The Heritage of Wark Communities
The historical significance of the West Midlands region county of Warwickshire and its arts and cultural heritage is out of question. Anybody who has read anything about the cultural history of England must have come across the cultural landmarks and architectural structures in this landlocked non-metropolitan county. Warwickshire contains some of the most amazing architectural/art relics and culturally-significant venues. As an avid art and culture student, I had always yearned to visit the county in order to enjoy a firsthand experience of this cultural venue.
I had visited numerous museums across England by the time I completed high school but I had never had a chance to visit Warwickshire. I got my chance to visit the rural county after I joined college and I could not wait to visit the home of two of the most renowned English writers, William Shakespeare and George Elliot. However, my fun climaxed when I arrived in Warwick and realized that my visit coincided with the annual summer Vintage and Craft Fair. The experience at the arts and cultural event was priceless.
An Arts Retreat Which was More than Educational
We traveled to Warwickshire as a group comprising of all the art students in my class. Most of us had never set foot in this county. However, we were lucky because one of my classmates, Chris, came from one of the five districts in the county, Rugby. Chris knew the county like the back of his hand and being an arts and culture enthusiast he had visited almost all the sites that we intended to visit. In this light, he acted as our guide throughout the tour and we had quite a treat. We arrived in Warwick, the county town of Warwickshire and settled for the night.
The following day, Chris insisted that we had to leave Warwick immediately claiming that we would come back later for sightseeing. After leaving the county town, we visited all the other counties and did not get back until we were back. We visited all types of arts and cultural centers and venues and slept in coaching inns to enhance the cultural experience. Starting with Shakespeare’s childhood home, we visited the Royal Shakespeare Theater, and the Swan Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon.
We also went to Halls Croft, the Holy Trinity Church, and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. We visited Talisman Theatre, the Loft Theatre, Arts Centre and the 17th century mansion, Ragley Hall. We viewed extensive art collections at Verney House, Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, and also visited Stoneleigh Abbey, Kenilworth Castle, and Packwood House. By the time we got back to Warwick, we were overwhelmed. Little did we know that the main course was yet to come?
The Vintage and Craft Fair
The Vintage and Craft Fair is an annual summer event hosted at St John’s House Museum in Warwick. Chris surprised us with the news and we quickly got to the museum to enjoy the Fair, which started around 10 am and ended around 5 pm. The Fair is organised by Heritage and Culture Warwickshire, a county council affiliate. Artists bring their created works of art and culture for sale in rented stalls in the unique historic museum setting.
Entrance to the museum is free and the public can view the vast collection of the museum’s historical artifacts while shopping during the Fair. The Fair offers a wide array of arts and cultural relics including, jewelry, clothes, and many other crafted relics. We were awed by the high creativity exuded by the offered items in the Fair and the rich cultural heritage displayed by the Warwickshire artists in the offered wares.
The Fair offered an endless assortment of unique hand crafted gifts, vintage items and art work in the culturally-intoxicating historical surroundings. Attending the Vintage and Craft fair complemented the artistic and cultural experience we had witnessed as we toured the county and we all agreed that the trip was artistically worthwhile.