Rothamsted Research

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Rothamsted Willow and First World War Baskets Day

Rothamsted Willow and First World War Baskets Day

Saturday, 12 November, 2016 -
10:30 to 16:15
Public Meeting

On Saturday 12 November 2016, the Everyday Day Lives in War Centre and Rothamsted Research are holding a free event exploring the National Willow Collection and the history of basketmaking and willow growing during the First World War.

The day will include talks by professional basketmakers about their research into regional willow and basket making industries during the era.

Speakers include William Macalpine, Hilary Burns, Maggie Cooper, Mary Butcher, and Mary Crabb.

In the afternoon William Macalpine, Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, will give a tour of the National Willow Collection, which was founded in 1922 in response to concerns over the War’s impact on willow stocks.

**Space is limited to 100 attendees, and there are only 70 spaces available to visit the National Willow Collection**

Lunch and winter drinks reception included.


10.30 am - 11:00 am


Tea and coffee.

11.00 am - 12.30 pm

Talks and Q&A

Welcome and introductions - Owen Davies and Sarah Lloyd, Everyday Lives in War Engagement Centre

‘Willow research at Rothamsted’ - William Macalpine, Rothamsted Research

‘The Basketry Then and Now Project’ - Hilary Burns

‘The willow and basket industry around Castle Donnington and the Trent Valley’ - Maggie Cooper

‘Bushels, Butter baskets, Bakers pouches: who made them in Kent from 1913’ - Mary Butcher

12.45 pm - 1.30 pm

Buffet lunch

Browse the displays and historic baskets

1.30 pm - 2.45 pm 

Tour of the National Willow Collection

Tour for 70 people maximum; return transport provided.
Those not part taking in the tour are free to enjoy demonstrations of basketmaking, willow videos and other displays.

2.45 pm - 3.30 pm 

A First World War shell basket Video and Q&A with Mary Crabb

First showing of a video about Mary Crabb’s research on, and making of, a First World War shell basket.

3.45 pm - 4.15 pm


Mulled wine/apple juice and mince pies

For more information about our speakers see:
William MacalpineHilary BurnsMary ButcherMaggie CooperMary Crabb


Registration has now closed for this event

Event Organiser: Erin O'Rourke