4 - 7 July 2024, Chester

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Booking for Event Tickets will Open On May 20th 2024.

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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Tim Grady, University of Chester

The Facist Life: Radical Right Movements in Interwar Europe

Fascist movements spread across interwar Europe, taking their breed of political politics onto the streets of cities from Berlin and Rome through to London and Paris. Throughout the Festival, visitors will have the opportunity to see a major new exhibition outlining this history and on Thursday 4th July historians, Tim Grady (Chester) and Roland Clark (Liverpool) will be in conversation about the research that led to the exhibition and accompanying book. Find out: Why did people become fascists? How did fascists pass the time? What was the purpose of fascist violence? And much, much more… Tim Grady Profile | University of Chester
More information
10.00 AM – 11.30 AM
Walk
Transition Chester

Sustainability Walks

Come along on a led walk (which is wheels accessible) in and around Chester City Centre to discover a number of examples of a sustainable future that are already in evidence, here in Chester. These features include themes of renewable energy, biodiversity, community action, local economy and sustainable transport. Lasting approximately 1.5 hours this free walk follows a circular route on hard-surfaced level, or slightly inclined route. By the end of the walk participants will have a better appreciation of how a more sustainable low carbon future is possible. Presented by Transition Chester, a Community Group supporting a sustainable future. The walk meets outside Chester Town Hall
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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Hannah Ewence, Ben Fulford, University of Chester

Imperial Legacies, Sacred Space

Over the centuries, people have filled Chester Cathedral with meanings. Everywhere you look in this Cathedral you can find reminders of people and their stories. But there are some stories you can’t read on our walls. Stories that link this building to a history of Britain, its empire, and the transatlantic slave trade. Imperial Legacies, Sacred Space exhibition – a collaboration between the cathedral and the University of Chester – seeks to tell the hidden narratives of colonialism, slavery, and empire at Chester Cathedral. The two case studies explored in this exhibition use monuments and objects from the Cathedral collection as a starting point for considering why items of colonialism are in our Cathedral and what they tell us about understandings of colonialism in our past. Hannah Ewence Profile | University of Chester Ben Fulford Profile | University of Chester
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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Dr Daniel Bos, Dr Cian Quayle, and Dr Alan Summers

Retracing Footsteps: The Changing Landscape of Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon

Attracting around 650,000 visitors a year, Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon is often hailed as one of the world’s busiest mountains. However, the desire to reach the summit is not a new phenomenon. Visitor books housed at the summit during the 19th Century offer a fascinating insight into historical experiences with the mountain through prose, poetry, humour, and sketches. The exhibition held in the Grosvenor Museum (between 15th June – 15th September 2024),focuses on an ongoing research project documenting past and present engagements with the landscape and reimagining the experience of the mountain as it is encountered today.
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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Matt Davies, University of Chester

Chester Lives in Cheshire Life: Exhibition

As Britain’s most commercially successful and longest-surviving county magazine celebrates its 90th birthday, this exhibition showcases how Chester and its residents have been depicted in Cheshire Life since its launch in May 1934.  Members of the public can give feedback on the displays – which reproduce historic Chester-based front covers and significant feature articles – and consider whether they chime with their experience of living in or visiting the city. Is there more to Chester than historic architecture and a vibrant city centre? This event signals the launch of the Cheshire Life digitisation project overseen by Dr Matt Davies. Matt Davies Profile | University of Chester
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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition

Saltation: Adventures with Salt

Saltation is a Regional Innovation Funded Research & Development project involving students, staff, alumni and external partners from the School for the Creative Industries and School of Humanities and Social Sciences at University of Chester. The project theme is sustainability and SALT. Existing research and commercial outputs that engage with salt and sustainable materials were examined, making connections with external organisations, Lions Salt Works, Tata British Salt, Chester OH Foundation, and other HE institutions. The project explored the potential for University-led knowledge exchange activity including the potential for the development of a maker space which utilizes sustainable materials. The project culminates in an exhibition of work produced during the course of the project and a panel discussion with participants of the project at the CASC gallery in Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces, Unit 14, Grosvenor Shopping Centre, Chester, CH1 1EA. Bernadine Murray Profile | University of Chester      
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Charlotte Gleeson, Lee Border, University of Chester

Literature and Flash Fiction at The Seaborne Library

If you enjoy short stories, prose and poetry then join us at the Seaborne library, the largest library in University of Chester library service (https://www.chester.ac.uk/student-life/student-support/libraries/) and home to the world’s most expansive collection of flash fiction anthologies including Flash, the international short story magazine. This unique and inclusive spoken word event will explore the range of literature available at the library including features written by University of Chester staff and students with readings by authors and guests. Come and explore the newly refurbished Seaborne library, we welcome all members of the Chester community, our alumni and local library partners.
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11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Professor Kelvin Leong and Dr Anna Sung, University of Chester

Chronicles in Digital Glass: Exploring UK Finance History Through NFT Artistry

Step into the captivating world of UK finance history at our innovative exhibition! Journey through time with enthralling digital NFT images, each depicting key historical events in a stunning stained glass style reminiscent of Chester’s charm. Our exhibition seamlessly merges art, tech, and business history, offering a creative platform for exploration.  Developed by Dr Anna Sung and Professor Kelvin Leong, this exhibition is a highlight of the MSc programme in Financial Technology and Business Analytics. Experience the unique fusion of art and finance, unlike anything before! Kelvin Leong Profile | University of Chester Anna Sung Profile | University of Chester
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11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Migration Stories Northwest

Migration Stories North West – Touring Exhibition

Migration Stories North West (2021-24) is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project mapping histories of migration in and out of the North West of England from the Roman period to the present day. The project is led by five North West partners and supported by historians and heritage organisations from around the region and beyond. This exhibition tells stories of individual women, men and children who have migrated in and out of the North West from other parts of the British Isles and other parts of the world as a result of conflict, colonialism and trade, as well as in search of work, educational opportunities or a better life. Together, the stories reveal the region’s long history of migration and ways in which it has shaped and continues to shape our social landscape. Migration Stories NW exhibition will be held in Chester Town Hall across the four days of the festival 11am-4pm, no need to book, just drop in and visit!
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Workshop
Karen Colligan

Wellness Recovery Action Plan for the General Public

Future generations must be better equipped to self-manage their mental and physical health. To get through hard times and move into new situations for work, family and home.
 
WRAP is a simple self-directed process that helps you figure out what you need to do, how and when to do it WRAP helps you take control of your life. 
 
This introductory workshop of up to 20 participants guides you step by step through building a WRAP plan to put into action for personal or group use. 
 
The door to this workshop is open to people from ALL walks of life. 
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Workshop
Grosvenor Park Academy

Up-cycling Workshop

Upcycling with Grosvenor Park Academy Grosvenor Park Academy would like to invite you to our up-cycling workshop. If you want more out of your used plastic bottles before they head to the recycling centre, come on down to learn how to transform them into a useful and decorative herb garden or flower planter! No experience, or plastic needed, we will provide all the know-how and materials you need to return home with something beautiful for your garden and a warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have done something to help save the planet! This event will be in the Garret Theatre, Storyhouse, no need to book, just drop in!
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11.00 AM – 2.00 PM
Thomas Pickles and Katherine Wilson

Historic Towns Trust Historical Map and Atlas of Chester – Public Consultation

Come and tell us what aspects of Chester’s past should be presented to the public!
Together the Historic Towns Trust (HTT), the University of Chester, and Chester Archaeological Society are producing an Historical Map of Chester and working towards an Historical Atlas of Chester.
Peruse the draft Historical Map and tell us which sites we have missed.
Consider the proposed time periods for the Atlas and tell us about your favourite historic places in Chester that should be included.
Sign up to help draft the Atlas.
No booking is required for this event, just drop in to Chester Town Hall Foyer to find us, Katherine Wilson and Tom Pickles.
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11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
Walk
Chris Ablett

