To make the long month of January a little less painful, here are some Herefordshire events that will ease you into the new year whether you're into human history, stand-up comics, contemporary textile art, or Descartes & Co.
Wife-carrying and cheese rolling have got nothing on a good Shire wassail. To take part in this ancient tradition still upheld in Herefordshire head to Queenswood on Dinmore Hill, near Leominster, in January for the annual blessing of the cider apple trees. The family-friendly event includes a torchlit procession, food, and song.
The vibrant Dutch-wax fabrics that have become iconic of Yinka Shonibare’s work will make an appearance at this contemporary exhibition from Meadow Arts and Hereford Cathedral. Shonibare has been inspired by the way Hereford's ancient Mappa Mundi reflects today's concerns around 'fear of the stranger or other' which so often leads to xenophobia. There will also be textile work co-created by diverse groups from around Herefordshire. Image Credit © Royal Academy of Arts, Marcus Leith 2014.
Philosophy Cafe at The Globe in Hay-on-Wye is an informal fortnightly meet up that gives anyone the opportunity to chat about philosophical issues. Whether you're an expert on Cartesian dualism or you simply have a new found interest in philosophical thought, worth popping along. The club runs every other Thursday. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anthropologist, author, broadcaster Alice Roberts has been making archaeology programmes for nearly twenty years and on Jan 17 comes to Hereford with her live tour and Q&A. On the box Roberts hosted BBC2’s immensely popular Coast series and recently explored the history of urban settlements in Britain’s Most Historic Towns on Channel 4 (back for a second series in 2019 btw). This show features anecdotes, behind-the-scenes stories, programme footage and excerpts from her books.
Inspired by the rediscovered Derek Evans photographic collection, Catcher Media's Stories from the Hop Yards film brims with archive photos and footage alongside newly recorded interviews. Hops have been an integral part of Herefordshire life for centuries and Catcher Media has brings together pickers, farmers, traders and brewers for this first film in the Herefordshire Life Through a Lens project. Watch the trailer here.
A unique opportunity to meet Polish contemporary artist Walenty Pytel as he opens the gallery and studios at his Herefordshire home. Tickets are £12 per person. This tour is available on January 15 and January 30. Pytel's often nature-inspired sculptures can be found at Westminster, Birmingham Airport, and across the region.
His gallery is near Ross-on-Wye.