Court Barn’s Turn the Page Activities

In February and March 2024, Court Barn hosted Turn the Page, our now annual celebration of books, which was this year generously supported with funds from the Chipping Campden Community Trust.

We were delighted to work with the team from The Lab at Chipping Campden Library to deliver two fun 3D drawing workshops for families across February half term. Visitors young and old joined in, designing colourful shapes inspired by Court Barn’s collections. At another workshop, local designer and screen-printer Denise Stanton taught all of us how to make simple yet intricate-looking origami bookmarks. Families got creative designing characters to sit atop their bookmarks.

Our Saturday One-on-Ones through March had an enthusiastic following from our local and regular visitors, with discussions by author Christine Cluley, archive and library conservator Victoria Stevens ACR, Hermey Deller from Campden Library and Chipping Campden History Society’s Judith Ellis, who emphasised the importance of knowing your audience when writing non-fiction.

Victoria Stevens reminisced over her career as a freelance conservator of precious library and archival holdings, exploring the delicate touch required in preventing books of all ages from deteriorating. Since 2022, Victoria has undertaken conservation of Court Barn’s nationally-significant collection of C. R. Ashbee’s Essex House Press, a private press which published a number of poetic, religious and architectural titles using medieval printing techniques. Her discussion encouraged a lively debate amongst event attendees about books they had owned throughout their lives and to what extent the books’ wear and tear ought to be preserved.

Hermey Deller’s informal conversation with museum and library friends was especially thought-provoking: our sessions with the Lab had already demonstrated the sheer variety of activities provided by the Library, but it was fascinating to hear about the wonderful breadth of resources accessible from our local library.

Finally, Turn the Page has culminated in a creative writing competition with students from Chipping Campden School’s Year 9 Creative Writing Club. We have received some brilliantly insightful entries from students who were inspired by a recent visit to Court Barn and are delighted that the winning entry, ‘Saved in Gold’ by Archie Campbell, is to be displayed in the museum.

We are hugely thankful to the Chipping Campden Community Trust, whose funds have enabled us deliver and market these events to members of the local community and to visitors from further afield.

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