September 24 and 25th 2016
Lewes hosted a family event on the last weekend of September under blue and sunny skies. There were activities and a theatre show telling the story of the finding of the Iguanodon. The town of Lewes played an important role in palaeontology, as it was the birthplace and home of Gideon Mantell who found and identified the first fossils, and gave the Iguanodon its name. This free hands-on community arts and earth science festival provided a unique chance to bring this story to families and individuals in Mantell’s home town.
The Railway Land Wildlife Trust (RLWT) and Lewes District Council Ranger service worked with the Lewes Town Partnership on creating this two day festival based in and around the Linklater Pavilion in the centre of the town see http://www.railwaylandproject.org/
The festival consisted of:
Saturday 24th September: a programme of arts, crafts and science based activities in the Linklater Pavilion.The programme included talks, and displays by professionals, together with an exhibition and souvenir brochure. Partners included the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton & Hove Geological Society, the Geologists’ Association, Lewes U3A Geology Group volunteers, RLWT volunteers, LDC ranger service, Bag of Books, author Nicky Dee and her http://www.specialdinosaurs.com/. Fossil remains of the Iguanodon from the Booth Museum were on display close up over the weekend http://brightonmuseums.org.uk/booth/what-to-see/bones/
Sunday 25th September: the street theatre Iguanodon Restaurant was set up next to the Linklater, with additional stalls including fossils and other earth sciences and exhibition in the Linklater Pavilion. Two free showings of the street theatre play, about the finding, identifying and naming of the Iguanodon were performed (12.00 noon & 2.30pm) This had its inaugural showings at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival by not for profit theatre company Emerald Ant CIC https://emeraldant.com/; the 35ft model Iguanodon was created partly in Lewes.