Free workshops to bring valley past alive

From sheep...to shawl at New Lanark workshop  (Pic Creative Commons)
From sheep...to shawl at New Lanark workshop (Pic Creative Commons)
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Free workshops bringing the past of the Clyde and Avon Valley alive are taking place in New Lanark and Larkhall this summer.

‘From Sheep To Shawl’ and ‘Tasting Through Time’ are hands-on workshops from CAVLP Heritage which offer participants the chance to explore aspects of the area’s unique textile and food heritage.

Both sets of workshops have been designed as a package, although participants are able to pick and choose which dates suit them best.

‘From Sheep To Shawl’ workshops take place in New Lanark on various Fridays and Sundays from early July until mid August, with the next one this Sunday, July 10.

Workshops take participants through the traditional textile production process from responsible foraging to natural dye making, hand spinning and wool craft such as knitting and crocheting.

The Workshops have been tailored to suit families but are limited to ten places per workshop so early booking is recommended at www.cavlp.eventbrite.co.uk.

‘Tasting Through Time’ workshops take place in Larkhall on various Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of September. Each workshop will offer participants to cook a different apple based recipe, such as stews, pastries and cakes, from Medieval times through to the present day, taking Clyde Valley orchard heritage as inspiration. Workshops have been tailored to suit over 16’s and are limited to five places per workshop, so early booking is recommended.

The workshops are delivered by CAVLP Heritage and funded by Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and Historic Environment Scotland.

“Prior to the Industrial Revolution clothes making and food processing were complex and time consuming tasks,” explained CAVLP Heritage Officer Karen McCusker.

“Today, much of that work is completed by machines that weave our cloth, and factories that process our food. These workshops will give people a better understanding of our ancestors’ reliance on the natural resources around them,”

She continuesd “We are hoping to bring the past to life through traditional handicraft skills and give people the opportunity to get more in touch with their local landscapes and the rich heritage of living and working the land in the Clyde and Avon Valley.”

The workshops follow a series of ‘Tasting Through Time’ pilot workshops undertaken in May.

Lorna Diplacito, Lanark, attended the pilot sessions.

“We cooked pork stew, grinding lots of spices using a mortar and pestle followed by pear custard using honey as a sweetener, which were recipes from Roman times,” said Lorna.

“In those days the recipes did not have measurements so it was a guessing game on how much to use – luckily it worked! Looking forward to booking up for the next cooking sessions.”

The free workshops are part of a wider project, Capturing the Past, which seeks to explore the historical working lives of people from the Clyde and Avon Valley. The hands-on workshops are being offered alongside archaeological volunteering opportunities,

Schools and groups are encouraged to get in touch if they are interested in arranging the free private workshops for their students. ‘Sheep to Shawl’ and ‘Tasting Through Time’ have been designed to fit in with the Curriculum for Excellence, Duke of Edinburgh and John Muir Awards as well as Badge Activities for Guides, Scout and the Boys and Girls Brigade, courses can be tailored to meet the needs of any age group and ability.

For further enquiries about booking a workshop for a school or group, or to find out more about volunteering for Capturing the Past, contact Karen at cavlp.heritage@gmail.com / 01555 661 555.

Sheep to Shawl textile workshops are in New Lanark Craft Rooms, 2-4pm; Topics are: Sunday 10 and Friday 15 July: Natural Dye Making; Friday 22 and Sunday 24 July: Traditional Hand Spinning; Friday 12 and Sunday 14 August: Woolcraft

Tasting Through Time workshops, Larkhall District and Volunteer District Centre, 6-8pm, on Thursday 21 July; Tuesday 2 and Thursday 18 August, and Tuesday 6 and Thursday 22 September.