Exploring Nature with Photography and Film

Exploring Nature with Photography and Film. A chance to get out into nature alongside a professional film maker working in conservation education to help you to capture what’s around us.
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11.00 AM – 11.45 AM
Public Talk
Millview School Pupils Chester

Millview School: Team Falcons XP Project – Enough for Everyone

This is a project on sustainability where Millview School pupils will present their argument to encourage people to make a difference. Climate change is having a huge impact on the planet and we need to act now to ensure the future of our planet for generations to come!
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Workshop
“Dr. Alex Fenton and Dr. Trevor Omoruyi, University of Chester and Elohor Udubrae, University of Chester International Graduate

International citizen student show – International students and the commonwealth

Co-hosts Elohor Udubrae, Dr. Alex Fenton and Dr. Trevor Omoruyi host a panel session about international students and the commonwealth. At the University of Chester, we are particularly blessed with many students from the commonwealth, in particular Nigeria, Pakistan and India, but also Malaysia, Ghana, Bangladesh and many more. We invite guests to tell their stories of travelling from their home country in the commonwealth to Chester and we explore the commonalities and special bond that we have between commonwealth countries and also the bridge between cultures at University of Chester. We explore culture, music, food and poetry from the commonwealth. https://profiles.chester.ac.uk/A.FENTON https://profiles.chester.ac.uk/T.OMORUYI
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12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Workshop
Helen West

Everything has changed, or has it? Taylor Swift’s accent shifts

Poll: “Do we think Taylor was faking her country accent from early years or do we think it was real and she slowly grew out of it”? (Reddit, 2022, evrybdywants2beacat). Linguists at the University of Chester have answers to this question, and our investigation of her accent recently made the news! Come and see what we found at our interactive exhibition, listen to some of her music with us and tell us about your thoughts on her accent! Helen West Profile | University of Chester
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
James Holt, University of Chester

The Emperor’s new clothes: voices from the margins

Within all elements of society there are voices that are prioritised because of their size. With a focus on the loudest and the largest it is possible to miss the voices from the margins with their myriad of new ideas and ways of thinking. Although this extends to all areas of society, in this talk James Holt, author of Beyond the Big Six Religions, will explore the value of including the voices of those ‘on the margins’ of religion and belief in our public discourse and legislation. It has been suggested that as those with little power are ignored, there is less appetite for people to become involved or even to raise their voices. Using examples from his career in Religious Education and inter-faith, James will highlight the strength that this inclusive civil discourse can bring to our personal, professional and societal relationships.  
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
Matt Davies

Chester lives in Cheshire Life

Eastgate Clock, The Groves, Chester Cathedral, The Roodee, The Rows – these iconic Chester city landmarks are featured regularly in the Cheshire Life magazine and other publications aimed at promoting Chester as both a historic and vibrantly modern place to visit. But is there more to Chester than historic architecture and a thriving city centre? As Cheshire Life celebrates its 90th anniversary, University of Chester English Language lecturer Dr Matt Davies gives a talk on depictions of Chester in Cheshire Life, including a selection of front covers and Browns of Chester adverts since 1934. Matt Davies Profile | University of Chester
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
Tim Grady, University of Chester

The Fascist Life: Radical Right Movements in Interwar Europe

Fascist movements spread across interwar Europe, taking their breed of political politics onto the streets of cities from Berlin and Rome through to London and Paris. Throughout the Festival, visitors will have the opportunity to see a major new exhibition outlining this history and on Thursday 4th July historians, Tim Grady (Chester) and Roland Clark (Liverpool) will be in conversation about the research that led to the exhibition and accompanying book. Find out: Why did people become fascists? How did fascists pass the time? What was the purpose of fascist violence? And much, much more… Tim Grady Profile | University of Chester
More information
12.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Exhibition
Dr Daniel Bos, Dr Cian Quayle, and Dr Alan Summers

Retracing Footsteps: The Changing Landscape of Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon

Attracting around 650,000 visitors a year, Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon is often hailed as one of the world’s busiest mountains. However, the desire to reach the summit is not a new phenomenon. Visitor books housed at the summit during the 19th Century offer a fascinating insight into historical experiences with the mountain through prose, poetry, humour, and sketches. The exhibition held in the Grosvenor Museum (between 15th June – 15th September 2024),focuses on an ongoing research project documenting past and present engagements with the landscape and reimagining the experience of the mountain as it is encountered today.
More information
1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk, Workshop
Paul Flanagan, Harry Parkin, Emma Smeltzer, University of Chester

Learn Old English: Introducing a new online resource for learning and translating Old English

Learn about Old English through this talk and accompanying installation, which will introduce a new web resource, created by a team at the University of Chester and designed to help teachers, students and anyone interested in learning about this fascinating phase of the English language. A talk will introduce Old English and the new web resource, followed by an installation during which you can try out the resource and ask questions. Paul Flanagan Profile | University of Chester Harry Parkin Profile | University of Chester  
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk
Sharon M. Varey and Graeme J. White

We look but do we really see? … exploring and understanding local landscapes

Have you ever stopped to consider or ask questions about where you live, work, or places you like to visit (a house, building, village, town, forest)? Often we rarely notice something that is right in front of us as we go about our daily lives: the lion on top of a Chester car park, the architecture within some of Chester’s shops, the façade of the railway station, an inscribed sandstone block opposite a Boughton school. Landscape History is about asking questions of what we see and then trying to make sense of what lies before us. Looking at features in the landscape, finding out about them and trying to explain how, why and when these features appeared and when changes took place.

In this talk, Sharon Varey and Graeme White, Emeritus Professor of Local History, University of Chester (Landscape Historians, members of the Chester Society for Landscape History, editors of Cheshire History and a trilogy of landscape history books) will show how an interest in the landscape around us inspired study and research, the foundation of a successful local society, the publication of a number of short booklets and ultimately to three major publications: enriching the lives of many local people along the way.

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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Public Talk
Claire Chatterton, Open University

Beyond Nightingale – examining the contributions of three local women to nursing in the Crimean War

2024 sees the 170th anniversary of British and Irish nurses arriving in the Crimea to nurse the wounded. As the Crimea is once again beset by war and conflict, it is timely to explore the impact of this earlier conflict on the development of nursing practice and to mark its place in nursing history.

This talk by Claire Chatterton will examine the contribution of three British women to that conflict, two of whom went out to nurse in the Crimea and one who worked from home to support nursing efforts. Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole are well known but the contributions and even the names of many other women who nursed in that conflict are not.

The two nurses with local connections who went to the Crimea are Mary Stanley from Alderley and Betsi Cadwaladr from Bala. Just as many conflicting stories and myths surround Nightingale and Seacole, so do they in relation to Stanley and her relationship with Nightingale and Cadwaladr’s contribution to nursing practice. In addition, the contribution of women who supported those nurses in the Crimea by fundraising and using their organisational and networking skills from the UK will be explored through the example of Catherine Gladstone of Hawarden.

 

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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Workshop

Digital and IT learning session

With a focus sustainability and scientific futures, the University of Chester’s Digital Workplace Services Team will host a digital learning session presenting simple ways to troubleshoot common device and IT problems. Including Apple macOS tips, PC hardware overviews, how to upgrade standard PC hardware components and Microsoft Windows tips. Come along to this fun and inclusive session and learn about more about everyday digital technologies.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Workshop
Nancy Evans, University of Chester

Fighting poverty and stigma together: an interactive event

Want to hear and get involved in conversations about fighting poverty and stigma? Then come along to our free event designed to creatively showcase the lived realities of poverty, challenge stigma and stimulate ongoing discussions about these issues. The event includes visual, audio and interactive exhibits co-produced by West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission “Community Inspirers”- people with lived and living experience of poverty – and Social Justice Chester researchers. Attendees are invited to collectively snowball their thoughts about poverty, stigma and the exhibits in an optional long table discussion. If you prefer, you are welcome to just listen! Nancy Evans Profile | University of Chester
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk
Dr Dean Stevens, Caitlin Devesey-Jones, Aadhi Anbukkani – Westminster Research Unit

The Fire and Rescue Service as a non-traditional provider of health and social care services.

The Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) has significantly reduced the incidence of fire in the home due to an extensive prevention programme.  Consequently, it is suggested an opportunity exists for the FRS to assess additional risks in the home to help prevent avoidable hospital admissions, thus reducing demand on the NHS.  The event will explore how the FRS has successfully delivered its prevention programme and discuss recent innovations as a non-traditional provider of health and social care services. Dr. Dean Stevens Profile | University of Chester
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Workshop

Art of the Possible

The event is led by Revd Dr Gill Reeve (Senior University Chaplain and William Temple Foundation Research Fellow), with contributions from Professor Chris Baker (William Temple Professor of Religion, Belief and Public Life at Goldsmiths, University of London), who is a world-leading academic on the relationship between religion, belief and urbanisation, the role of religion and belief in public policy and social welfare, and the role of religion and belief in civil society. Are you interested in local urban transformation and in new pathways for social and ecological change? If you want to explore innovative approaches to urban place-making then this event is for you! The event considers how we might re-imagine our approaches to urban transformation by drawing on sacred values, to inform how we listen to eco-systems, build creative partnerships, and share journeys of (re)connection. A series of case studies will enable us to combine theory and practice, and there will be space for questions and group discussions so that participants come away better equipped with actionable strategies to implement in your own settings.
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk
Professor Howard Williams, University of Chester

Debating Death: The Archaeology of the Past and Present

What does archaeology tell us about human mortality? This talk will showcase the rich insights and perspectives archaeology brings to public understandings and experiences of dying, death, bereavement and commemoration by tackling big questions relating to the origins, diversity, materiality, changing nature and future of death-related beliefs and practices.
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk
Sheena Evans, Independent Scholar and Biographer

Forgotten But Not Lost. How a great medical pioneer, once lost from the collective public memory, was rediscovered

This talk will explore the great story of a remarkable woman.

Janet Vaughan lived from 1899 to 1993. One of the few women to qualify as a doctor in 1925, within 10 years she published a classic book on the anaemias and was teaching in the British Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith. She was seventh female fellow of the Royal College of Physicians from 1939, and first female Councillor from 1943.Vaughan campaigned to improve the nutrition of the poor, and from 1936 worked for Spanish Medical Aid to relieve suffering during the Spanish Civil War. During World War Two she helped run the blood transfusion service and plan the reform of medical education, and served on the 1944 Royal Commission on Equal Pay.

Principal of Somerville College Oxford from 1945, she became a Dame in 1957. Research continued: she was soon a world authority on the effects of plutonium on bone, then Fellow of the Royal Society. But by 1993 she had slipped from public memory. Her biographer will explore the reasons for this, and how it proved possible to research and write the story of her action-packed life in in Bloomsbury, Belsen, Oxford: Janet Vaughan – Medical Pioneer.

 
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6.30 PM – 8.30 PM
Discussion Panel
Chester Cathedral

Assemble at Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is many things to many people and we want to be a place where people gather to discuss the BIG topics. Assemble is an invitation to come and hear engaging speakers on topics that are relevant in our modern world. Our second Assemble will explore the role of AI in our society: can engaging with AI be good for humanity? A panel of speakers who work in or engage with AI in a range of ways will explore this question with opportunities for questions from the public to shape the discussion. Join us to explore this engaging topic. Please book through the event website link.
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7.00 PM – 9.00 PM
Awards Evening
Livi Michael

The Cheshire Prize for Literature Awards Evening with guest speaker Livi Michael

The Cheshire Prize for Literature Awards Evening is an annual event where the winners of this year’s competition are announced. We will also hear from guest speaker Livi Michael, British Fiction Writer, who was born in Cheshire. She has written 20 novels for adults, young adults and children, many of which have won or been shortlisted for awards. Her most recent novel, Reservoir, was published in March 2023 by Salt. Her play, Singers Not Sinners was performed in Oldham in 2022. Her short stories have been published in various places including Granta, The Lonely Crowd and the Manchester Review, and have been long listed for the BBC National Short Story Award. She has judged several short story competitions including, the Arc Short Story Competition, the National Writing Competition Botswana 2007, the National Writing Competition You Can Foster 2017, and The Manchester Fiction Prize 2019. She runs a podcast series Small Pleasures, about the short story with the Francophone writer and translator Sonya Moor. She has taught creative writing in various universities and for the Arvon foundation and was Programme Leader of the MA in Publishing at Manchester Metropolitan University. A complimentary drink will be provided on arrival. All are welcome. Booking is open for this event through the weblink.

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9.30 AM – 5.30 PM
Discussion Panel, Performance, Public Talk
Evelyn Jamieson, University of Chester

Crossing Borders 3: Modes of Capture

Crossing Borders 3: Modes of Capture, 5 July 2024 at the Garret Theatre, Storyhouse in Chester, presents exciting collaborative arts communities focussing on inclusive performance and visual creative arts practice, arts strategy and policy development. Expect a very special event with speakers from the Portuguese National Plan for The Arts; University of Vic, Barcelona; the International Centre for Community Music’s Director; Arts Council England; Storyhouse; Cheshire West and Chester Council as well as practitioners, researchers, and cultural facilitators from across the globe. There will be a sharing of our Crossing Borders recent work and research. Evelyn Jamieson Profile | University of Chester Please book through the event website link below.
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10.00 AM – 5.00 PM
Chester Art Beat

Chester Art Beat

Come and immerse yourself in creativity this summer as Chester Art Beat returns from July 5th to 7th 2024. The vision at the heart of Chester Art Beat is to celebrate and support the diverse artistic talent from the colourful communities of Cheshire. From seasoned professionals to budding newcomers, our event offers a vibrant platform for artists of all disciplines to shine while showcasing the rich tapestry of our beloved city in over 15 captivating venues.  Putting 30+ talented local artists in the spotlight, Chester Art Beat promises to be an unforgettable experience for art enthusiasts of all ages. Click here to go to the 2024 Trail Map
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Workshop
Adam Crane, University of Chester

The Citizen Student Living Library

Join us at Chester Town Hall for the University of Chester Student Living Library, a one-of-a-kind event where people are the books, and their stories are the chapters waiting to be read. This event is part of the Festival of Ideas and is open to all members of the public. Engage in enriching conversations with our student “books”, each with their own unique story. Whether you’re interested in the experiences of international students, learning how to juggle studying as a parent, the challenges of balancing academics and athletics, or the journey of first-generation university students, there’s a book for you.
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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Active Life Event

Health & Wellbeing at University of Chester

The University of Chester opens its doors to the local community of Chester.  Come along and try our gym for free and have a look around our great facilities. No need to book-just pop in anytime between 10-4pm.
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Discussion Panel
Dr Holly White and Dr Kim Ross, University of Chester

Local Voices Framework for Co-production – Networking Event

Explore the innovative Local Voices Framework for Co-production! Developed through a collaboration between Cheshire West Voluntary Action and Dr Holly White and Dr Kim Ross from the University of Chester, this framework offers valuable insights into fostering co-production. Learn about its development process and how local community, faith and public sector organisations are utilising the framework to enhance their work. Join us for an engaging session where you can ask questions, connect with fellow organisations, and explore new opportunities! Holly White Profile | University of Chester Kim Ross Profile | University of Chester
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10.00 AM – 11.30 AM
Walk
Transition Chester

