Press Release: It’s Time to get Creative at the Kirkgate!

Summer’s approaching and now’s the time to get creative with Kirkgate Arts and Heritage!

Over the coming months, the centre has organised a range of writing, craft and cooking workshops for people to learn new skills with a team of experienced and knowledgeable tutors.

For example, Jacqui Currie MA, a Cockermouth-based Lecturer in Creative Writing for the Open University, is running a five-week introduction to memoir writing course starting on May 9.  Jacqui will offer practical tips and techniques to help you find a place to begin your story, or to shape what you have already started.

There’s more from crafts@Kirkgate too. The inimitable Howlin’ Mat will show how to make your own cigar box guitar, Jocelyn West will be demonstarting the techniques for creating your own beautiful, decorative items with pressed flowers, Vega Brennan hosts another lino print workshop, and Helga Put visits in May to teach the art of wire work in her Tree of Life workshop.

Furthermore, additional cooking@Kirkgate workshops will take place in June and July, with Helen’s Herbs, demonstrating how to make the most of herbs in your cooking.

Helen Johnston, Kirkgate Community Projects Officer, said: “We’re delighted with the wide range of creative activities that we’ve managed to line up for the summer months.

“It’s a real opportunity for people to explore their creative sides, meet other like-minded people and maybe take home a nice memento too!

“I would urge people to book up early however as these activities are very popular and spaces fill up fast!”

The courses on offer include:

Writing Your Story: Practical tips for writing real lives and fiction (with Jacqui Currie MA)

Do you have a tale to tell? Stories from your own life or a friend or relative? Or an idea for a thriller, romance or historical novel? Would you like to know how to bring those stories to life? The classes will help you to write either fact or fiction and will be held weekly from 10am to 12, starting on Thursday May 9. They will be structured in a block of five sessions costing £70 for the block.

To book your place, visit:

Crafts@Kirkgate: Tree of Life (With Helga Put)

Saturday, May 11, 1pm (£30 per place)

Enjoy an afternoon of creativeness by making your own individual Tree of Life. Adding colour to your tree will bring it all together and you’ll go home with a beautiful ornament. This workshop involves using wire and sharp tools so is therefore recommended for over 12s only.

Refreshments provided, and materials included in the price.

To book your place, visit:

Crafts@Kirkgate: Howlin’ Mat’s Cigar Box Social

Saturday, June 1, 2pm (£35 per place)

The Cigar Box Social is the brain child of Blues guitar maestro Howlin’ Mat. Howlin’ Mat is a nomadic solo blues artist who has played thousands of gigs from The Sahara to the North Pole. His playing has received credits from legendary artists such as John Paul Jones [Led Zeppelin] and Mud Morganfield [son of Muddy Waters]. Like many devotees of the CBG, it wasn’t long before he started to make his own cigar box guitars. All materials provided.

To book your place, visit:

Crafts@Kirkgate: Linocut with Vega Brennan

Saturday, June 15, 10am (£35 per place)

A half-day course which will take you through all you need to know about creating and printing a beautiful single-colour linocut. If you can bring a design, it would maximise your time cutting and printing. You’ll be working on a piece of A6 lino (105 x 148 mm), quite small, so don’t make your design too complicated. It will need to be reversed (mirror image).

To book your place, visit:

Crafts@Kirkgate: Flower pressing with Jocelyn West

Saturday, July 27, 2pm (£30 per place)

Jocelyn will demonstrate the techniques for successfully pressing flowers and how to use these to make beautiful items such as bookmarks and pictures. You will be able to produce your own pieces to take home using a range of existing pressed flowers.

All equipment and materials will be supplied though you may wish to bring along an old book suitable pressing flowers between the leaves. Refreshments provided. Recommended age: adults and accompanied children over the age of 10.

To book your place, visit:

Cooking@Kirkgate – Midsummer cooking with herbs

Wednesday, June 26, 9.30am (£5 per place)

Come and make a tasty, herby starter, main course and pudding to take home, with Helen from West Cumbria-based Helen’s Herbs. Helen’s Herbs sells a wide range of culinary and aromatic herbs, fruit bushes, annual and perennial garden plants. All ingredients will be provided.

To book your place, visit:|

Cooking@Kirkgate: Fresh Veg from the Garden

Wednesday, July 24, 9:30am (£5 per place)

Join us for a morning cooking workshop with Helen from Helen’s Herbs to learn how to make the most of seasonal summer fruit and veg straight from the garden. All ingredients will be provided.

To book your place, visit:

For more information on any of the courses above, check out the what’s on section of the Kirkgate website:

Events Archive – Kirkgate Arts and Heritage


ENDS …..



Kirkgate is a charity based in Cockermouth, Cumbria.  It operates an arts and heritage centre as well as working with towns and villages in West Cumbria to encourage a diverse programme of arts, culture and entertainment.  Its vision is to ensure that creative talent is valued, developed and supported with opportunities for all to engage actively with, and enjoy, the arts, local heritage and community life.

The Kirkgate Centre brings the best cultural, theatrical and entertainment events to Cumbria. From the best feature and documentary films to live streaming of top London shows, to local talent, heritage exhibitions, music, theatre, comedy and more, there is something for everyone.

In the historic Kirkgate Quarter of the Gem Town of Cockermouth, sitting on the edge of the Lake District National Park, the Kirkgate Centre is the perfect venue for special occasions, conferences, meetings, courses, exhibitions or private film screenings.

Kirkgate manages Arts Out West which stages performances in community venues from Furness to the Solway, ranging from nationally-recognised theatre companies to international musicians with events that are as much a social occasion as a performance.  It is a member of the National Rural Touring Forum supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Follow @kirkgatearts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

For more information:

Emma Heys 01900 829966

The Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, CA13 9PJ