Newsletter – January 2022

Happy New Year from the team at Mrs Smith’s Cottage

Welcome to January’s bumper newsletter, where we take a look at what we have planned for January and have a look back at all of the great things that happened at the cottage in 2021!

Coming up in January 2022

Promise Box Craft Packs – available throughout January from our shop, this month’s craft pack marks an important part of Mrs Smith’s Methodist faith. Create your own promise box full of inspirational quotes for throughout 2022.

‘Life on the Land’ Lincolnshire’s Farming Experience Exhibition – Exploring the personal stories of those who have lived a farming life, this exhibition will be on show until January 31st.

Plough Plays of Lincolnshire’ Talk – On Friday 7th January, you can join Simon Garbutt and explore the interesting history behind the traditional English celebration of the beginning of the agricultural year.

Navenby Plough Jags Tour – On Sunday 9th January you can see the real play in action: from 12-4pm there will be a modern take on the play with the young actors from Duck Egg Theatre Co., and from 6pm-8pm the Navenby Plough Jags will be touring the traditional play through the village pubs.

Embroidery Workshops – On Sunday 16th and Sunday 23rd January our artist-in-residence, Nicki Jarvis, is transforming a wing-back armchair into a celebration of Mrs Smith’s community. Nicki will be holding two informal embroidery workshops at the Cottage – no need to book, just drop in between 12pm-4pm. You can also pick up an embroidery pack when the museum is open; this contains four prepared squares, embroidery threads, needle and guidelines.

Block Printing Workshop – On Saturday 29th January join artist Nadya Monfrinoli for a day of block printing for all the family. Combine techniques like Lino cutting and stamp making to create bright and colourful prints to take home or sign up to the book-making workshop to turn your prints into an artist book. All materials are provided, book your space through our website.

A look back at 2021…

Thanks to all of those who visited us during 2021 – here are our highlights from a busy year at the Cottage, along with some quotes from Mrs Smith’s diaries!

Discover Lincolnshire Weekend Online – Livestream Tour of the Cottage

We had lots of fun opening up our digital cottage for everyone to enjoy at home. The video is still available on the Heart of Lincs Youtube channel for you to enjoy!

25th January 1986: “A very cold morning…Jim came re papers & Bread. Butchers came..Cooked steak, swede & tates, jam tarts & Sago Pudd. Stephanie came but I didn’t have fish. Washed up & listened to “Any Questions”…Irene brought cake, cheese & Toffee…Dad came 8-9…A very bright & sunny day but very very cold.”

Artist of Navenby Exhibition

Our first Springtime exhibition at the cottage was given over to the Artists of Navenby. They were all sent inspiration packs through lockdown and worked hard to create artworks inspired by the cottage.

Oral History Animations

We had some new animations made, helping us to share our oral history collection and image archive in a new and exciting way!

Here is one of our favourites, about visiting Mrs Smith:

2nd May 1979: “St  George’s Hospital 2.30. A very stormy day…dried clothes. Went to Lincoln 2-4.30. Rain & snow. Went to Sheila’s Tupperware Party for School funds.”

Summer Holiday Workshops at the Cottage

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’ve been lucky enough to be able to offer a variety of workshops throughout 2021. With Witch Bottles, Clay Tiles, Willow Weaving and Wet Felting, there really has been something for all ages and interests!

9th July 1970: “Gathered first rasps…Senior citizens 15th Anniversary. Concert Party from Sleaford Keep Fit Club. Mystery Tour. Home 8pm lovely weather, all very enjoyable.”

Mrs Smith’s Cottage Garden Fete

To celebrate our opening, with our local community, we were joined by Nigel and Teri, Tom Lane and Bourne Borderers Morris Dancers!

School Trips

The autumn saw the welcome return of school trips, and it was wonderful to see children interacting with the story of Mrs Smith and the cottage in a hands-on way.

From School Trips, to Resource Boxes, and even Outreach sessions we offer a diverse range of activities which meets the needs of any school or education group.

Information about our learning offers can be found here:

12th September 1963: “Found some beans near the door when I came home.”

Goodbye…and hello!

In November, Jade left us for pastures new, and we welcomed Andrea to the Mrs Smith’s Cottage team!

“Hello, I’m Andrea and I’m the new Heritage Tourism Assistant at Mrs Smith’s Cottage. I was delighted to be offered the position because I used to volunteer here myself, way back before the Cottage had to close for renovation. So, Mrs Smith and her story has been in my blood for a long time! Outside work I’m a mum to three humans and four cats and I enjoy reading, getting out into the countryside, live music and baking.”

Santa at the Cottage

On Saturday 18th December, we had a very special visitor to Mrs Smith’s Cottage – Santa Claus himself! He made himself at home in ‘the Room’ (as Mrs Smith called it; it was for the best guests, after all!) and brought a big sack of presents for all the local children. Several parents commented on how magical the event was, and for a number of the younger ones, it was their first visit to Santa, so it was extra special! A big thanks must go to Sally, our Learning Officer, for organising such a heart-warming event.

24th December 1968: “Another fine day. Nellie & I went with Jack to Horncastle in the a.m. got Christmas Tree. Went to church, Blessing the Crib. Trimmed Tree & put up decorations.”

Thank you!

Finally, the team at Mrs Smith’s Cottage would like to say a huge thank you to all of our visitors and followers for your support during 2021. Your help and feedback is always appreciated, especially by following us through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and leaving us a review on Trip Advisor.

Happy New Year, see you all in 2022!