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Lumb Bank, The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, opens its doors as part of Nationwide 'Fun Palaces' Event

Thursday, 25 September 2014

On 4th October 2014 Lumb Bank, the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, will open its doors as part of a nationwide Fun Palaces event. It will be a rare opportunity for local people to visit this nationally esteemed writing centre on our doorsteps.

Lumb Bank, an 18th century mill owner's house near Heptonstall, was the former house of Ted Hughes and is now is a residential creative writing centre run by Arvon, the national creative writing charity.

On the day there will be a range of activities for all ages, including an interactive writing treasure trail, lantern-making, drop-in art and nature workshops, music, tea and homemade cake, tours of the house including the chance to meet Arvon writing tutors, an open mic reading and a fire garden finale. Entry is free.

The idea of a Fun Palace was conceived in the late 1950s by radical theatre director Joan Littlewood as a laboratory of fun, combining populist and high culture, art and science. Despite years of development, no Fun Palaces were ever built. But they didn't stop being a great idea, as writer Stella Duffy realised when she began encouraging venues across the UK to become pop-up Fun Palaces to celebrate the centenary of Littlewood's birth.  Already 100 Fun Palaces are on the map, from the RSC to the Southbank Centre and the People's History Museum in Manchester, spreading the ethos that 'culture' is by and for the people – and if it's not, then it should be.

Explaining Arvon's decision to become involved, Lumb Bank Centre Director Lucy Burnett said, 'due to the intensive nature of our programme of courses we rarely get the chance to welcome local people to Lumb Bank. During Fun Palaces we will not only open our doors but also encourage the public to actively participate in the day.'