Living History Day
Saturday 8 May 2004

Our small village of Kirton in Suffolk, situated just outside Felixstowe, staged a Living History Day. We believe this was the first of its kind to be held on the Felixstowe Peninsula and was a very exciting (and rain-free!) day. It was held in and around Kirton Church, the churchyard and a glade beyond with lots of exciting happenings. Re-creation groups ranging from Greek Warriors to Romans,Vikings Anglo Saxons etc, to the 20th century W.W.2 and a Land Army re-creation group. Among the artisans were a flint knapper, herbalists, dyeing from natural resources, a spinner and weaver, potter, woodcarver, stone mason, bee keeper, knotter/braider, corn dolly making, and Celtic and Saxon Story tellers, etc.

There were exhibitors and displays in the Church, a demonstration of Patchwork quilt making by the ladies of the village, a lacemaker and a display of model steam engines. Interests for children include hands on pottery and calligraphy wonderful stories of Celtic and Saxon origin, watching local school children who added atmosphere by being Victorian Children playing Victorian games and also portraying urchins. We had wandering minstrels playing on period instruments, a medieval mummers play and even a Jester. The Church Hall had several exhibitors and we were pleased to be able to welcome an archaeologist from Bury, Faye Minter of the portable Antiquities scheme, who ran a finds clinic to identify any items people brought in and displayed a wide range of artefacts from across the centuries. The Conservation Team from Ipswich Museum demonstrated their skills and ran a conservation clinic giving advice on how to care for treasured items of any age and material. The Felixstowe Family Society offered advice on how to track down your ancestors. There was also a marvellous display of models of a bygone age.

Sheila Cornford & Len Lanigan