Sustainability Walks

Come along on a led walk (which is wheels accessible) in and around Chester City Centre to discover a number of examples of a sustainable future that are already in evidence, here in Chester. These features include themes of renewable energy, biodiversity, community action, local economy and sustainable transport. Lasting approximately 1.5 hours this free walk follows a circular route on hard-surfaced level, or slightly inclined route. By the end of the walk participants will have a better appreciation of how a more sustainable low carbon future is possible. Presented by Transition Chester, a Community Group supporting a sustainable future. The walk meets outside Chester Town Hall
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10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Discussion Panel
Professor Peter Gaunt, Dr Sam Chadwick and Dr Jonathan Worton

English Civil War Sixth-form study day

This study day is designed specifically for sixth-formers, plus their teachers/tutors, who are currently studying the English civil war and its era for A-level. It will be led by three academics who work and publish on the civil war, namely Professor Peter Gaunt, Dr Jonathan Worton and Dr Sam Chadwick. It will comprise (in the morning) a series of debates on key aspects of and questions surrounding the civil war, in which opposing cases will be put, developed and reassessed, followed (in the afternoon) by workshops led by the three academics, exploring with the students some contemporary documents and primary sources relating to the English civil war.
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Public Talk
Alan Cheng

What is Life Coaching? How it Might Help You (especially if you’re an educator)?

Curious about life coaching’s transformative potential? Join me to discover its essence and experience group coaching first-hand. As a Jay Shetty Certified Life Coach with 15 years of teaching experience, I aim to make life coaching a part of every school. In this session, you’ll: – Understand the unique benefits of life coaching and how it differs from therapy and consulting. – Experience group coaching – Discover how life coaching can help you thrive personally and professionally, particularly if you are an educator. Let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and empowerment together.
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10.30 AM – 12.00 PM
Walk
Peter Carrington

Heronbridge: From Roman Suburb to Early Medieval Battlefield

The archaeological remains in this quiet field shed light  on two groups of questions related to Chester’s role as a central place across the centuries. Attempts to urbanise this remote corner of the Roman empire close to the legionary fortress. What was the character and legal status of the Roman settlement and what were the aspirations of its founders? If the mass burial found in 1930-1 attests the early 7th-century Battle of Chester, why did it take place there? Who were the protagonists, and who wrote the original accounts of  the battle? What might the earthwork tell us about the emergence of early medieval kingdoms? A  guided walk of about 1km around this riverside site. Meet in field on E side of Eaton Road south of Heronbridge House, CH4 7EW. Please note that the field is rough pasture, not suitable for people with impaired mobility. Wear stout shoes.
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11.00 AM – 1.00 PM
Workshop

Seeking our Woodland Heritage: A high-tech hunt for Medieval glassmakers in Delamere Forest

Detective work, remote-sensing technologies using drones and survey have revealed new evidence relating to a medieval glassworking site hidden in Delamere Forest. This nationally important Scheduled Monument is currently on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Learn how University of Chester archaeologists have enhanced the understanding of the site and how this will help Forestry England to conserve and protect this rare example of a medieval forest industry. Stewart Ainsworth, of Channel Four’s Time Team, and Meggen Gondek will lead you through their investigations and you’ll have a chance to explore our evidence with immersive virtual and digital technologies produced with the help of the Digital On Tour team. Meggen Gondek Profile | University of Chester
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11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Workshop

Time for Climate: Participatory Art Installation

Join in with our participatory art installation and think about ways in which you make time for climate action, perhaps without realising it. Do you grow your own vegetables – even though they take months to reach your plate?  Do you walk to work – even though it takes longer than driving?  Do you repair your clothes – even though you could replace them with the tap of an app?  This is your opportunity to co-create a unique art installation that will be displayed at the University of Chester after the festival, to highlight the urgent need to give your ‘Time for Climate’. No need to book-just drop in to see us in Chester Town Hall Foyer. Katharine Welsh Profile | University of Chester Rebecca Collins Profile | University of Chester
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11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
Walk
Chris Ablett

Designing a walking trail using augmented reality

The Wild Wander app uses augmented reality to bring the nature around us to life. Your challenge if you choose to accept it, is to help us design the augmented reality on the Wildlife Connections trail in the Countess of Chester Country Park! From pollinators whizzing past your head to amphibians hoping over your feet, help us design the best possible trial in the country park.
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Discussion Panel
University of Chester Panel

Connecting Ideas: Shaping the Future City

This panel discussion will provide a platform for discussion about the ways we can shape the city of Chester for the future. The event will bring together a range of experts in sustainability, transport and politics to connect and develop ideas on strategies to ensure a prosperous, healthier, greener and fairer future for all of Chester’s people.
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11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Migration Stories Northwest

Migration Stories North West – Touring Exhibition

Migration Stories North West (2021-24) is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project mapping histories of migration in and out of the North West of England from the Roman period to the present day. The project is led by five North West partners and supported by historians and heritage organisations from around the region and beyond. This exhibition tells stories of individual women, men and children who have migrated in and out of the North West from other parts of the British Isles and other parts of the world as a result of conflict, colonialism and trade, as well as in search of work, educational opportunities or a better life. Together, the stories reveal the region’s long history of migration and ways in which it has shaped and continues to shape our social landscape. Migration Stories NW exhibition will be held in Chester Town Hall across the four days of the festival 11am-4pm, no need to book, just drop in and visit!
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11.30 AM – 12.30 PM
Discussion Panel
Simon Cole, Weaverham High School

The future of the human race

Come and listen to a range of ideas relating to the future of the human race, where are we going from here? Are we headed for disaster, or are we on our way to a Star Trek like utopian future, minus the intergalactic wars of course.
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
Rhian Crompton, University of Chester, Centre for Ageing and Mental Health

Prioritising Social Care: Ideas for the future

With only 13% of the population reporting being satisfied with social care services, it’s time to start thinking, and talking, about what social care could and should be. Come along to this drop-in event and meet researchers from the University of Chester’s Centre for Ageing and Mental Health to explore recent work on social care in the region, and share your ideas to help shape the future of social care. Rhian Crompton Profile | University of Chester
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12.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Workshop
Dr Helen West, University of Chester

The Talking Chester Voice Bank

Are you from Chester or from nearby? Does Chester have a unique accent or dialect? The Cestrian English Project, which recently presented its initial results at The Chester Heritage Festival, is working on answering these questions and we would love you to come play some fun games with us and talk to us about your Chester at our voice bank. Whether you are from Chester or not, we want to hear and record your voice. Helen West Profile | University of Chester
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk
Victoria Ridgway, University of Chester

Creative Health: What Healthcare practitioners and the public need to know

This event will explore what creative health is and why it is important for an effective 21st Century healthcare system for health care practitioners and members of the public. The talk will share the University of Chester’s work on developing a creative health placement for nursing students and what they have learnt during this journey. Vicky Ridgway Profile | University of Chester
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Workshop
Treena Gilson ,The Agency project manager for Storyhouse and this years Agents.

