief, bad behaviour and political incorrectness) this hugely entertaining show is coming to Doncaster.
Created by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Co-creator of Book of Mormon and writer of the songs for Disney’s Frozen) Avenue Q is an irresistibly charming musical which tells the story of the loveable characters on a downtown New York street trying to make sense of life’s burning issues.
Hilarious, cheeky and uproariously entertaining, with a terrific batch of songs performed by a cast of hugely talented performers and puppets, Avenue Q is a musical like no other.

Cosy Cinema Returns to Mexborough

The return of a cinema in Mexborough has been secured for the next 18 months thanks to funding from Film Hub North.
The money will mean that free films will continue to be aired once a month at the Cosy Cinema, at the Concertina Band Club on Dolcliffe Road, Mexborough.
Dominic Somers, Arts supporter for Right Up Our Street, who have been instrumental in gaining the funding said: “This is fantastic news for the people of Mexborough.
“The cinema events we have run to date have proved very popular and we are now looking forward to scheduling in a wide mix of films over the next 18 months. We are very grateful to Film Hub North for this funding.”
The Cosy Cinema is run by a core group consisting of John Beal, Andy Pickering and Paul Dyson, the group would welcome new members who have an interest in film and in making sure that the local community in Mexborough have access to a cinema.
“In addition to this funding, we’ve also been successful in gaining funding from BFI Neighbourhood Cinema, a new fund for the BFI, for audio visual equipment. This will mean that we can provide a great quality experience for all of our community visitors,” added Dominic.
“We are already planning our next films which will include The Wicker Man in a tribute to Christopher Lee and Frank, the film based on Frank Sidebottom. We welcome suggestions for other films people would like to see.” Said Dominic.

Ian Parks, Andy Pickering and Dominic Somers
Ian Parks, Andy Pickering and Dominic Somers

For more information, please visit http://rightupourstreet.org.uk/cosy-cinema.