Special Events at Bunbury Mill
We welcome the use of the mill by a wide variety of organisations - as a setting for dramatic events, a challenge for artists and photography groups, a temporary short-wave radio station, a venue for social and fund-raising events. Some examples are illustrated below. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art and craft workshops at the mill
In December 2016 a new series of workshops was initiated at the mill by a group of Arty and Crafty people, who meet up to exchange ideas and work on their own individual pieces. Some sessions are organised as formal tutorials with brought-in experts on specific craft techniques, such as willow weaving, paper dying, flower making and Brusho art.
Other days are free style - bring your own project and share your ideas with the others. The works have ranged widely, including water colour and acrylic paintings, paper dyeing, mixed media and stitch work. The sharing of work space, thoughts and ideas as the day progressed is stimulating, and the friendly get together results in lots of enthusiastic ideas for continuing such gatherings.
The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month. If you are interested, please contact Judy Gray via email@example.com
Father Christmas has a grotto at the mill
Father Christmas is a regular December visitor, when he meets the children in his evocative grotto in the old mill building. If we're lucky, he even arranges a wonderful crispy snow-bound day, with the buildings and trees all lit up with fairy lights.
On arrival, visitors will tour the traditional Mill building and experience some festive activities along the way before meeting Father Christmas in his grotto...and then onto the Visitor Centre for some refreshments after your visit.
To keep Father Christmas and everyone safe this year, we are taking timed bookings (one slot per family). For more information and to book your timed slot, please email Vanessa.firstname.lastname@example.org with your groups details including how many children, their ages and number of accompanying adults. £5 per child.
The Rain or Shine Theatre Company
Not to be taken too seriously, these performances are delivered with amazing enthusiasm and audience rapport, and provide a highly enjoyable and memorable experience, as well as raising funds in support of the mill trust.
The Rain or Shine Theatre Company are regular visitors to Bunbury, performing their hilarious versions of well known dramas including:
The Hound of the Baskervilles (January 2017)
Dracula (December 2017) (subtitled 'A Pain in the Neck')
Dr Jekyll and Miss Hyde (December 2018) (yes, Miss Hyde)
As You Like It (June 2019)
The Wind in the Willows (December 2019)
She Stoops to Conquer (July 2021)
Soul Caking at the mill October 2017
In October 2017 the mill was privileged to host a historic re-creation by children from Bunbury Aldersey Primary School.
Souling plays were traditionally performed in communities across Cheshire between Halloween and Christmas and historically formed an important part of town and village life in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Many of the plays died out around the time of the First World War, although some are still performed to this day.
The Souling project was initiated by Minerva Arts in response to the archive of folk music historian Fred McCormick which contained information on this special Cheshire tradition. The project aimed to work in communities where the plays were no longer performed to revive interest and awareness of the plays and to enable children and young people to develop their own versions to perform.
The new Bunbury Soul Play was premiered to Bunbury Mill on the 28th October to an audience of 50 and will be published in a short volume at the close of the project.
Minerva Arts would like to thank Bunbury Mill, Bunbury Aldersey School and the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support.
Musical Evening September 2017
A fine September evening at the mill provided a splendid setting for a musical evening in aid of mill funds. Virginia Kettle treated us to a series of evocative solo numbers, complemented by a 'what is it?' quiz on Roman objects from Chester museum. After the interval, Virginia was joined by members of her Dreamkeepers group for a second half of fun and rousing music.
A popular venue for vintage car club outings
During the visitor season, vintage car clubs often come to the mill, where they make a wonderful sight by the scenic mill pond and the old mill on a Sunday afternoon. How many of these can you identify?
BBC's Bargain Hunt at Bunbury Mill June 2017
Each episode of the popular BBC programme Bargain Hunt includes a visit by the presenter to a place of local interest. This summer the BBC team filmed some of their auction scenes at Peter Wilson Auctions in Nantwich, and we were delighted when they picked on the historic Bunbury Mill as a feature for inclusion in the programme.
We spent a most enjoyable morning showing presenter Eric Knowles round the mill and discussing with him the history of our mill and milling in general. The resulting programme was shown on BBC1 on 20th November 2017.
Willow weaving at the mill
This event had to be arranged in two sessions, as there couldn’t be too many weavers in the visitors centre at one time. And we soon found our why! After making the base of our bread baskets, the next stage was an eight foot Catherine wheel of rods to be patiently woven into impressive - well, impressive to us - sturdy containers.
Our tutor Liz Hollinshead was a supportive and encouraging teacher, and we all enjoyed the experience and the camaraderie greatly. The mill made a fitting place for such an ancient and water-dependent craft. Thank you to Judy Gray for organising the event.
Oaty Porridge at Bunbury Mill October 2015
Bunbury Watermill hosted an Online Field Trip 'Oaty Porridge' as part of The Tesco Eat Happy Project, broadcast live from the mill on 1st October 2015, streaming into schools across the UK. The live lesson, all about Oaty Porridge, was presented by Sam Mann, and made in collaboration with oats producer Mornflake, and can be viewed at http://www.eathappyproject.com/online-field-trips/oaty-porridge.
As well as discussing the history of oats and oat milling, and the nutritional benefits (and pleasures) of eating oaty products, the programme featured a detailed explanation of workings of the historic Victorian water mill.
National Stitch Day
1st August 2015 was National Stitch Day for the Embroiders' Guild, and the Cheshire Borders Group chose Bunbury Mill as their 'unusual venue'. As well as working - and chatting - in the comfortable visitor centre, they toured the mill and posed and sewed by the mill stones and on the winnowing floor.
Mill Musical Evening March 2015
Click thumbnail to enlarge
14th March saw our first social event of 2015 - an evening of musical entertainment by Caroline and Dave, with a splendid hot supper provided by the newly formed Bunbury Mill Catering group.
We christened the new furniture purchased with the aid of CEC Community Grants, and enjoyed the improved lighting (inside and outside) funded by WREN.