The Agency -Creating Change in Communities

A workshop to where you get to experience some of the creative methodology used to support young people develop their ideas of how to create change in their community. There will also be the opportunity to hear about the innovative projects piloted this Spring.
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk
University of Chester Speaker

Floella Benjamin: Facing Adversity With A Smile

In this free public talk, Floella will tell of her childhood journey to England as a ten year old girl, a story which she wrote as a best selling book ‘Coming to England’. She will go on to talk about her transition from trainee bank clerk to actress. Occasionally Floella will use song to describes this eventful period of her life. Of course Floella is best know for her appearances on children’s television in programmes such as the legendary Playschool and Playaway and she will also offer to take the audience through the ‘round’, ‘square’ or arched window. Floella will talk about how she overcame many adversities and obstacles by having a positive attitude and learning to face them with a smile and her philosophy of life her 3 C’s. This talk will take you on an inspirational journey by showing how you too can make a difference and change the world for children and young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Through her charitable work including her media appearances and life in Parliament she explains her mission to get everyone to focus on the important fact that ‘Childhood lasts a Lifetime’.  
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1.30 PM – 2.30 PM
Public Talk
Liz Montgomery, Senior Curator, West Cheshire Museums

Georgian Chester

An introduction to Chester in the fashionable Georgian period, exploring the architecture, notable people, fashion and places to be seen using the West Cheshire Museums’ art, archaeology and costume collections. This lecture is a lead in to our major summer art exhibition on George Cuitt: Chester’s Piranesi.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Public Talk
Aleta Doran, University of Chester

A Tour of Stained Glass by Trena Cox in the University of Chester Chapel

Twentieth century stained glass artist Trena Cox lived and worked in Chester throughout her long career. Her first commission was for the University of Chester Chapel. She made a further three windows for the chapel – a fascinating collection which spans 40 years and demonstrates the evolution of her style. This talk will explore the details of the windows in the context of the history of the chapel. The event anticipates an exhibition at Chester Cathedral in Autumn 2024 celebrating Trena Cox’s huge artistic contribution to this area.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Workshop
Maud Duthie – van der Venne, University of Chester

Building bridges – the University of Chester and local communities

Using Lego Serious Play Method as a tool, this session – facilitated by Chester Business School – will invite members of our local communities to explore their relationship with the University through creativity.  This relaxed session will help to identify and discuss, in a supportive environment, how the University currently relates to its communities, and any ways in which better understanding and shared purpose could be fostered. Maud Duthie – van der Venne Profile | University of Chester
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk
Ian Dunn

George Cuitt (1779-1854): Chester’s Greatest Regency Artist

George Cuitt resided in Chester from 1804 to 1821. Here he launched his remarkable career as artist and etcher being called “one of the finest, in his chosen line the very finest, of our native etchers.” His published plates were judged to “have no equal in Britain and no superior in the similar school of any nation.” His depictions of the ancient buildings of Chester display a unique approach and a superb technique, bringing a quality and romantic atmosphere to the pictures of Chester unknown before his time. Alongside these labours he built up an extensive and popular practice as the foremost teacher of drawing in the city and its surroundings.

The talk by Ian Dunn, Former County Archivist of Cheshire, will expand on the theme of the vital role of the drawing master in the age before photography and the social milieu in which it flourished. The means by which Cuitt was able to earn a modest fortune in an age when provincial artists have commonly been perceived as struggling to eke out a meagre existence, will also be explored. It will be shown that Cuitt made considerable sums both from his published etchings and from his profitable teaching before retiring back to his native Yorkshire for the last thirty-three years of his life.

 
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk

University of Chester Postgraduate Research Student Pitches

Postgraduate Research students at the University of Chester will be showcasing their research through the forum of short 5-minute pitches. These accessible pitches will summarise their overall aims and detail any findings. The pitches will cover a broad range of disciplines, including research on elephant personality, police interviews, the Michelin guide and street vendors in Ibiza. There will be a maximum of eight 5-minute pitches followed by a 20-minute live audience Q&A. The event will highlight the diverse and ground-breaking research taking place at the University by Postgraduate Research students.
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Workshop
Andrew Herbert Free Church/Methodist Chaplain, University of Chester

Food as a Social Connector

We invite all those interested in developing community food to explore the connections between food and fostering community through social spaces. The event will include contributions from community partners and local charities focused on food. We will be showcasing innovative food projects at the University of Chester, including our Community Hub garden project run by Chaplaincy, together with a Community Kitchen pilot project that brings together students to learn cooking skills and to cook for specific cultural/religious festivals.
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4.30 PM – 6.30 PM
Public Talk
Kevin Rodgers, University of Chester

The design and use of collective intelligence and purposeful networks – or why decision by committee could be much more effective.

Ever thought your group of friends could solve ‘world peace’, if only you had the resources and authority to get on with it. If you do, this seminar and discussion is for you! This intriguing event is about working in groups, sometimes online groups, to solve complex problems. How much benefit is there from diverse opinions and experiences?  How do you harness the collective intellectual horsepower from people who irritate you? We’ll look at what psychology and the theory of networks and relationships can contribute to solving world sized problems. Be prepared to get involved in discussions and ‘committee’ meetings.  
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Walk
“Chris Turner Communities Director Brio Leisure (the largest provider of leisure and wellbeing services across the borough)”

Brio Walk the Walls

Join us for a leisurely 2 mile walk around the city walls. Did you know? The city walls are the oldest, longest and most complete in Britain, parts of which are almost 2000 years old. Chester is the only city in Britain that retains the full circuit of its ancient defensive walls. Walking the complete circuit gives wondrous views down into the city and gives a fantastic insight into Chester’s long history. The main access onto the walls is at each of the four main gateways – Northgate, Eastgate, Watergate and Bridgegate, plus there are many other steps around the city, some including accessible ramps. Starts and ends at Brio, Northgate Arena Leisure Centre, Victoria Rd, Chester CH2 2AU Please book through the website link. On the booking page, please choose Northgate Arena as the location and you will be able to find the activity within the ‘What are you looking to do’ section.
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10.00 AM – 5.00 PM
Chester Art Beat

Chester Art Beat

Come and immerse yourself in creativity this summer as Chester Art Beat returns from July 5th to 7th 2024. The vision at the heart of Chester Art Beat is to celebrate and support the diverse artistic talent from the colourful communities of Cheshire. From seasoned professionals to budding newcomers, our event offers a vibrant platform for artists of all disciplines to shine while showcasing the rich tapestry of our beloved city in over 15 captivating venues.  Putting 30+ talented local artists in the spotlight, Chester Art Beat promises to be an unforgettable experience for art enthusiasts of all ages. Click here to go to the 2024 Trail Map
More information
10.00 AM – 11.30 AM
Walk
Transition Chester

Sustainability Walks

Come along on a led walk (which is wheels accessible) in and around Chester City Centre to discover a number of examples of a sustainable future that are already in evidence, here in Chester. These features include themes of renewable energy, biodiversity, community action, local economy and sustainable transport. Lasting approximately 1.5 hours this free walk follows a circular route on hard-surfaced level, or slightly inclined route. By the end of the walk participants will have a better appreciation of how a more sustainable low carbon future is possible. Presented by Transition Chester, a Community Group supporting a sustainable future. This walk meets outside Chester Town Hall
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Workshop
This event will be led by Professor Lisa Oakley, Professor Moira Lafferty and Dr Julie Kirkham from the School of Society, Division of Psychology

Safety first! Creating community artwork to share ideas of what it means to be safe.

What does it look like to feel safe? This event provides an opportunity to create pieces of community artwork which show what feeling safe looks like. Feeling and being safe is important but what does this look like to you? Come along and join in one of our all age events, where you will be able to draw pictures or write words that show what feeling and being safe is. Grab a pen and get creative and together we can create a ‘wall of safety’ piece of artwork to help people think about what being safe means to them. Lisa Oakley Profile | University of Chester Moira Lafferty Profile | University of Chester Julie Kirkham Profile | University of Chester
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Walk
James Dixon Built Environment Officer (Conservation and Design) Cheshire West and Chester Council

Making It Up As We Go Along

There are infinite stories to tell about the history, heritage and archaeology all around us, but those stories are not ‘fixed’, they are developed through interpretation and conversation. Stories change, they contradict each other, and they are endlessly reinvented as time passes. This event will be a tour of the heritage of central Chester, but rather than planning a narrative and researching facts, an archaeologist, a historian, a conservation officer and a folklorist will follow randomly chosen prompts and develop the tour as they walk. The result will be a unique event with no limits to what we will encounter.
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Public Talk
Associate Professor of Animal Psychology, Lindsay Murray, and her PhD student, Jade Goddard, University of Chester

How to Speak Chimpanzee – and contribute to research!

