Time Machine Coming To Stowmarket

History will come alive on the streets of Stowmarket on Saturday 9 October, as Time Machine, a one-day cultural festival arrives in the town.

Visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy a host of events which will unearth stories from the area and celebrate the past, present and future of Stowmarket.

The event has been produced by the Stowmarket Culture Group and events will take place at different venues including The Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket Library, the John Peel Centre, Old Fox Yard and The Regal Theatre.

Visitors can enjoy ‘Taste the Past’ at the Museum of East Anglian Life, sharing food memories and exploring museum objects to discover local food stories.

Old Fox Yard will showcase of artwork and stories from the public with workshops for people to contribute to a tapestry of writings, paintings and fabric – all stitched together to form a collective artwork.

Stowmarket Library will be delivering storytelling for families based around the theme of Time Travel, as well as hosting the Stowmarket Bells group where visitors can find out about how the bells have reflected the life of the town and its people over 500 years. There will also be the unveiling of the new ‘Stitching Stowe’ Library Garden, stitching together the stories of the town and infusing them into paintings and other artwork.

The John Peel Centre is working with Stowmarket Local History Group on a tongue-in-cheek journey into ghostly sightings, fairies and historical facts. Walks and talks will start at the John Peel Centre and take people around the town highlighting some known and not so well-known facts about the town.

The Regal will screen the fascinating documentary film ‘The War Just Outside Ipswich’, and Stowmarket Society are inviting members of the public to help with the creation of a Snap Map for the town. 

In addition, visitors to the town can keep an eye out for a Time Travelling Machine piloted by the (usually confused) Victorian gadgeteer professor Keith Robinson from Circus Fudge. The professor will land in Stowmarket and will need some help navigating his way around and discovering more about the town.  

The Time Machine concept was first piloted by Rochdale Development Agency in 2019 and Stowmarket has been chosen as one of only three towns nationally to deliver the scheme this year along with Blackburn and Knowle.

Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for economic growth said:

“Stowmarket boasts a number of cultural venues, and it is wonderful to have a day to celebrate the culture and history in the town as one of only three places in the country to be part of the Time Machine initiative. Part of our vision for Stowmarket vision is to celebrate the arts and culture in the town and I look forward to joining residents and visitors and discovering some of the hidden history and stories of Stowmarket.”

Jenny Cousins, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life and chair of the Stowmarket Culture Group, said: “This is a great opportunity for the Stowmarket Culture Group to come together and celebrate what’s so unique about our town. Every community has its own cultural identity – a shared history and traditions – and we’re thrilled to be able to lift the lid on some of that as part of this standalone event’.

The Time Machine event is part of an ongoing programme of activity to encourage visitors back into our high streets after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions which are funded by the Welcome Back Fund. Created by Government using monies from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Welcome Back Fund has been designed for Local Authorities to help towns reopen, host events and activities and improve and beautify community spaces while keep visitors safe.

In addition to the Time Machine event, Stowmarket will also be welcoming the arrival of the Women’s Cycle Tour into the district, which will pass through the town just after mid-day. For more information please visit: www.babergh.gov.uk/business/culture

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