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A weekend of George Eliot celebrations!

Published on Tuesday, 10th September 2019

The Borough will see a host of events to pay homage to the woman behind the pen with a weekend of celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Eliot’s birth this November.

Bedworth will be a hub of activity on Saturday with displays and residents in traditional costume at the Bedworth Almshouses, a brand new exhibition at Bedworth Heritage Centre (The Parsonage) about The Bedworth Echo and there will be ribbon weaving displays in Weavers Cottage, next door to the Heritage Centre.

In All Saints Square there will be an exhibition of classic and vintage cars, Anker Morris Men, Ladies of the Green Willow, Anker Radio, and the Julie Bromage Dance Academy and in All Saints Church there will be a self-guided tour and refreshments on Friday and a Fun Day on Saturday. The Old Meeting United Reformed Church will also be holding a harvest and heritage festival which will include vintage farming equipment and church archives.

In Nuneaton on Sunday, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council will mark this special anniversary with a celebration day in George Eliot Gardens packed with family fun, live music and entertainment. The event will start at 11am and the celebrations will last throughout the day, finishing around 6pm.

The event will have something for the whole family to enjoy, with stalls selling an array of goods, children’s entertainment, inflatables and games. There will be delicious food on offer including a pig roast and sweet treats. Plus there will be FRESH Radio hosting and on-stage, live music throughout the day. The George Eliot Fellowship will have a stall to raise funds for the proposed Visitor Centre at Griff.

To honor this special 200th anniversary, the Council will also be unveiling a brand new, interactive town centre George Eliot Quotation Trail which will showcase famous locations the world-renowned author frequented during her early life and include fabulous modern-day interpretation of the quotes by local school children.

Come along and pay tribute to our region’s best loved author!

In addition to this there will be several other George Eliot themed events taking place across the Borough.

You can witness some fantastic live public performances, sponsored by Nuneaton Museum, ‘The Oracle of the Taprooms’ depicts the story of Joseph Henry Liggins (wrongly identified as author of George Eliot’s books, ‘Scenes of Clerical Life’ and ‘Adam Bede.) These free shows will be taking place at various venues across Nuneaton & Bedworth.

In Nuneaton there will be a George Eliot Bi-Centenary Flower Festival with themed arrangements by The Nuneaton Flower Guild at Chilvers Coton Parish Church, displays and flowers in Astley church and archive materials on display at Abbey Church.

Illustrated talks on George Eliot’s Milby with David and Marie Paterson will be taking place at St Nicholas Church, as well as a presentation by Steve Moore on Nuneaton in the time of Polly Button and you can witness ‘Victorian Streets of Nuneaton’ with Peter Lee and music by Daisybell.

In addition, The Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre will be hosting a Coventry Photographic Society exhibition titled ‘George Eliot Country’ and an Alisha Miller display entitled ‘What’s in a portrait?’ as well as a photographic exhibition curated by Nuneaton Memories.

Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said:

“Wow, what an exciting weekend of celebrations! George Eliot is an icon of our region and it is fantastic to be able to pay tribute to her with such a terrific selection of events.

“I am excited to witness the unveiling of the quotation trail, bringing this beloved author’s work to life among the streets of Nuneaton. It is great that our school children have been involved in this too, helping connect Eliot’s work to modern day society and reinventing it for new audiences.

“In addition to the celebration day on Sunday and the array of other events in both Nuneaton and Bedworth, this weekend is set to be a terrifically exciting one for all residents across the Borough.”  

For full details of all Heritage events contact The George Eliot Fellowship on 024 7661 9126 or visit georgeeliot.org and for further details on the NBBC event go to visitnuneatonandbedworth.co.uk