How to Speak Chimpanzee – and contribute to research! Have you ever fancied communicating with a chimpanzee? Come along to this interactive session co-delivered by Associate Professor of Animal Psychology, Lindsay Murray, and her PhD student, Jade Goddard. We will talk about our ongoing research on chimpanzee faces and you’ll have the chance to see if you can guess the personality of some of the Chester Zoo chimpanzees, just by looking at their faces. What does a chimpanzee look like when she’s playing or when he’s more tense? If you wish, your responses can contribute to the data for the next stage of research. You’ll also, of course, be coached on how to pant-hoot just like a chimpanzee! Lindsay Murray Profile | University of Chester
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Public Talk
Gyles Brandreth

The Idea of Happiness-And How to Achieve It

It was the American Declaration of Independence that introduced the idea of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” as unalienable rights.  4th July 1776 is the date when the modern idea of a right to happiness was born – and this talk by Gyles Brandreth will explore the idea of happiness as it has developed across the centuries and introduce his 7 Secrets of Happiness.

What is happiness? Who gets to be happy? And how? Research shows that happy people live up to ten years longer than unhappy people. This is a talk that won’t simply enhance your life: it may well extend it.

 
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11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Migration Stories Northwest

Migration Stories North West – Touring Exhibition

Migration Stories North West (2021-24) is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project mapping histories of migration in and out of the North West of England from the Roman period to the present day. The project is led by five North West partners and supported by historians and heritage organisations from around the region and beyond. This exhibition tells stories of individual women, men and children who have migrated in and out of the North West from other parts of the British Isles and other parts of the world as a result of conflict, colonialism and trade, as well as in search of work, educational opportunities or a better life. Together, the stories reveal the region’s long history of migration and ways in which it has shaped and continues to shape our social landscape. Migration Stories NW exhibition will be held in Chester Town Hall across the four days of the festival 11am-4pm, no need to book, just drop in and visit!
More information
11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
Walk
Chris Ablett

Exploring Nature through a different lens

Join Chester Zoo staff and the Friends of Country park for a guided wander through the Countess of Chester Country Park. We’ll show a different way of engaging with nature through free apps called Wild Wander, INaturalist and Merlin. All great ways to learn about what’s around you and even contribute to conservation efforts.
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11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Public Talk
Liz Montgomery, Senior Curator, West Cheshire Museums

Minted: Making Money and Meaning The Coins in West Cheshire Museums’ collection

West Cheshire Museums’ care for an amazing money collection containing coins, jettons and paper money. It not only charts the history of people’s interaction with wealth, but documents political issues, cultural attachments and even fashion. This lecture examines how money was made, how it was used by those who created it, and what it meant to the people who owned it, with highlights from the collection.  
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11.00 AM – 1.00 PM
Workshop
University of Chester, Chester Cathedral

Virtual Reality Testing: Explore Medieval St John’s Church

Members of the public are invited to test and give feedback on a prototype Virtual Reality experience of fourteenth century St John’s Church in Chester. Wearing a Virtual Reality headset you will feel what it was like to walk around St John’s in the fourteenth century! This work has been developed as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council research project Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700 (MOB), led by Katherine Wilson and based at the University of Chester. We are interested in hearing your views about the prototype and how you think Virtual Reality reconstructions might be developed and used in other settings for the public, for example at Chester Cathedral. This Virtual Reality test event will be held on Saturday 6th July 11am-1pm in Chester Cathedral as part of Chester Festival of Ideas. It is suitable for ages 12+.  
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11.30 AM – 2.30 PM
Workshop
Caroline Pudney, University of Chester

Roman Handbridge

Do you ever wonder what may be buried beneath the houses and gardens of Handbridge?  This event offers a chance for you to find out more! Join us for specialist talks on Roman Handbridge, see artefacts from the Grosvenor Museum not currently on public display, bring interesting objects you’ve discovered in your garden to our ‘treasure triage’ (with the Portable Antiquities Scheme), and have a chance to register your interest in future archaeological projects in and around Handbridge.
 
Timetable of talks and activities: 
11.30                                                               Event start
11.45 – 12.15                                                  Talk 1 –Roman Handbridge (and event welcome) (Dr Caroline Pudney, University of Chester)
12.45 – 1.15                                                    Talk 2 –  Finding Ancient Things – The Portable Antiquities Scheme and what to do if you strike gold!  (Dr Pauline Clarke and Dr Susie White, Portable Antiquities Scheme)
1.45-2.15                                                         Talk 3 –  Handbridge beyond Rome (Liz Montgomery, West Cheshire Museums)
2.30                                                                 Event close
You are free to book below, or just drop in to this event!
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12.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Workshop
Dr Simon Grennan, University of Chester

Make The Past Your Story! Collage Comics Workshop With Victorian Magazines

Make the past your story! You’ll make your own comic of four or more panels, by cutting and collaging engravings and print from breathtaking original ‘Cassells Family Magazine’ Annuals from the 1870 and 1880s, plus drawing. No prior experience required. All materials provided. www.simongrennan.com Simon Grennan Profile | University of Chester
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk
University of Chester Speaker

Dr Louise Newson: Female hormones and health – why do we need to talk about perimenopause and menopause?

For far too long, the menopause has simply been considered as a condition which either affects periods or fertility. Few people have thought about the important role of oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone in our bodies. These hormones can have very beneficial effects and when the level of these hormones reduce, many symptoms can occur and there is also an increased risk of diseases including heart disease and dementia.

I will talk about what perimenopause and menopause are, how to be diagnosed, treatment choices and how to have a healthy menopause. HRT myths will be debunked too. I hope this talk will enable people to think about female hormones in a different way so that more women will be able to receive the advice, care and treatment they deserve to improve their mental and physical health.

 
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Workshop
Nate Rae, Presenter from Braintasticscience

Braintastic! Science: Amazing Animals

Can you crack puzzles solved by chimps, parrots and dolphins? Are you smarter than a slime mould? In this interactive experience we showcase the super-smart abilities of the world’s most incredible animals. Featuring puzzles and tests for everybody to join in and challenge your own intelligence against amazing animals.
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Walking Workshop
James Dixon

Creative Interventions in the Future City

A creative design event where participants will design their own interventions in the Chester Rows of tomorrow, picking prompts at random to determine the theme and target audience. The session will start with a contemporary archaeology tour of The Rows before two workshop exercises, one to create a group narrative of the contemporary Rows and the second to imagine and design new futures for its spaces. The workshop will take place on Watergate Row North, which has level access via Goss Street.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Active Life Event
Chris Turner Communities Director Brio Leisure (the largest provider of leisure and wellbeing services across the borough)

Brio Topsy Tumbles: Indoor Play for Under 5s

Indoor playground fun for the under 5’s. This indoor playground offers a softer alternative to the local park. We have lots of toys, bikes, push-a-rounds and slides, as well as the ever popular bouncy castle! Topsy Tumbles sessions are open to all pre-school children accompanied by an adult.  Older sibling can enjoy shooting some basketball hoops, practising their football skills or having fun on our interactive activity wall.  All children under 8 must be supervised by an adult. Please book this event through the event website link. On the booking page, please choose Northgate Arena as the location and you will be able to find the activity within the ‘What are you looking to do’ section.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Public Talk
Si Poole

Herbanisation: Making a City Mint

In the bustling landscape of urban life, where stress and mental health challenges often abound, there lies a verdant opportunity for transformation through the simple act of horticulture. Mintopia, a National Plant Collection of Mentha, proposes a refreshing approach to addressing mental health and wellbeing concerns while simultaneously fostering sustainability and biodiversity within our communities: Herbanisation. Attendees of this talk and workshop will gain practical insights into the therapeutic benefits of horticulture, the art of mint propagation, and strategies for fostering community engagement around sustainable gardening practices. Join us in embracing the transformative power of ‘growing for wellbeing’.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Public Talk
Dan Edmonds, Cheshire Archives and Local Studies

Journeys to Cheshire

This event is an opportunity to learn more about two projects which are sharing stories of people crossing borders and building new lives in Cheshire and across the North West.

