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The Reader at Calderstones is ‘Home for Christmas’

Written by Martin Gallagher, 31st October 2019
  • Festive community concerts as musical performances return to the Mansion House.
  • Family fun as The Storybarn brings the classic poem The Night Before Christmas to life, complete with a visit from Father Christmas.
  • Learn something new and take a handmade decoration home at free workshops.

National charity, The Reader, is inviting people of all ages, from all over Liverpool, to come together and connect this Christmas in a series of events at its home in Calderstones Park.

The Home for Christmas programme of free and ticketed events has something for everyone to enjoy during what can be a lonely time for many. There will be free festive craft workshops, a seasonal Daily Reading for each day of advent, musical performances and more – all held together by a thread of literature.

It’s the first time that the Mansion House will be filled with festive cheer since refurbishment work began on the Grade II listed building three years ago.

One of the free events taking place in the Mansion will be Christmas Choir at Calderstones – a performance from the pupils of Carleton House Preparatory School for anyone who might not have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends at Christmas.

Jane Davis, The Reader’s founder and director said: “The warmth, connection and kindness that happens in our Shared Reading groups up and down the country each week is especially important at Christmas, which can be a difficult time for many people.

“Our festive programme will bring all these feelings to life off the page through a mix of meaningful activities and events for people of all ages and walks of life. Whatever your age, wherever you’re from, we hope you’ll join us at home for Christmas throughout this December!”

Details of the full programme of festive activities, for all ages, includes:

  • Fine Old Christmas, an hour of yuletide music from community brass band, Formby Band, with selected seasonal readings.
  • Free festive pom pom making workshops throughout December, and a free origami decoration making workshop for all ages.
  • A Poetry Advent Calendar – take a festive poem home as we countdown to Christmas with a poem a day.
  • The Gift of Reading, a twilight shopping event for anyone hunting for the perfect gift for the Scrooge or book lover in their life. The literature experts at The Reader Shop will be on hand to guide you through our carefully stocked shelves.
  • The usual Daily Reading will take place throughout December with festive and seasonal poems and passages.
  • Daily drop in activities in the weeks running up to Christmas, including Chatty Café, Poetry Walks and Shared Reading groups, that create space to talk and interact with others.

Following last year’s sell-out Christmas grotto, the Storybarn is expanding its Yuletide offer, staging an interactive re-telling of Clement C. Moore’s epic poem The Night Before Christmas.

Suitable for the whole family, visitors will join the elves as they get ready for the big day, before a magical meeting with Father Christmas himself. Tickets for each hour-long group session are £10.99 and each child will receive a beautiful Walker Book to take home.

Tickets for all events go on pre-sale to Reader Friends on Thursday 31 October at 10am, with general sales starting Friday 1 November at 10am at

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