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Libraries become hives of culture for Fun Palaces weekend

2 October 2017

Mermaids, penny farthings and magic tricks are just a handful of the unusual things you can see at Essex Libraries over the weekend of 7 and 8 October when they are transformed into cultural Fun Palaces.

Fun Palaces, partly funded by Arts Council England, is a national campaign that aims to bring culture to the community through arts and science events, which are delivered by, for and with local people.

On 7 October, Tendring’s libraries will become international travel destinations. Clacton Library celebrates the USA with a junk modelling challenge to build the Golden Gate Bridge and Empire State building, cheerleaders, a children’s treasure trail, cross stitch and more. Manningtree will take you on a tour of Spain, Holland Library is going Dutch with events inspired by the Netherlands, and Frinton pays homage to Italy.

Witham Library will be looking at the science and art behind the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water – with a special mermaid cove for the latter – while Stanway are bringing the circus to town with juggling, balloon animals and magic workshops. 

Meanwhile, Colchester Library is opening its doors to a wealth of creative talent with residents running workshops about writing, singing and science, including space activities to mark World Space Week and lessons from Jesters Theatre Academy.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Chelmsford Library will be travelling through time to the Regency period, with a celebration of the life and times of English novelist Jane Austen.  Activities will include crafts, singing groups, carpet bowls, indoor croquet, a vintage bicycle exhibition, including Penny Farthings, and a tea party.  Dig out your finest empire line dress, or linen shirt, and join the frivolities!


In total, Essex has 17 events happening at 16 libraries - there’s something for everyone, and it’s all completely free.

Visit Essex Libraries for the full list of events and search Fun Palace.