Doncaster’s history explored at festival

Doncaster Heritage Festival - (L to R) Richard Bell Chairman of Trustees - The Sand House Charity, Emily Whitehead, teacher at Park Primary School, Freya Nagelsmann, Cusworth Hall volunteer, Cllr Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Culture, and Park Primary School pupils, Shaye Armstrong (5), Charlie Smith (6), Benjamin Anorue (6)

Doncaster Heritage Festival - (L to R) Richard Bell Chairman of Trustees - The Sand House Charity, Emily Whitehead, teacher at Park Primary School, Freya Nagelsmann, Cusworth Hall volunteer, Cllr Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Culture, and Park Primary School pupils, Shaye Armstrong (5), Charlie Smith (6), Benjamin Anorue (6)

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Time Team archaeologist Professor Carenza Lewis is set to bring history to life at the annual Doncaster Heritage Festival.

She will be speaking about the plague and public archaeology at Doncaster Museum, Chequer Road, at the seventh annual festival on Tuesday May 2.

Professor Carenza Lewis said: “I’m really looking forward to talking about the impact of the Black Death on rural communities, including some from Yorkshire – and showing how anyone can find new evidence for what happened after this terrible epidemic to the place they live in.”

There will also be a wide variety of other activities at the event, which runs between Saturday April 22 and Sunday May 7.

Doncaster Heritage Services have also organised a packed programme of events, talks, walks and workshops.

Cabinet Member for Culture, councillor Bill Mordue, said: “If you love history, you will love Doncaster Heritage Festival. It is a great chance for everyone to find out more about our town’s fascinating history.

“This year events are being held at a wide range of venues across the borough and at a variety of times so as many people as possible will have a chance to take part in the festival.

“The festival offers everything from fun filled family activities to insights into life in Roman and World War One Doncaster and walks that look at different aspects of the borough’s heritage.”

The annual Local History Fair, now it its 14th year, will be held between 11am and 4pm on Saturday April 22 at Doncaster Museum, and will launch the festival.

The fair is organised by member groups of the Doncaster and District Heritage Association. There will be stalls, displays, family activities, re-enactments and entertainment.

Popular speaker Helen Cox will also return to the festival to give an overview of the Brontes, one of Britain’s most famous literary families.

A palaeography workshop will be held at Doncaster Archives, where borough archivist Doctor Charles Kelham will lead an informal discussion on medieval script.

There will be a free May Day at Cusworth Hall event between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday April 30 at the hall and park. People can try their hand at Maypole dancing, meet the cook in the great kitchen and have a go at family trails inside the hall. There will be some family craft activities, for which there will be a small charge.

There will also be another free Mayflower Day event the next day at Austerfield Study Centre, where the history of Austerfield will be explored. There will be village trails, children’s events, races and games between 11am and 4pm on Monday May 1.

Professor Carenza Lewis will give the David Hey Memorial Lecture on Tuesday May 2 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5 from the Central Library.

Tickets for Helen Cox’s talk are £2 and also from Central Library. The talk will be held on Friday April 28, between 10.30am and 11.30am at the library.

The palaeography workshop will be held on May 2 between 10am and 12pm. Tickets are free but places need to be booked by calling 01302 859811.

For more information visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/heritagefestival.