Unlocking Warwick is the Town Council’s volunteer group helping to make the refurbished Court House a centre of community activity and encouraging visitors to the historic county town.
The volunteers organise monthly afternoon teas called ‘In the Ballroom’ with speakers, activities, quizzes and time to chat over tea and cake. Also, each month there are Tea and Dance Lessons in the Regency Ballroom for dance beginners, encouraging balance, flexibility, and posture, with plenty of time to make new friends.
During the summer Unlocking Warwick offers free Court House Tours on selected Saturdays, telling visitors, schools or local groups about the history of the administrative buildings on this central site, the refurbishment of the building with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Grant, and its reopening in 2014. Guests on the tours also get an introduction to the history of Warwick from its founding in 914 through to the Great Fire that devastated the town in 1694.
The volunteers’ research group combs the archives to reveal more of Warwick’s social history for use in dramatic reconstructions of court cases heard in the building, special presentations, and stories posted on the group’s website. The website carries news about activities in the Court House, and has a long-term calendar of local events.
A special project to mark the centenary of the end of WWI uncovered the stories behind the names on the Warwick War Memorial, with the help of memories, letters and photographs supplied by local families. The individual stories with features about Warwick during The Great War are on a dedicated website.
Volunteers help out regularly in the Visitor Information Centre, meeting and greeting people from home and abroad. The group also stages occasional period dances, bringing local people of all ages into the Ballroom. A highlight of the Warwick calendar is the annual Christmas Regency Ball recreating the glamorous assemblies of Jane Austen’s time.
If you are interested in volunteering with Unlocking Warwick, please contact the Secretary .