The Big Games - Touchstones

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What's On at Middleton Arena

What's On at Middleton Arena

Events for everyone at the Arena - from comedy to live music and theatre

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Heywood Civic Centre

Heywood Civic Centre

Coming soon - Supernaturalist David Holt, Soul & Motown Nites, Chris Connor as Elvis and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

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activ8teme

activ8teme

Low cost fitness classes and sports for adults across the Rochdale borough

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Fitness memberships - July 2015

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Rochdale Feel Good Festival search for local talent

Rochdale Feel Good Festival is looking for more local acts to perform during the event.

Stage 2 – a smaller outdoor stage new for 2015 - will be showcasing local singers, dancers, musicians, theatre and more.The Rock Choir entertain the crowds last year. This year the stage is bigger and better - Rochdale Feel Good Festival is looking for local acts to perform on their new Stage 2.

There are 25 fifteen-minute slots available on Friday 4 or Saturday 5 September. Music acts will be supplied with the backline and a professional PA system. All performances must be suitable for the festival's family audience.

Councillor Janet Emsley Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council said:

"Stage 2 is where we showcase the best of the borough. Rochdale Feel Good Festival has a real street party atmosphere and we're looking for acts who are up for some fun.  Last year we had some great performances and we're looking for more this time. Musicians, comedians, dancers, singers, poets, theatre - whatever your talent, we'd like you to get in touch."

Gallipoli tribute – Rochdale unveils memorial stone

A permanent memorial in Rochdale to honour the service of local men who fought in the Gallipoli campaign and the sacrifices made by relatives at home was unveiled during a commemoration event on Sunday.The memorial stone to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign is unveiled in Rochdale.

A memorial stone to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of local soldiers was unveiled in Rochdale Memorial Gardens following a parade through the town centre comprising the King's Division Band, serving members of the Armed Forces, Todmorden Pals, veterans and cadets.

In August 1914, 1,000 soldiers from the 6th Battalion of Lancashire Fusiliers gathered in Rochdale before being sent to Egypt and on to Turkey. Few came home alive or unscathed. Those who enlisted were remembered last summer with the recreation of a march made by more than 1,000 soldiers from the 6th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Lord Shuttleworth said:

"It was a great honour for me to be at the unveiling of this permanent Memorial to the heroes of Gallipoli and the 6th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.  I want to thank the organisations that have made this happen and everyone connected in making this event."

Council Leader Richard Farnell who also spoke during the ceremony said it is an honour for the town to have such a memorial:

"Sunday was about remembering the sacrifices made by local soldiers and their families. It was truly humbling to hear about the acts of bravery and the sacrifices made during the Gallipoli campaign.  The casualties were heavy, and the losses were many. The results of that campaign were not all that we had wanted to achieve, but nevertheless those men's bravery was the most splendid act.  It is because of men like that, that we have the freedom to stand here, to unveil this fitting memorial to them."

Close Contact

close-contact-web4 July - 5 September 2015

Exploring traditional skills, materials and tools, Close Contact presents our admiration for innovative craft techniques. This exhibition highlights the work of modern craft makers who have been inspired by deep rooted traditions to create contemporary artwork that will stand the test of time. Shown in the exhibition is a selection of contemporary craft pieces which form part of the permanent collection at Touchstones Rochdale. 

Variations from sculpture to needlecraft and steelwork to papercraft can be seen by a variety of artists whose work has been carefully selected from exhibitions held at Touchstones Rochdale over the past 40 years. Artists and makers have produced dynamic pieces that echo moments and memories from their own rich histories and heritage.

The exhibition shows a variety of artists working in different mediums including Halima Cassell, Junko Mori and Derek Wilson amongst others. There is also a chance to see hundreds of Rochdale Borough citizen’s embroidered signatures as Lynn Setterington’s work ‘Please sign here’ returns to Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery. Hundreds of people embroidered their signatures for the collaborative quilt in 2013 as a response to a charity signature quilt in the Touchstones Rochdale Museum collection dating 1895.

Touchstones Rochdale is an award winning Arts & Heritage Centre with an art gallery, museum and Local History Centre.  It has a regular programme of contemporary visual arts exhibitions. Visit http://www.link4life.org/whats-on/touchstones-rochdale/exhibitions.

