On Saturday at Calderstones

Earlier this year the Calderstones Mansion House opened its doors to the public for the first time in 40 years and over 1,200 of us went inside to have a look. This Saturday there’s another chance when a Summer Fair will be held in the garden there from 11 to 5pm.

Summer Fair

There’ll be live music, a poetry booth, a memory wall and best of all a chance to find out what The Reader Organisation have been up to since successfully bidding for the use of the building at the start of this year.

Built in 1828 and formerly the home of the MacIver family, owners of the Cunard shipping line.

Built in 1828 and formerly the home of the MacIver family, owners of the Cunard shipping line.

The Calderstones Mansion House.

The Calderstones Mansion House.

Jane Davis, founder and Director of The Reader Organisation.

Jane Davis, founder and Director of The Reader Organisation.

And The Reader Organisation? Here’s how they describe themselves:

“Well obviously we’re about reading, in fact we’re about a Reading Revolution. Starting in Liverpool and Birkenhead ten years ago we’re now running our Get Into Reading groups throughout Britain, Northern Ireland and even internationally . In libraries, schools, children’s centres, prisons, health centres, community centres (including Homebaked Community Bakery in Anfield), anywhere we can to help people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities connect with great literature and each other. And it’s not just about the literature. We believe, and we’re backing it up with our research, that reading, especially aloud and in groups, is good for people’s well-being in all sorts of ways. Friendships, confidence, happiness and measurable life changes being brought about by people sitting in groups and reading together.”

Several reading groups are now taking place regularly at Calderstones:

  • Mondays 10:00 to 11:30, Book at Breakfast, for adults, free with coffee;
  • Wednesday evenings, also for adults but full at the moment;
  • Thursdays at 1:30, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, stories and dancing for under fives;
  • Saturday mornings, Caldies Creatives, reading and crafts for 8 to 13 year olds.
  • And on 7th September there’ll be a one day course on ‘Reading Paradise Lost’ run by Jane Davis. £30 including lunch, concessions available.

Caldies Creatives.

The Mansion House Garden used to be regularly used for plays and concerts, as you can see in this photograph from the 1950s.reader23

And a couple of weeks ago it was used again to stage Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear.’

Over two evenings 500 people came to see the play.

Over two evenings 500 people came to see the play.

Put on by The Globe Theatre, from London.

Put on by The Globe Theatre, from London.

Out in the garden you’ll be able to see this young relative of the oldest tree in Calderstones Park, the Allerton Oak.

Sophie Povey of The Reader Organisation with Allerton Oak the Younger.

Sophie Povey of The Reader Organisation with Allerton Oak the Younger.

This grew from an Allerton Oak acorn planted in the garden seven years ago by Jon of Glendales, who’s been gardening here for 40 years.

Jon of Glendales, man and boy.

Jon of Glendales, man and boy.

In the park, outside the garden you'll find the Allerton Oak itself.

In the park, outside the garden, you’ll find the Allerton Oak itself.

Over 1,000 years old.

Over 1,000 years old.

And thought to have been used as a courthouse in Saxon times.

And thought to have been used as a courthouse in Saxon times.

So don’t miss this chance to visit this fascinating place and while you’re there maybe talk to Sophie or one of her colleagues about how you might be able to volunteer and help out with the work The Reader are doing here.

Some of The Reader Volunteers team.

Some of The Reader Volunteers team.

And obviously have a look round the park too. It’s looking stunningly beautiful at the moment.Reader02 Reader03 Reader04 Reader05Don’t forget about the Harry Potter fancy dress. I’ll be going as Hagrig, like I always do!

The Reader Organisation emerged from a competitive process with Preferred Bidder Status for The Mansion House, Coach House and Stable Yard buildings from Liverpool City Council in January 2013. They are now working with Liverpool City Council and other partners to develop their plans and have been running activities at The Mansion House since May.

You can get to Calderstones on the 86 and 86A bus to Mather Avenue or the 76 to Menlove Avenue. If driving there is a small car park off Calderstones Road and another one off Yew Tree Road.

Any queries, or to talk about Volunteer opportunities, contact Sophie Povey at The Reader Organisation on 0151 724 5000 or at sophiepovey@thereader.org.uk

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s