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Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival with ‘The Machinery’ art installation Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd September

By Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, 17 August 2018, 10:23AM

This year’s Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival features an exciting line-up of new events at venues around The Gorge.

Taking place over the weekend of Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd September there are activities for all ages and interests, many of which are free of charge. The annual festival celebrates Ironbridge Gorge’s World Heritage Site status, which ranks it alongside the Great Wall of China, Pyramids of Egypt and India’s Taj Mahal in terms of its historical significance. The Festival has been made possible thanks to Telford & Wrekin Council with funding from Arts Council England.

Friday 21st September – Maws Craft Centre, Jackfield

Events begin on Friday evening, 21st September with a ‘Night on the Tiles’ at Maws Craft Centre in Jackfield, where the courtyard at the centre of the former tile factory will be transformed for a 1920s themed open-air concert with a jazz band and singer, dance workshop and 1920s inspired food and drink. This ticket only event takes place between 7pm and 10.30pm with ample, free onsite parking. Check www.ironbridge.org.uk for ticket details.

Saturday 22nd September – Ironbridge

On Saturday, 22nd September the festival moves to Ironbridge where free events include a family ReCreation Day in Dale End Park between 10am and 4pm organised by Veolia in partnership with Telford & Wrekin Council. Go along to this huge family friendly festival and discover how to upcycle rubbish into beautiful things with over 40 stalls, demonstrations and workshops run by artists, designers, musicians and innovators.

The Museum of The Gorge will be open all day for free. Here you can discover more of the Gorge’s remarkable history and why it became a World Heritage Site. A new film using digitised clips from the Media Archive of Central England (MACE) will show nostalgic images of coracles on the River Severn, the Iron Bridge and scenes from a visit by one of Telford’s famous sons, football legend Billy Wright.

Ironbridge’s historic Lime Kilns on the Wharfage will be transformed into a performance space with a packed programme of live music and drama, while an outdoor exhibition along the Wharfage will depict the Town’s history. All of Ironbridge’s many specialist shops, cafés and pubs will be open and ready to welcome Festival goers throughout the day.

Sunday 23rd September - Coalbrookdale

The Festival moves to Coalbrookdale on Sunday, 23rd September for its final day when the Museum of Iron, Darby Houses and Enginuity will all be open for free from 10am until 4pm and the Old Furnace will be brought to life with a spectacular sound and light installation. The Green will have storytelling workshops for all the family. Outside Enginuity there will be a face painter, balloon artist and hands on workshops.

Original historic garments will be displayed by the Museum’s costume experts, who will conduct tours of the workroom where replicas are made. Visitors can try on replica costume, ranging from hats to crinolines and bustles.

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience a new three screen, immersive sound and visual installation by Jon Harrison (filmmaker) with Caroline Radcliffe (dancer) and Sarah Angliss (composer) at Enginuity sponsored by Arts Council England and the University of Birmingham entitled ‘The Machinery’. Steps from a ‘heel-and-toe’ clog dance dating back to the 1800s are layered with images and sounds from a working 19th century cotton mill and a 21st century call centre emphasising the connections between the two industries.

Caroline Radcliffe, one of the artists, will be on hand running fun clog dancing taster sessions and giving a talk about the inspiration for ‘The Machinery’ and explaining how historic clog dancing has links with today’s techno and street dance.

Parking for both the Saturday and Sunday Festival days is located at the Ironbridge Gorge Park and Ride at the top of Jiggers Bank (TF4 3QE), from where a fast and frequent bus service will operate for a small charge.

For more information about the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival visit www.ironbridge.org.uk  or call 01952 433 424.