On Thursday 12th April, 11 members and 10 volunteers met at the Peterborough Cathedral for a touch tour. The Cathedral staff, Vanessa, Lynne and Guy, had worked hard to make sure we were all able to get the most out of the tour and had arranged for us to experience areas that were not normally open to the public.
After splitting into two groups we went with our guides to different areas of the Cathedral where we explored various objects and artefacts and learnt about their different meanings, their history, the materials they were made from, and were also given the option to be able to touch and feel certain items. There are two wooden models of the cathedral, both of the outside and the plan of the inside. We learnt about the Cathedral’s font and the large pillars which we then walked around to appreciate their size. Guy explained to us about the Church gowns and their significance and let us feel the material and embroidery and showed us the Church’s silverware.
While at the Choir Stalls members were able to feel the wooden carvings and we were told the story of Oswold’s arm and how it disappeared while Henry VIII was King! We visited the graves of Katherine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots and discovered why pomegranates lay there. We were also given special permission to wind the clock up at the end of the Cathedral so we could hear it chime.
The Cathedral already have a plaque transcribed into Braille and large print service sheets however were very keen to work with PAB in the future on more touch tours and took on board any other suggestions we had in relation to making it a more accessible place for visually impaired people.
After all the walking and learning we finished in Beckets tea room for a well-earned drink and piece of cake. Thank you to everyone who came along, to Vanessa Lynne and Guy, and the volunteers who made the trip possible. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Nina Lutterer – Activities Coordinator
(please see below for some more pictures from the day)