Volunteers wanted- Uniform Making Project

Posted on: 21st August 2012

Costume-making: Bringing History Alive

Volunteers wanted- Uniform Making Project

City Walls Heritage Project - Holywell Trust & The Playhouse

The Playhouse and Holywell Trust are calling for volunteers in a unique uniform-making project as part of the autumn programme of events in the City Walls Heritage Project.

The two local organizations are calling for a group to come together to create a full set of uniforms typical for a company of Volunteers which was established in Derry between the 1770s-80s, using skills and tools consistent with the period. Specialist advice and materials will be provided by an expert in costumes from the Georgian Period.

The project is the latest in a series of events planned for this autumn by the City Walls Heritage Project, launched at a special event on Sunday afternoon. Living history performers provided by the Playhouse and Northern Period Productions took those who attended back in time to the 1780s, to the days of the Earl Bishop, Frederick Augustus Hervey, when Volunteer Companies were being formed in the City.

There was a demonstration of the firing of a cannon on the hour and it was possible to interact with the characters to discuss their weapons, their fashion and the political issues of the day! The Cathedral was open for the afternoon and the Dean, William Morton, played some pieces on the Cathedral organ. As well as marking the start of the National Heritage Week, the details of autumn programme of events, for Walls Alive! 2012, were also released at the event.

The Dean of Derry and Rector of Templemore, the Very Rev William Morton, speaking at the event said: "The Cathedral was pleased to be part of National Heritage Week and to be partnering the Holywell Trust in its project to bring the City Walls alive. In addition to its primary purpose as a place of worship, dedicated to Saint Columba, the Cathedral understands it has an important role to play in preserving the heritage of the City".

Announcing the autumn programme of events, Eamonn Deane, Director of the Holywell Trust explained why they had chosen the 1780s as period to focus on.

"One of the aims of the City of Culture Year will be to give people the space to write a new narrative for Derry, based on a full understanding of the history which has got us to this point, but unconstrained by it" he said. "At the end of the 18th Century, Derry was also going through a similar period of transformation, influenced by events in America and France, so it seemed appropriate to use this period as the theme for our autumn activities in the run-up to 2013."

Pauline Ross at The Playhouse said "We want anyone who has an interest in helping us create bespoke and unique costumes, so come along and exploring this craft from an expert in historical pieces. All of these upcoming events are a unique opportunity for both local people and visitors to this city to bear witness, participate and enjoy in the most entertaining way, the rich tapestry that is our people and our history."

Full details of the autumn programme can be found at www.walls400.com


heritage walls

The Dean of Derry, Very Rev William Morton (centre) with Nuala McAllister, Chair, Foyle Civic Trust and Eamon Deane, Director Foyle Civic Trust with living history performers from the Playhouse and Northern Period Productions at Cathedral's National Heritage Week event on Sunday. Image Martin McKeown, Inpresspics

Details of other events planned for this autumn are:

Walls Alive Treasure Hunt
Saturday 8th September 2012

A treasure hunt designed for young and old to challenge your knowledge of the Walled City's history. You will be taken to places often overlooked. Prizes for the fastest time and for the most interesting discovery made! Organised by the City Walls Heritage Project in conjunction with the Foyle Civic Trust and European Heritage Open Days.

Culture Night
Friday 21st September 2012

The Playhouse will be performing vignettes from period plays, on the City Walls at Artillery Bastion.

Look out for a roving sedan chair on the City Walls as you move from venue to venue!


Walking Tours with Experts
Sunday 9th September 2012

Get up close and personal with Ulster's largest ancient monument in the company of specialists.

1.00 pm Derry's Walls - An Instrument of War - a tour examining the design and use of Derry's Walls and Siege Cannon. Dr Brian Scott, author of The Great Guns that Thunder, will lead the tour. Living history performers will demonstrate the firing of a cannon every hour from 1pm until 5pm.

3.00 pm Speaking Stones-the architecture and geology of Derry's City Walls and Historic Buildings. Professor Alistair Rowan, author of North West Ulster: Buildings of Ireland Series will lead the tour.

Free refreshments at the end of each tour which will last 1.5 hours. Tours are free but tickets must be obtained in advance from The Playhouse Theatre Booking Office telephone 02871 268027. Numbers will be limited so early booking is recommended. A free guide souvenir to Derry's Walls will be available to all participants.

Details of all the historic buildings and places in and around Derry, which will be opening for free on Saturday and Sunday can be found on the European Heritage Open Days


Autumn Hill of Derry History Lecture
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 7.30pm St Columb's Cathedral

The lecture Derry in Revolutionary Times will be delivered by Professor Kevin Whelan, Director, University of Notre Dame, Dublin. Professor Whelan will examine Derry in the context of the events in America, France and the rest of Ulster at the end of the 18th C. The lecture in St Columb's Cathedral will be preceded by a theatrical vignette involving the Earl Bishop's secretary and Dean Hume. Period refreshments and music will be provided afterwards in the former Bishop's Palace, on Bishop's St Within.

Tickets £5 (£3 for concessions) are available through the Playhouse 028 7126 8027



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