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DHC Journal Issue #3 Spring (has almost) Sprung 💐

Friday 10th of March

Is it just me or has March come unusually quickly this year; or does this happen every year? Anyway, as we are getting closer to spring, I thought it would be a good time for a catch-up. Lots has been happening, with February half term a few weeks ago and easter on the horizon we have a lot to talk about. Speaking of the February half-term, thanks to all who visited us we hope you enjoyed your day and took good advantage of our new woodland playground, and we hope to see you again soon! 

Donations - As an educational museum charity we do rely on donations to increase our income, over and above our ticket, shop and coffee sales.  We recently received a generous donation of £500 from a benefactor who wished to remain anonymous, and to whom we extend our thanks!  Donations don't need to be large, as every penny helps us continue our work.  If you'd like to help us with a donation then you can donate online (!/DonationDetails) or leave us a donation in our car park if you're visiting us, or Soudley Ponds.  A regular donation also gets you a Season Ticket, so that's worth thinking about if you're planning on visiting throughout the year!
A Tribute to Amanda

Amanda Christine Cox: 1970 – 2023 - A tribute 

 At the beginning of this year, we lost a much-loved facilitator, Amanda, suddenly and without warning. Many of you will have met her in the craft hut or around the site sketching or telling spooky stories in the cottage at Halloween. With her legendry colourful hair, she was hard to miss!  

Amanda came along to the Dean Heritage Centre over 10 years ago to ask if we had any need for an artist to run workshops. Little did I know that meeting would be the beginning of so many years of creativity, fun, friendship and inspiration. Amanda’s talent and skill were key to helping children and visitors appreciate the natural world around them, helping them to create something amazing from almost anything including clay, paper and card or twigs, seeds and leaves foraged from the site. What she couldn’t do with one of our locally harvested wood slices really isn’t worth doing! 

 Amanda’s art and creativity has been an integral part of creative growth at the DHC, schools and visitors of all ages appreciated the enrichment it provided to the activities we offer. I will be eternally grateful for that and continue to ensure her legacy of creating art using the natural world as inspiration continues at the DHC. 

We also have the beautiful mosaic in our craft hut created by Amanda with the help of many young visitors; it ensures we will have a constant visual reminder of her artistic contribution to the Centre. A plaque will be installed by the mosaic to commemorate Amanda’s work at the DHC 

- Joanne Clarke, Engagement Manager. 


Mother's Day
Sunday 19th of March: A Traditional Forester’s Mothering Sunday 

DHC favourite Ma Meek will be visiting in the forester's cottage to tell you what life was like for a miner’s wife during the turn of the century. We will also have Mother’s Day-inspired crafts in The Craft Hut to enjoy. Fancy a bit of family competition? Then head over to The Paddock to have a go at some classic lawn games, fun for the entire family! Best of all Mums go FREE, yes that also includes step-mums, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, great-great-grandmothers and so on. 


Easter has to be one of my favourite times of the year, the weather begins to get warmer, lambs are popping up everywhere around the forest and gorgeous flowers begin to bloom. Not to mention the gathering of friends and family to celebrate the holiday. Here is what to expect at The Dean Heritage Centre over the easter holidays.  

The craft hut will be full of easter and spring-themed crafts with visits from some of our facilitators for some extra special crafts. It wouldn’t be Easter without an egg hunt, so keep your eyes peeled to find all the hidden eggs. The Heritage Coffee Shop will also be joining in on the festivities with limited edition menu items, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on their Facebook and Instagram.

If you didn’t manage to visit our new woodland playground, no worries, the easter holidays are the perfect time to run around and explore. This time of year is the perfect time to discover some of the local scenic walks in and around our site. Some of my favourite would have to be Soudley Ponds, Bradley Hill, Blazed Bailey and The Blue Rock Trail.

I’m getting excited just writing this! Brace yourselves for easter and spring fun every day from 10:00-17:00. 

The Heritage Coffee Shop held their Valentine's Afternoon Tea last month and the staff and customers had a blast! Here are some comments left by couples who visited: 

''Absolutely amazing experience! I went for my birthday, there were 5 of us in total and the staff were so unbelievably lovely, the owner was incredibly kind to us really can’t fault anything about our trip! We had the Valentine's afternoon tea and it was BEAUTIFUL, everything was so fresh, and the strawberries were massive!! Nothing was an issue for the staff we really had an amazing time here, I’m booking my next trip already!!'' -Abigail Jones 

''The staff worked so hard under difficult circumstances today. The food was as usual delicious and well worth the visit. The staff were cheerful and welcoming as always. A lovely coffee shop to visit. 
Well done Shelly and staff you make a brilliant team.''
- Susan Robinson 

''I can't recommend this cafe highly enough. The food is great, Teresa and Shelley are so welcoming, my dogs love it too. The Valentine tea was to die for, it is a very happy place xx'' Kate Hamilton 

Our regular afternoon teas are available to book year-round, to book please message or call 01594 822170!  

Mother’s Day Event  

Sunday 12th of March, 10:30-14:00 

A wreath making Mother’s Day treat with afternoon tea £40pp, booking only please! Message us or call 01594 822170 to book.  

Decorate your own spring wreath in our workshop with Rachel Evans. A variety of fresh flowers to choose from for your special gift, after your wreath decorating, enjoy a delicious traditional Afternoon Tea. 

Google Maps Page
Gift Shop

Spring may seem a bit delayed outside but spring has  sprung in our gift shop, which is filled with lovely seasonal items, from beautiful artwork, flower wreaths and children’s toys. Here are some of my favourite items in The Gift Shop at the moment... 

'Backstage in The Gage'

Sneak preview

Rumours of a new project have been swirling around The DHC, ‘Backstage in The Gage’ will be coming soon at The Dean Heritage Centre, Collections Officer, Nicola Wynn, will be holding monthly mini talks on objects and artifacts kept in our Gage Archives. ‘Backstage in The Gage’ will be held on the first Wednesday of every month from April-October and will feature a short 10-minute talk on exclusive pieces from our museum’s archives. More info coming soon. But keep this between me and you!

Click here for more inofrmation!
Facilitators needed! 

The Dean Heritage Centre’s successful and varied schools programme engages learners across all phases and supports the curriculum through developing skills in historical enquiry, creative and critical thinking. We strive to offer positive, inclusive, and fun learning experiences to all ages on a wide range of topics that reflect the diversity of educational opportunities at the Centre. To continue to improve our educational offer we need enthusiastic facilitators who can engage children and young people in the workshop activities. Our facilitators also lead activities linked to their expertise during school holidays so there are also opportunities to work outside the school term. 

This is not your usual full or part-time role as school visits cannot be predicted. We offer a casual contract where you will be paid the current minimum wage. You can also work for us as a freelance facilitator but you will need proof of public liability insurance. Another option is to volunteer for us, volunteers receive travel expenses and vouchers for refreshments which can be used in our coffee shop.

A DBS check will be required but school groups always remain under full supervision of their teachers and support staff and young visitors to the Centre are not allowed to be left with facilitators unsupervised by a parent or carer so facilitators are never solely responsible for any groups during visits. 

If you are passionate about learning, whether your strengths are in history, science, the arts, the great outdoors, or anything in between and you would be interested in working with school groups and visitors to deliver workshops at the Centre then get in touch with the Engagement Manager, Joanne Clarke ( 

If you made it all the way through congratulations, as we had so much to include in this issue, so make sure to mark the dates above on your calendar, you won't want to miss it! 


As ever, thank you for subscribing, reading and supporting The Dean Heritage Centre. It matters and is greatly appreciated. 

Until the next issue. 

Thanks, Abbie. 


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