Daniel Edmonds of Cheshire Archives will introduce the Journeying to Cheshire project launched by the archives in partnership with Cheshire Halton and Warrington Racial Equality Centre (CHAWREC). They are working together to produce a series of oral histories with members of new and emerging communities across Cheshire, creating resources for researchers and public display boards.

Heather Swainston, Project Worker for Cheshire at Migration Stories NorthWest, will talk through some of the choices and stories that went into the display, which can be visited through the course of the Festival of Ideas.

If you want to learn more about why people have made Cheshire their home, and to hear about their experiences, then please join us for this discussion.

Both these projects have been made possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Booking for this event will open early in May.

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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk
James Derbyshire,University of Chester

How can governments avoid being blindsided by highly impactful surprises?

‘Extreme events like the credit crunch, the September 11th attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic each have in common that they should not have come as a surprise, yet still did. Developing an expectation for surprises is key to their avoidance and requires that risk assessors specifically consider ‘unknowledge’: what is not presently known about an event, outcome, or activity and its potential consequences and triggers. To ensure that unknowledge is considered requires that it be formally and explicitly included in official risk-assessment frameworks. This talk describes how governments can avoid being blindsided by highly consequential surprises’. James Derbyshire Profile | University of Chester
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk

The social lives of bats

Many people associate bats with dark, musky caves, vampires and Halloween, or see them as spreaders of disease or obstacles to planning permission. This means bats are often feared or loathed. However, did you know that many species of bat actively maintain friendships, have a complex social life and can even share food to save the lives of others? In this interactive talk, Dr Chrissy Stanley, an animal behaviour scientist at the University of Chester, will change your perceptions of these amazing creatures, sharing examples from her own research. Christina Stanley Profile | University of Chester
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Discussion Panel
Colin Potts, University of Chester

Future Chester – The Smart Creative City

What sort of city does Chester need to be to thrive in the mid 21st century – smart, creative, sustainable? This discussion, organised by Chester Great & Small (GAS), will explore what sits behind the fashionable buzzwords and consider how we can capitalise on all that is good here, learn from best practice around the world, and create a distinctive imaginative place where people will want to live, do business and enjoy their free time. Champion of the creative city, Bense Burnett, smart city expert, Dr. Andy Lyon and Destination Chester chair, Colin Potts, will have their say and will welcome yours. Colin Potts Profile | University of Chester  
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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Public Talk
Sally Bamber, University of Chester

Spaces to take risks in education

In this talk I would like to invite people to think about the extent to which there are spaces in education to be creative, to innovate and to take risks. Do these spaces have the potential to contribute to more equitable outcomes for young people? This talk will consider the formal structure of schools and the curriculum, alongside the role of educators and students in the classroom. Questions that consider cultural, political and social boundaries will be asked to allow us to wonder about what might be possible when we find a space to challenge assumptions and to take risks. Sally Bamber Profile | University of Chester
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3.30 PM – 4.30 PM
Performance
Kerry Baldry

One Minute Films

One Minute is a programme of artists moving image curated by artist Kerry Baldry. The One Minute programme is an eclectic mix of work by 40 international moving image artists at varying stages of their careers all with one thing in common that each video is within the time limit of 60 seconds. A myriad of techniques have been employed from stop frame animation to superimposition which explore the boundaries of moving image There are 12 programmes to date and these have been screened worldwide. They feature diverse work by award winning filmmakers through to recent graduates. Volumes 1 – 10 are now a part of the British Film Institute archives. Book through the event website link below
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4.00 PM – 5.00 PM
Public Talk
David Atkinson

Meet the tour guides

Meet the guides will introduce some of the local experts behind the independent walking tours of the Chester, which offer a new take on Chester’s rich, 2000-year heritage. This panel event consists of short talks to introduce the tours and explain how you can get involved. From dark tourism to an Edwardian lady tour of Chester via a new family tour and Chester Crime and Punishment, you’ll meet the tour leaders — some in costume — and get a taster of how each tour will fire your imagination. The event is hosted at the Visitor Information Centre tour-hub, where you can book tickets for upcoming tours having met your expert guide to Chester. This is a free event; no booking required.
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6.30 PM – 7.30 PM
Discussion Panel
Carole Cadwalladr

AI and Democracy – Carole Cadwalladr in conversation

In 2018, Pulitzer-nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr exposed the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. As the UK & US go to the polls again she discusses what impact the next wave of tech disruption – generative AI- could have on democracies across the world. Book through the event website link below
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10.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Workshop
Ed Gray

Have you got what it takes to be an elite athlete?

Discover if you’ve got what it takes to be an elite athlete! With cutting-edge physiological and performance measures, delve into the science behind athletic excellence. Understand your body’s capabilities like never before and uncover your hidden strengths. But it’s not just about performance – these measures provide invaluable insights into overall health and longevity. Join us for this interactive session and take the first step towards optimizing your performance and well-being. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to elevate your game! Sign up now and unlock your athletic potential! Ed Gray Profile | University of Chester
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10.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Walk

A Wild Wander, Cheshire’s Wonderful Wildlife

Join Chester Zoo staff and the Friends of Country park in the Countess of Chester Country Park. We’ll be exploring the Cheshire’s Wonderful Wildlife art exhibition and learning about the wildlife on display. We will invite people to connect to nature using multiple senses and techniques, seek beauty in what’s around and notice how the natural world inspires us. It will encourage you to help and care for the nature that we live amongst.
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10.00 AM – 11.30 AM
Walk
Transition Chester

Sustainability Walks

Come along on a led walk (which is wheels accessible) in and around Chester City Centre to discover a number of examples of a sustainable future that are already in evidence, here in Chester. These features include themes of renewable energy, biodiversity, community action, local economy and sustainable transport. Lasting approximately 1.5 hours this free walk follows a circular route on hard-surfaced level, or slightly inclined route. By the end of the walk participants will have a better appreciation of how a more sustainable low carbon future is possible. Presented by Transition Chester, a Community Group supporting a sustainable future. The walk meets outside Chester Town Hall
More information
11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Exhibition
Migration Stories Northwest

Migration Stories North West – Touring Exhibition

Migration Stories North West (2021-24) is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project mapping histories of migration in and out of the North West of England from the Roman period to the present day. The project is led by five North West partners and supported by historians and heritage organisations from around the region and beyond. This exhibition tells stories of individual women, men and children who have migrated in and out of the North West from other parts of the British Isles and other parts of the world as a result of conflict, colonialism and trade, as well as in search of work, educational opportunities or a better life. Together, the stories reveal the region’s long history of migration and ways in which it has shaped and continues to shape our social landscape. Migration Stories NW exhibition will be held in Chester Town Hall across the four days of the festival 11am-4pm, no need to book, just drop in and visit!
More information
11.00 AM – 12.00 PM
Public Talk
Annie Scudds

I Wear a Fitbit Therefore, I Am a Bitfit: How does your activity trackers really make you feel?

