Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Your miserable and most unworthy scribe goes to Durham!

What a day I had yesterday!!  I was very honoured to be asked up to the Palace Green Library in Durham to do a workshop as part of their Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition (which is amazing by the way, as is its region wide programme of events - well worth checking out!).

When I arrived in Durham it was clear that this exhibition is a very big deal - there are signs and banners for it everywhere, and the town, which I'm getting to know and love more with each visit, has a really nice buzz about it.

Anyway, here's what I did - a live drawn Lindisfarne Gospels timeline, taking you through the background of why it was made, who made it and how, and the ripping yarn of how it came to settle in Durham for hundreds of years...

Now, I say 'here's what I did'...but it should read 'here's what we did'.  The whole point of it was that large parts of it would be filled in by kids, parents, grandparents (and exhibition staff!) who popped in, and they really didn't let me down!

I also brought quill pens, reed pens and silverpoint for kids to try out, but as you can imagine didn't have much time for photogramaphising, so you'll have to imagine the chaos that entailed.

Oooh and another thing - I got a brief ten minutes to look around the exhibition itself, and I'll say again, it is absolutely fantastic.  I got the history bug doing the 'Discover The Lindisfarne Gospels' book, and I learnt so much more in just a few minutes wandering round.  I saw the big book itself which was amazing, but my fave bit was seeing St Cuthbert's pocket bible, which was taken from his coffin when he was exhumed and (I think!) is the oldest book in England (Europe? The world? Calling all experts!!)  to have survived with it's original leather binding intact....kinda lovely.  Click here for some more 'must see's .  A top exhibition, staffed by people who love the subject, which has some kind of intrigue at most turns...I thoroughly recommend it.

A big thank you is in order to everyone there for an absolutely fantastic day.


Frances Cony said...

Great to see a blog from you again after SOOOOOOOOOOO long.

Great you had such a fantastic time in Durham. June & Penny & I were looking at your lemur etc pictures at the Zoo today.

Keith said...

Looks great, mental note to go see it and.......

WAIT ! WAIT ! They dropped it in THE SEA !?!?!?!

How did that ever work out good ?

Sam Church said...

Hey Fran and Keith, good to hear from you, and sorry to have been a stranger!! Yep the legend goes that it was dropped in the sea, and bizarrely there are quite strong indicators records wise that it may be true. Seems unlikely, but then when you think about it they wouldn't have been lumping it round in a placcy bag. If you imagine that they kept it in a box, and then look at where they lost it and where it turned up (it was lost Cumbria, turned up S Scotland)...who knows? I have to admit to having caught the bug somewhat...the whole story right up to modern times is quite a ripping yarn with lots of opportunities to play the detective. The exhibition is fantastic...if you're interested but can't make it I bought an ace book there by Richard Gameson (all the other looked good too mind...) : http://shop.lindisfarnegospels.com/books-media/from-holy-island-to-durham-the-contexts-and-meanings-of-the-lindisfarne-gospels-by-richard-gameson