A day of free music, films and fun will help make the return of the Iron Duke a memorable occasion for Bradford on Avon.

The newly-restored machine will be officially unveiled at its new home in Kingston Road at noon on Saturday September 24th. The public ceremony will be followed by a programme of entertainment in the Northern Vaults and Lamb Yard, with stalls and stands, and an exhibition of collaborative, specially-commissioned artwork by local artist Serena Pugh and Bath-based poet Hannah Teasdale, on the theme of the Avon Rubber Factory. A further exhibition, The Occasion, is work by artists Mervyn Grist and Julie Smith based around the marriage bouquet of Jack Moulton and Beryl Greene who were married in Singapore in 1914. The bouquet is part of the Moulton Archive at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre.

Three films relating to the Avon Rubber factory, produced as a result of collaboration between film-makers and volunteers, will be shown in the Vaults in Lamb Yard from 12.30pm.

‘The Iron Duke’s Progress’, by Will Sansom of Close Range Films, shows the journey of the Iron Duke from its heyday on site to its return to the town. ‘Remembering The Avon’, meanwhile, filmed by Positive Images, a local charitable trust with a national reputation for its social documentaries, includes interviews and reminiscences by more than 30 former Avon factory workers, and some of their younger relatives, comparing the lives and times of then and now. And ‘Our Black Hole’ captures performance poetry written by young Bradfordians, led by Hannah Teasdale, considering the factory’s mixing department, known as the ‘Black Hole’, and life in a post-Avon town.

From 3-5pm, The Avon Works Cabaret will offer an amusing and thought-provoking exploration of the life and times of the factory and town in music, stories and poetry, with performances by musicians Rosie Upton & Pete McGregor and Sid Bloomfield, guitarist Woody Woodland, and poets Steve Williams, Merv Grist and Dawn Gorman. 

Meanwhile, from 12 noon, music in Lamb Yard will feature young singer/songwriters Zoe Newton and Joel Francis, and three-piece Indie rock band Socket, from Chippenham.

 

The Iron Duke Returns - at-a-glance programme, Saturday September 24th

12 noon – official Iron Duke unveiling ceremony, Kingston Road.

In the Vaults in Lamb Yard:

12.30 The Iron Duke’s Progress – film about the Avon Rubber Factory by Will Sansom of Close Range Films plus Q&A.

1pm Remembering the Avon – film of former Avon workers’ reminiscences by Positive Images.

1.45pm Our Black Hole – poetry performance film showcasing work by young people in Bradford on Avon working with poet Hannah Teasdale.

2.15pm Repeat film viewings.

3-5pm The Avon Works Cabaret – The Life and Times of the Town in music, stories and poetry, including performances by musicians Rosie Upton & Pete McGregor and Sid Bloomfield, guitarist Woody Woodland, and poets Steve Williams, Merv Grist and Dawn Gorman. 

Music on the Folk Indie Inc Stage in Lamb Yard:

12 noon – Zoe Newton (singer/songwriter)

12.30pm – Joel Francis (singer/songwriter)

1pm – Socket (three-piece Indie rock band)

1.30pm – Girl and a Guitar (singer, acoustic guitar)