Cumbria Crack

National BBC festival to highlight Whitehaven’s rich history

[A] NATIONAL festival backed by the BBC will celebrate local Norse history.

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, has been chosen to take part in the BBC Civilisations Festival which will see the broadcasting giant partner with museums, galleries, libraries and archives across the nation to showcase civilisation through the ages.

The museum will be hosting a series of events and online resources that tell the story of Norse life in West Cumbria.

Alan Gillon, Education Officer, The Beacon Museum

In homage to the Norse period, the museum will be offering willow weaving workshops, which will be available to youngsters, community groups and the public.

An interactive online game will also be available from March, which offers people the chance to create their own Viking riddles. These riddles will then be displayed in the museum as part of its Norse exhibit.

The BBC Civilisations Festival will take place from Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 11. The festival will coincide with the broadcast of BBC’s Arts’ Civilisations series which explores more than 500 works of art, from 31 countries, across six continents.

Phil Bradley, Willow Weaver

Alan Irwin, Business Development Manager at The Beacon Museum, said: “We are excited to be hosting events and online resources in collaboration with the BBC Civilisations Festival and the Art Fund.

“Funding has allowed us to develop a fun online game and willow-weaving workshops that tell the story of Norse life here in West Cumbria, and we are hoping to offer these free to local community groups and our Quantum Leap club for children aged seven to 13.

“Last spring, we celebrated the Norse silver hoard coming to The Beacon Museum, and local interest grew and grew as people realised how much Norse history could be found right here.

“This time we want to highlight how Norse culture has now become part of our own in modern day society.”

Willow weaving workshops will be available to the public on Sunday, April 15 at a cost of £8 per person. For more information and to book call 01946 592302 or email [email protected] To participate in the interactive online game, visit the museum’s website at

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