Wearable activity trackers (for example a Fitbit) are extremely popular, with the global market for these estimated to reach $114.36 billion in 2028. Many of us wear one or know someone who does. Perhaps exercise was part of your new year’s resolution! But do activity trackers actually work? Activity trackers are commonly used to increase our physical activity. But do we exercise more if we are wearing one? Does it make us feel good? The answer to these questions might not be what you expect. Surprisingly, there is very little research exploring the psychological impact of these devices. Our talk will explore both the positive and even the negative aspects of wearing an activity tracker. Come along to find out more.   Annie Scudds Profile | University of Chester  
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11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
Workshop
Liz Montgomery, Senior Curator and Julie Edwards, Archaeological Officer, West Cheshire Museums

Beneath our Feet: Archaeological finds from Chester’s Northgate

Join curators from West Cheshire Museums to take a look at fascinating multi-period archaeological finds from the very heart of the city in Chester Market. Get up close to artefacts from the Old Market Hall, Hamilton Place and the most recent Northgate excavations. No need to book-just drop in!
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11.00 AM – 4.00 PM
Chester Art Beat

Chester Art Beat

Come and immerse yourself in creativity this summer as Chester Art Beat returns from July 5th to 7th 2024. The vision at the heart of Chester Art Beat is to celebrate and support the diverse artistic talent from the colourful communities of Cheshire. From seasoned professionals to budding newcomers, our event offers a vibrant platform for artists of all disciplines to shine while showcasing the rich tapestry of our beloved city in over 15 captivating venues.  Putting 30+ talented local artists in the spotlight, Chester Art Beat promises to be an unforgettable experience for art enthusiasts of all ages. Click here to go to the 2024 Trail Map
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
Nic Lasikiewicz

Haunted Chester: Exploring our love affair with ghosts

A continual draw for visitors to the city of Chester is its legacy of ghosts, hauntings and poltergeists. But why are we so fascinated with things that go bump in the night? Contrary to what would be expected, advances in science and technology have done very little to dampen our enthusiasm and desire to immerse ourselves in the world of the paranormal. We love to be scared and we’ll even pay for the privilege. In this talk, we will explore what psychology can tell us about paranormal belief. Using three main examples, ghosts, mediumship and superstition, we will explore the possible value that believing in something which has no (current) scientific basis holds. Come along to find out more and maybe even contribute to the discussion! Nicola Lasikiewicz Profile | University of Chester
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
Paul Kingston, University of Chester

Age and Ageing in the 21st Century

The Centre for Ageing and Mental Health at the University of Chester will showcase a series of insights into ‘How do we understand age and ageing in the 21st Century’ – what can we learn from history in terms of ‘Ageing well’. Utilising our research on data from the Mass Observation Archive we will explore how individuals understand ‘ageism’, their thoughts on Euthanasia, and how financial fraud and scams have impacted their wellbeing. Finally, the impact of social isolation and loneliness in later life will be explored. Paul Kingston Profile | University of Chester
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12.00 PM – 1.00 PM
Public Talk
Julian Baum

Reconstructing Roman Chester

From the massive Roman fortress of Chester to the largest amphitheatre ever discovered in Britain, no one has achieved more in visualising how the ancient city looked nearly 2,000 years ago than talented CGI artist Julian Baum. After 40 years in the industry working on exciting projects for NASA and broadcast television documentaries for BBC, ITV and Sky Television, Julian explores how he interprets and recreates the past, as well the process and challenges along the way in his fascinating illustrated presentation.
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk
Dale Tromans

Mission Impossible?: Climate Change edition

Climate Change is arguably the greatest threat facing our society today. But how do we know this and why does it matter? Understanding the climate in the past is key to understanding our current climate, as well as helping us to produce projections of what the climate may look like in the future. Join me to understand more about past periods of climate change and gain a deeper insight into what this tells us about our current climate. I’ll also explore some of the amazing solutions we are using to help adapt ourselves and our surroundings to the changing climate.
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Public Talk
University of Chester Speaker

History and the History Wars: David Olusoga

History is now front-page news, contested as never before. Statues have fallen and the reputations of great men called into question. In this talk, Professor David Olusoga examines the causes of the ‘history wars’ and asks where they might lead us.
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1.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Workshop
Richard Hind

Preparation Meets Play – Developing Student Skills through Game Based Learning and Gamification

The Digital Education team from the Centre for Academic Innovation and Development at the University of Chester will demonstrate their exciting work to introduce serious games into social focused programmes, including social work, education, and policing. This session will look at these professions through the lens of game-based learning – designed to prepare students for industry placements, this dynamic approach helps to reduce anxiety while fostering higher-order thinking and deep understanding of workplace processes. Through immersive play, participants engage in hands-on activities that mimic professional scenarios, enabling them to develop crucial skills in a stress-free environment. Say goodbye to traditional classroom jitters and hello to confident, competent graduates ready to excel in any workplace setting. Join us in revolutionizing education – where learning meets laughter, and preparation meets play.
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Exhibition, Workshop
Namrata Bhattacharya-Mis

Build Back Together: Everything Flows

This showcase event is targeted to anyone interested in Climate change and risk of flooding. Rapid changes in land use and uncertain climate conditions have created a wide range of water challenges. This showcase event is about understanding water security, there will be best practice case study examples from communities who have leveraged technology to develop localized strategies for flood risk reduction. You will be treated with some hands-on experience using latest immersive technologies (VR headsets) to challenge your flood risk perception in a safe simulated environment. What are you waiting for? Join us in this adventure of ‘building back better’. No booking required-just drop in! Namrata Bhattacharya-Mis Profile | University of Chester
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2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Workshop
Georgina West

Storyhouse Climate – Have Your Say

Following on from the success of the first Storyhouse Climate event, Storyhouse and the University of Chester invite anyone with an interest in learning about and taking action to tackle the climate crisis to tell us what you want to see as part of the next event planned for 2025. You don’t have to be an expert – the climate crisis affects us all and we want to hear from a wide range of new voices about what’s important to your life and the local environment as well as having bigger conversations about the future of our planet. Book through event website link below
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2.30 PM – 3.30 PM
Public Talk, Workshop
Cellan Harston (Director Roman Tours)

Auxilia – Rome’s Cutting Edge: Diversity and Culture in the Roman Army

Roman auxiliary soldiers were an essential and formidable part of the invincible Roman Army. Their specialist military skills held back the hostile barbarian hordes especially along the frontiers of the Empire such as in Roman Britain. But what exactly do we know about them?

With insights about the latest research and archaeological finds, experts from Roman Tours reveal the fascinating diversity and culture of these tough and adaptable men – and women – many thousands of whom came from tribes as far away as the Eurasian Steppes to serve in the northern military zone here in Chester and along Hadrian’s Wall.

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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Performance
Company Carpi

Disunited Jukebox – A 21st Century Opera

Company Carpi: composer Gary Lloyd & choreographer Bettina Carpi

Presenting: Disunited Jukebox – A 21st Century Opera  A discussion about where ideas come from with the creators of Disunited Jukebox featuring smaller-scale extracts from the opera in an exclusive live performance specially created for the Festival of Ideas 2024. Disunited Jukebox is a brand new opera, with dance, about the bewildering state of the modern world.  It spans diverse topics from artificial intelligence, nature & climate, witchcraft, political landscape, neuroscience, refugee crises, technological progresses, our hopes & fears for the future… to mental health & conspiracy theories. Highly celebrated writers Mary Talbot, Neil Gaiman, Audrey Schebat, Brian Catling and many others have created the specially written libretto for the opera, alongside new writing talent such as Marissa Landy, and featuring youth and community input. Information on the photograph image for this event: L to R: Company Carpi opera singers Olivia Carrell, Isabelle MohanNaomi Rogers & Luca Wetherall. The musicians for Disunited Jukebox are drawn from the best orchestras in the UK and are joined by a cast of contemporary dancers.

Photography: Brian Hickey Simon Bubb

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3.00 PM – 4.00 PM
Workshop
Natalie Papworth

Winged Insects Eco Art Workshop

Natalie is inviting you to attend a workshop that explores the theme of environmentally supportive Art. Using the forms of a selection of pollinating winged insects you will make a three dimensional insect that is made from sustainable and recycled materials that will collectively evolve into an installation. The workshop is open to all and is family friendly and suitable for all levels of ability. I would be delighted for you to attend so that we can make Eco Art together: that makes a statement that supports recycling and our positive response to our collective environmental concerns.
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