Residents invited to public Gallipoli commemoration this Sunday

rochdale to unveil memorial gardensA permanent memorial in Rochdale to honour the service of local men who fought in the Gallipoli campaign and the sacrifices made by their relatives at home will be unveiled during a public commemoration event this Sunday (28 June).

A memorial stone to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of local soldiers will be unveiled in Rochdale Memorial Gardens. First, a parade will form at 2.30pm on the Rochdale Market site and march along Baillie street on to Yorkshire Street before turning on to the Esplanade and arriving at Rochdale Cenotaph for a service at 3pm. The parade will comprise the King’s Division Band, serving members of the Armed Forces, Todmorden Pals, veterans and cadets from across the borough.

Feathered

grey-bird-web4 July - 5 September 2015

Feathered showcases the work by contemporary artists who have chosen to concentrate on depicting these mystical winged creatures either in specific projects or throughout their artistic practice.

The exhibition explores our curious relationship with birds, reflecting upon ideas such as fragility, chance, and identity as we look through the eyes of five contemporary artists; Leila Jeffreys, Neeta Madahar and Luke Stephenson choose to explore this topic through the medium of photography, while Sutapa Biswas and Rochdale born artist Elizabeth Butterworth study the minute detail of birds through painting and illustration.

Alongside Victorian taxidermy specimens from our natural history collection, avian imagery is celebrated further by looking at bird adorned decorative arts pieces and artworks from Rochdale Borough’s art collection.

Join Touchstones Rochdale on Saturday 11 July from 11am-3pm for the Big Games and our Feathered Friends activities all linked to our new exhibition. During this celebration event, take part in a bird paper craft activities, meet our actors the mischievous Sea Gulls who will be swooping around causing mischief, have a go at bird spotting with the RSPB and work with balloon modellers to create your own feathered friend to take away!

The exhibition includes hands-on activities for children and families and the opportunity to feedback your thoughts via twitter.

Touchstones Rochdale is an award winning Arts & Heritage Centre with an art gallery, museum and Local History Centre.  It has a regular programme of contemporary visual arts exhibitions. Visit http://www.link4life.org/whats-on/touchstones-rochdale/exhibitions.

Borough ready to celebrate Armed Forces Day

rochdale to unveil memorial alan mccarthyThe borough is preparing to join towns and cities across the UK this month in celebration of national Armed Forces Day.

Activities take place on the days running up to Armed Forces Day (Saturday 27 June), celebrating the UK's armed forces – past and present.

To mark the build-up to the special day, flag-raising events will be held on Saturday 20 June in Heywood (12pm, Heywood Memorial Gardens), Sunday 21 June in Rochdale (12:45pm, town hall), then on Monday 22 June at Middleton (10am, Memorial Gardens), Milnrow (11:30am, war memorial) and Littleborough (12:30pm, war memorial). Everyone is welcome.

The ever popular Heywood 1940s Day returns on Saturday 20 June from 10am to 6pm, and will be packed with entertainment and family activities across the town including re-enactments, military exhibits including tanks, vintage vehicles, a parade, live music and much more. At 12.30pm there will be a service at Heywood Memorial Gardens to commemorate the massacre of 22 British troops in Aden in June 1967.

Plans for Gallipoli memorial ceremony revealed

rochdale to unveil memorial gardensA permanent memorial in Rochdale to honour the service of local men who fought in the Gallipoli campaign and the sacrifices made by their relatives at home will be unveiled during a public commemoration event this month.

A memorial stone to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of local soldiers will be unveiled in Rochdale Memorial Gardens on Sunday 28 June.

A parade will form at 2.30pm on the Rochdale Market site and march along Baillie street on to Yorkshire street before turning on to the Esplanade and arriving at Rochdale Cenotaph for a service at 3pm. The parade will comprise the King's Division Band, serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and cadets from across the borough.

Garry Holt: Good to Feel the Breeze of Fear

garry-holtSaturday 6 June - Saturday 29 August 2015

The new Gallery One exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale is presented by local artist Garry Holt who started making collages during a time of ill health and has been making them prolifically ever since.

