Penny Farthing Festival 2012 by Robin Jennings
Penny Farthing Festival 2012
Every year in the last week of February, the historic and picturesque town of Evandale Tasmania comes alive for the annual Evandale Village Fair and National Penny Farthing Championships. Starting in 1983, the festival has been growing in popularity ever since.
Historical Fiction – making history fun
Working in history education is great fun, especially at a place like Sovereign Hill. I ended up working in this field, I believe, largely because of my love of reading and watching historical fiction. I have not trained as a historian or a conservator, but I like to think of myself as having a little bit of both inside. But I’m not a purist. I love history for the fun, fascinating stories about the past. I find the most pleasure in the creative imagination that comes from thinking about history’s people and their deeds.
Sure, evidence is important (and archaelogy is cool, especially when it involves Tony Robinson!) and teaching kids to read and understand sources is a necessary part of history teaching. But it’s the stories that make it amazing and joyful.
I went into a local bookshop in Ballarat today, looking for a book by Lili Wilkinson. Her book, Scatterheart, is a great example of historical fiction writing for young adults, and I am planning to write about it for our Sovereign Hill Education blog. It hasn’t been that long since I’ve browsed the young adult section of a bookshop, but instead of seeing a whole lot of my favourite authors and stories (as good or better as ‘regular’ adult varieties), I found this:
This week I’m fortunate enough to be attending the Museums Australia and Interpretation Australia Conference – At The Frontier – in Perth. I am enjoying taking the time-out to think broadly, be inspired, meet new people and collect new ideas and understandings.
The day started with a very moving Welcome to Country by two local indigenous men Richard and Trevor. It was presented bilingually and made the delegates feel truly welcome. I found it very uplifting and a great way to start the conference.
Today I visited the Maryborough Flour Mill Gallery in the small country town of the same name. This museum/gallery includes an antique shop, a local art gallery, a vast sewing machine museum, and apparently, a resident ghost.
The Sewing Museum: “Sew What” has a very impressive collection of sewing machines, over 300, from almost 100 different manufacturers, covering over a century of sewing history. Most of the machines are in working condition and visitors can try their hand at some of them.
Five hours on the exceptional comfortable X2000 from Stockholm sits the picturesque town of Östersund, home to the impressive museum Jamtli. I found the train journey actually became part of the magic of the experience. It whisks you through stunning countryside, showing you glimpses of Sweden’s agricultural past and present. It is a marvellous introduction to the immersive history experience.
Picture from the X2000 Train
Skansen is a large outdoor museum, the first in the world in fact. It covers a vast range of eras and interests – from 1860’s farming to 1930’s businesses, a Zoo, rides… and more! They have an annual visitation of about 1.4m and receive some government funding, but rely heavily on ticket sales. The entry price of 100kr (approximately $15) is very reasonable, because you could easily get a whole day’s entertainment out of it.
Entrance to Skansen