Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pontefract's Townscape Heritage Initiative


Since 2011, the Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has been helping to preserve the heritage of Pontefract town centre, working with owners and tenants to fund repairs to historic properties in order to restore and improve the Market Place conservation area. The THI, which is jointly funded by Wakefield Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has also worked with local partners to raise awareness of Pontefract’s important historic buildings, and to promote its unique, and often hidden history.


To celebrate the scheme’s final year, the THI team worked with Pontefract Museum to create the new ‘Pomfret’s Printery’ exhibition about the Holmes Printing works, which was based at 11-13 Gillygate for over 80 years.

Pomfret's Printery - exhibition now open in Pontefract Museum
11-13 Gillygate is now being restored with funding from the scheme, and the exhibition explores the fascinating story of the building, as well as the important role that the Holmes family played in documenting everyday life in Pontefract throughout the 20th century. 

Pomfret's Printery - exhibition now open in Pontefract Museum

The scheme has also created a new Pontefract ‘Spotters Guide’ an architectural treasure hunt around Pontefract Town Centre for children and families.

 
To find out more, drop into the museum between
10am and 3pm on Tuesday 1 August - Yorkshire Day
where you can pick up a copy of the guide and
create your own mini ‘pop-up’ market place.


 


 










For more information about the THI please visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/pontefractthi

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fabulous Family Fun for the Summer Holidays

Are you ready for an adventure this summer?


There are loads of exciting events, fun family activities and things to see and do around the district during the school holidays.


Castleford, Pontefract and Wakefield Museums have a brilliant selection of creative workshops and fun activities throughout the summer; there really is something to do every day.


To help you plan ahead download a copy of our free Fabulous Family Fun Summer Holiday Planner today at Fabulous Family Fun Summer Holiday Planner




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wakefield Wins Again!

Maya Harrison, Wakefield Museums, reflects on Wakefield's recent successes


Last night it was announced that The Hepworth Wakefield has won the largest museum prize in the world, the Art Fund Museum of the Year. This is awarded to an “outstanding museum, which has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the preceding 12 months”.  At the award ceremony Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield said


'Thank you to the people of Wakefield; we can all be proud of the inventive change that keeps occurring there,'


This is fantastic news for The Hepworth Wakefield but also has highlighted once again what an amazing place the Wakefield district is.


This isn’t the first time the Art Fund Museum of the Year has been awarded in Wakefield; in 2014 the prize went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  A great artistic offer shouldn’t come as a surprise from an area that produced internationally renowned artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth!


The Hepworth Wakefield
It’s not just art we excel in.  This Sunday sees the 22nd annual Liquorice Festival in Pontefract, a glorious, colourful celebration of liquorice http://www.experiencewakefield.co.uk/events/PLF-2017.aspx . Wakefield also hosts the Rhubarb festival in February celebrating the ’Rhubarb Triangle’.
Impressed yet?
There’s more…
Another reason to cheer is the recently opened visitor centre at Pontefract Castle, and the ongoing conservation of this once magnificent and important castle.  The new visitor centre boasts an impressive learning space, new exhibitions, a shop and delicious cafĂ© (we can highly recommend the lemon and blueberry cake!).
The new visitor centre at Pontefract Castle
Last week the district’s Museums (including Castleford Museum, Pontefract Museum and Wakefield Museum) were awarded significant funding from The Arts Council England;  Joining The Hepworth Wakefield, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Art House as National Portfolio Organisations.


Castleford Museum
For a district once brought to its knees through declining industry and pit closures this is an impressive rise to the top of the cultural pile! This is a reflection of the passion and determination of Wakefield communities.  We should feel proud,  VERY PROUD, and shout from the rooftops about how brilliant Wakefield is.