Garry started making collages during his treatment in the Floyd Neuro Rehabilitation Unit at Wardle, Rochdale. Having little art background he started creating artwork in very surreal circumstances. Suffering from a rare form of Motor Neurone Disease he lost the ability to walk unaided after a routine operation. He then needed specialist care and was transported to Wardle for further treatment. With the help of nurses, physios, occupational therapists, he reached his goal and after 6 months walked out of the hospital doors.

During his time in hospital Garry faced a number of struggles and found he was slipping into a state of depression. During this time he was advised to start 'art therapy' and very reluctantly took up the challenge after turning the practitioner away during their first session.

Kevin Woodford to cook at Rochdale Feel Good Festival

kevin woodfordCelebrity chef, actor and presenter Kevin Woodford will be cooking his own delicious dishes at Rochdale Feel Good Festival this summer. The television chef and food writer will make his debut in the festival's celebrity kitchen on Saturday 5 September.

Kevin trained in some of the world's finest restaurants before launching his television career where he is known for hit series including 'Ready, Steady, Cook'. His lively personality, cheeky charm and relaxed style made him a household name, entertaining millions all over the world during a hugely successful career.

He first hit the screen as a regular contributor on ITV1's flagship 'This Morning' and went on to be a team member on 'Ready Steady Cook' and presenter of 'Can't Cook Won't Cook', 'The Holiday Programme' and 'The Heaven and Earth Show'.

He's also an accomplished actor, appearing in programmes including 'Doctors' (BBC1), Hollyoaks (Channel 4) and was voted Best Daytime Presenter at the National Television Awards. His irrepressible sense of fun has made him a popular guest on other programmes including 'Countdown', 'Celebrity Weakest Link' and 'Through the Keyhole'.

Jarred Exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale

greek-vase-jarred-exhibition23 May 2015 - 9 April 2016

2500 year old ancient Greek vase takes centre stage in the Heritage Gallery!

New exhibition Jarred, showcasing ceramics from Rochdale borough's museum and art gallery collection, is now open at Touchstones Rochdale. This display of around 100 objects looks at how ceramics help us in our everyday lives and tells their story from 4000BC to the present day. It reveals some extraordinary objects and it is the first time that many have been shown. Amongst the highlights is an ancient Greek vase made over 2500 years ago, well before Alexander the Great was born or the Parthenon was built.

Working with Dr Regine May, a Classics lecturer from the University of Leeds, the museum has been able to unravel the two pictures shown on this vase. The paintings are both beautiful and a little gory. The first shows a sorrowful parting scene as soldiers leave home for war. This is contrasted with the furious fighting of three warriors and a chariot on the opposite side.

Originally used as a grave marker or to store wine, the vase was made in Athens by an artist known as the Swing Painter. He was given this name because he also painted a famous vase showing a girl on a swing which is now in the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Some Greek vase painters signed their names but others are known because of their distinctive style. Scholars gave various nick-names to anonymous painters which they identified such as the Cyclops Painter or the Elbows Out Painter. The Swing Painter was very good at using colour and often painted figures with clenched fists and large heads with small noses!

Dr Regine May said, "Rochdale is lucky to have such a wonderful Greek work of art and to bring a little bit of ancient Greece alive today, two and a half thousand years after it was painted." Vases by this artist can also be found in Paris, Munich, London and Berlin.

As part of Adult Learning Week, join Dr Regine May on Saturday 13 June from 2pm - 2.45pm for her Ancient Greek Vase Talk. Come along and find out more about the amazing ancient Greek vase on display in the Jarred exhibition. The talk lasts 45 minutes and is FREE. Please pre-book by calling us on 01706 924492.

Visitors to this FREE exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale can also see an array of other ceramics from the museum collection ranging from teapots to tiles, ancient Egyptian pottery to chimney stacks, prized ornaments to studio pieces. These objects are used to tell the exhibition stories. Visitors can discover how ceramics have been used to commemorate events, places and people. The decorative styles that have influenced the design of ceramics are explored along with stories of the local brickworks which helped to build Lancashire's famous mills and terraces. Families can join in the fun with hand-on interactives, an Alice in Wonderland tea party and a white rabbit trail.

Touchstones Rochdale is managed by the Link4Life Cultural Trust and is located on The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ. We are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. For further information call 01706 924492 or visit www.link4life.org/touchstones.