Creative writing workshop is being held focusing on the famous Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival

Capturing the straw bear workshop by Leane Moden PHOTO: Leanne Moden

Capturing the straw bear workshop by Leane Moden PHOTO: Leanne Moden - Credit: Archant

Award-winning poet Leanne Moden hosts a free creative writing workshop as part of a project exploring Cambridgeshire’s shared cultural heritage.

Capturing the straw bear workshop by Leane Moden PHOTO: Leanne Moden

Capturing the straw bear workshop by Leane Moden PHOTO: Leanne Moden - Credit: Archant

The workshop is aimed at writers aged 16 and over and is suitable for all abilities.

An informal event, it gives participants the chance to delve into the customs behind the Whittlesey Straw Bear festival, and get up close and personal with some fascinating objects from the museum’s collection.

Leanne said: “The Whittlesey Straw Bear is a wonderfully quirky tradition found nowhere else in the UK. The day after Plough Monday, a man from the town would be dressed head to toe in straw, and be led from house to house where ‘the bear’ would dance in exchange for gifts of money, food or beer. The tradition, which dates back at least two hundred years, was revived in 1980, and the Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival is now one of the largest festivals of its kind, attracting troupes of traditional dancers and folk musicians from right across the country.

Workshop participants will use historical objects, photographs, writings and other items to explore the history of the Straw Bear, and every participant will have the option to read at the sharing, which will be held directly after the workshop itself.


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It’s free to attend the workshop, but booking is essential. Please contact the Museum on 01223 355159Museum of Cambridge in Castle Street on Wednesday June 28, The workshop, which will explore the folklore and customs surrounding the Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival, is – will run from 2pm to 4pm, and with a special sharing session from 4pm to 5pm on the sam

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