Our first event as ambassadors was a huge success. We attended the Twilight Heritage Walk on December 10th at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at a discounted price. The price per person ultimately came to just £8 for petrol, parking, and tickets – the original price of an adult ticket for the event!
The Heritage Walk was focussed around the grounds of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The tour guides introduced us to the Bretton Estate on the grounds and told us about the family that owned the estate for several generations. It was incredibly interesting to learn about the lives of the aristocracy and the class division between them and the working class. This was starkly illustrated by Diana Beaumont, the third generation of the Wentworth family, who worked to rid the estate of any public footpaths. The Estate was also the site of many literary inspirations, like characters in Jane Austen novels, for example.
The walk took us around the Upper Lake, where we visited the boat-house, now land-locked, the Shell Grotto, and the Red Slate Line down to the lake where the visitors could swim. The surprising thing about the whole estate was that it was entirely man-made, essentially making the land itself a sculpture. Next year there’s an event focussed on the sculpting of the land according to the family’s wishes, which we are planning another trip to attend.
We finished at the summer house as twilight fell. The summer house was kitted out in christmassy food and drink, so we all enjoyed a hot chocolate with marshmallows and bites of christmas cake and mince pies while we talked with the tour guides. This was just as useful as the walk itself as we all made connections and discussed our own practices with the guides from the park.
When we first signed up to become ambassadors for this project we knew that our main aim was to encourage student involvement in the Park’s events and history, and this has definitely been a success, especially considering that the students who came with us were all studying something similar academically. The trip also provided the opportunity for exchange students to experience a significant art institution in Yorkshire, which otherwise would have been difficult to access transport-wise.
The staff at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park have really embraced this partnership with us and we will definitely be arranging a larger range of trips over the coming semester.
– YSP Ambassadors