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Events at Westminster Abbey

As we approach the end of our Summer Season, we are delighted to welcome you to free lunchtime concerts in College Garden, Family Storytelling in Dean’s Yard and much more.

Read on to find out what’s happening at the Abbey in the month of August: from Wednesday Night Stories to Family Days, there’s something for everyone at Westminster Abbey!

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Captain Tony Reading – 50 years at Sea

During a cruise on board Lord of the Glens in early May 2023, Captain Tony Reading was giving a talk to the guests about the Caledonian Canal when he was interrupted by Carol Kirkwood (BBC Weather Presenter), the Guest Speaker for the cruise. Carol then gave the guests and crew a summary of Tony’s fifty years at sea since joining his first ship in 1973.

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Group Leisure & Travel Show

5th October Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes

Experience an inspirational day at Britain’s BEST group travel and coach tourism event

Meet experts who can help you organise brilliant group trips and holidays, find exclusive deals and great offers, listen to specialist and celebrity speakers, and join in the fun at the 2023 Group Leisure & Travel Show.

It all takes place on 5th October at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, when group organisers and coach operators can spend one brilliant day meeting a specialist range of exhibitors, including top attractions, tourist boards, accommodation providers, ticketing agencies, coach companies, tour operators and much more.

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Penny farthing riding TikTok sensation crowned Durham Tourism Superstar 2023

A museum engager who has devoted almost 40 years to ensuring visitors have an unforgettable experience has been crowned Durham Tourism Superstar 2023.

Ian Bean, an engager at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, secured the most public votes in the annual competition, which is organised by Visit County Durham, the county’s Local Visitor Economy Partnership.

Ian first volunteered at Beamish Museum 37 years ago, when he was 20 years old, and has gone on to embrace many different roles at the popular attraction.

From riding penny farthings, restoring vintage vehicles and taking part in Suffragette rallies, to helping to deliver sessions for people living with dementia, marshalling events and playing the street organ – he is a man of many talents who always goes above and beyond for visitors and his colleagues.

He even appeared in the Downton Abbey film, driving the vintage bus he restored, and has clocked up more than 300,000 views on the social media platform TikTok as Penny Farthing Guy.

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Midge Ure’s Stage-Worn Silk Coat and Guitar from the Historic 1985 Live Aid Concert to go on Public Display at the British Music Experience

“It’s 12 noon in London, 7am in Philadelphia and around the world it is time for Live Aid, 16 hours of live music in aid of famine relief in Africa.”(Live Aid Introduction Announcement)

It was the 13th of July, 1985 and the world waited with anticipation as the stage at Wembley Stadium was poised to launch Live Aid. Simultaneously, the likes of Madonna, Black Sabbath and Bob Dylan were preparing for their set at John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The ground-breaking concert was planned as a “global jukebox” and a continued response from the music industry and fans to the heart-breaking famine in Ethiopia. Freddie Mercury was imperial; Elvis Costello sang a Beatles’ tune; Midge Ure greeted the crowd “Hello world”; and when Bowie reached the lyric about “transmission and a live wire” in Rebel Rebel it was electrifying. The concert was truly global, lasted 16 hours, and advances in technology allowed for the broadcast to a record breaking 1.4 billion audience in over 150 countries.

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