Could you answer the call to Be More Hilda by rediscovering the thrifty things that were once common in day-to-day life – and could now help the environment?
Mrs Smith’s Cottage Museum (Navenby) launches a six-month campaign calling on all of us to ‘Be More Hilda’ and rediscover Mrs Smith’s simple and sustainable lifestyle for the twenty-first century.
Beginning in April, the team behind the project will be sharing practical everyday tips and skills inspired by Hilda Smith’s environmentally-friendly lifestyle through a series of events and activities.
The aim is to reacquaint people with traditional lifestyle habits with the added benefit that they can naturally lead to more sustainable choices, such as seasonal eating, make-do-and-mend, growing your own food and reducing waste.
On offer from the team will be a season of workshops, talks and events at the cottage, online, and around North Kesteven.
Mrs Smith’s Cottage Learning and Development Officer Sally Bird said: “Mrs Hilda Smith is the inspiration behind the museum, and behind this project. She lived a very low-impact lifestyle – even without a fridge or freezer she avoided wasting any food – and there is so much she can teach us.
“During this time of climate crisis many people are looking to the past to rediscover traditional skills and knowledge that can help us live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly daily life.
“We’re delighted to be working with a range of partners, including Hill Holt Wood, Artisan Honey Co., the Museum of Lincolnshire Life and local craftspeople to run this series of engaging events. There’ll be something for all ages to enjoy, from willow weaving workshops to bee-keeping demonstrations, seasonal foraging to rag rug making.”
The programme will culminate in creating an almanac-style guide to be sold at Mrs Smith’s Cottage giving practical advice inspired by Mrs Smith’s life, interspersed with relevant quotes from her diaries.
Mrs Smith was born in Navenby in 1892 and spent most of her 102 years as a resident of the village. She lived in the cottage at various times, and continuously from 1956 until 1995, with the bare minimum of modern conveniences. Her cottage was turned into a museum in 1999 and is a time capsule recording her simple life.
Having been saved by the local community, Mrs Smith’s humble cottage was first opened as a museum in 1999. Through the collaboration of local volunteers and the District Council, the site drew visitors and praise from far and wide.
The museum had to be closed in 2012 when serious structural issues and deterioration of the building became apparent. North Kesteven District Council worked to secure funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to see Mrs Smith’s Cottage brought back into use as a popular heritage attraction. The project included urgent repairs and conservation work, reinterpretation of the site, a new learning programme and range of events and activities, restoring the Cottage to its place at the heart of the local community.
Mrs Smith’s Cottage is open Friday to Monday from 12 noon until 4pm. Visitors can drop in, but due to the small space bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.
For the full events list please visit the website: https://www.mrssmithscottage.com/events/bemorehidla/
Be More Hilda runs from April to October 2022