News In Brief - Week Ending June 25 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 19 June 2006
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending June 25 2006. This page is updated daily...

photo of a willow sculpture

23.06.2006 - Artist Invites Birds To Approve Willow Sculpture

Artist Laura Ellen Bacon has completed her second commission at Charnwood Museum in Leicestershire, as part of the Museumaker project.

Her willow sculpture Pouring Forms has been woven onto the outside of the museum, and the artist expects that the natural highlights of the material may be supplemented by other little friends from nature.

“It’s possible the birds might mark their approval, shall we say, but it might create and interesting texture!” she said.

The sculptures will remain on display throughout the year and gradually change with the seasons. “They may even become home to local birds if they nest in them in the spring,” said museum curator Susan Cooke.

Laura is holding a workshop on June 24 from 10am to 4pm where visitors can learn how to weave their own willow sculpture.

23.06.2006 - Indian Ministers Visit Leighton Buzzard Railway

Ministers from the Indian Ministry of Transport will visit Leighton Buzzard Railway on June 25 2006 to discuss collaboration between the Bedfordshire line and the Indian narrow-gauge hill railways.

Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, Union Minister of Railways, Mr R Velu, Minister of State for Railways and Mr Rajesh Agrawal, Heritage Director of Indian Railways (formerly Director of the National Railway Museum in Delhi) will lead a dozen-strong party. They will travel on a train hauled by an engine from the Matheran Light Railway and the unique Baguley 0-4-0T “Rishra”, which used to work coal trains to a water pumping station near Calcutta, will be steamed especially for the occasion.

“We are very honoured to receive such a distinguished delegation,” said Laighton Buzzard Railway Chairman Mervyn Leah, “and look forward to building on the links with our Indian counterparts that were started by the late Mike Satow, more than 30 years ago.”

a photo of a large chalk figure on hillside with a large club and large phallus

22.06.2006 - National Trust Launches First Ever Survey On Cerne Abbas Giant

The National Trust has launched the first ever survey of the most famous chalk giant in the UK - the 180 foot (55 metres) high Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset.

The survey is being carried out to find out more about the wildlife found at the important site and includes a detailed examination of plants and insects. "We want this survey to be able to tell us more about the wildlife... to help us manage the site in a way that will allow butterflies and wildflowers to flourish whilst preserving its rich archaeological value," said Trust Conservation Adviser Simon Ford.

22.06.2006 – 150-Year-Old Stolen Cornish Milestone Returned To Newquay

A milestone erected in the late 19th century to help visitors find their way to the developing resort of Newquay is to be replaced in its original setting on June 27, following its disappearance a few years ago.

Milestone 6 from the A3058 between Quintrell Downs and Summercourt was spotted in a garden in Stafford by eagle-eyed member of the Milestone Society John Higgin. It will be re-erected at a special ceremony at 3.30pm.

“This will be a special occasion for Newquay, for Cornwall and the Milestone Society,” said Ian Thompson, a local member of the society who has recorded and photographed all the county’s 700 milestones. “Cornwall has the finest collection of milestones in Britain. It is very rare for a milestone to be stolen and the recovery of Newquay 6 is a quite remarkable achievement.”

a pen and ink drawing of a large house

22.06.2006 - Chelmsford Museum Set To Double In Size

Chelmsford Borough Council have announced new facilities at Chelmsford Museum's Oaklands Park site that will see the existing Essex Regiment Museum replaced with a two-storey building housing new galleries.

Building work is programmed to begin in 2007 with completion by the end of 2008. A Budget of £3.5 million has been agreed for the project with further funding being sought from the Ministry of Defence, Essex County Council and the Trustees of both the Essex Regiment and the Essex Yeomanry. Picture © Chelmsford Museums

22.06.2006 – Summer Holidays Sussed As National Trust Launches Wall Planner

With summer holidays looming on the horizon, the National Trust has got an innovative idea for activities to fill the weeks.

Parents and grandparents can download a regional wall planner with 42 action packed days of things to do with the kids at Trust properties. The planners, covering 12 regions, include maps, details of outdoor play areas, trails, quizzes and much more that will bring history to life for young people.

Find out where you can go to a Pirates Fun Day, take a ghost tour of a haunted county house and see gladiators in action at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/summersussed (from June 26).

a photo of the entrance to the National Archives at Kew

21.06.2006 - Office Of Public Sector Information Merges With National Archives - Family Records Staff Move To Kew

The National Archives and Public Sector Information are to merge. The new organisation, which will be called The National Archives, is intended to have a stronger influence on government information policy and will be working to more effectively manage the re-use of government records.

Although the National Archives stress that no jobs or services will be lost as a result of the merger there will be a reduction of the amount of sites they manage. The Norwich and London offices of the Public Sector Information Sector will be replaced by a small London office, whilst Family Records Centre staff will be relocating to Kew where they will be managing a dedicated family records service by the end of 2008. There are also plans to expand the online services for family historians.

A consultation day at Kew has been provisionally pencilled in for stakeholders and members of the public in September 2006. A five year plan will be published in October 2006. More information can be found at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

21.06.2006 - Marching Plague Bioweapons Film To Be Screened At ICA

London’s ICA will screen a film critiquing bioweapons research from July 29-August 5 (12pm). Marching Plague, filmed by the Critical Art Ensemble in Stornaway, Scotland, recreates secret sea trials of airborne bacteria conducted by the UK government in the 1950s. An installation accompanies the film, running until August 5 2006.

In May 2004 the FBI raided the home of Critical Art Ensemble member Steve Kurtz, seizing material relating to the Marching Plague project. The authorities found science equipment and works relating to the art project at his home after Kurtz had called an ambulance following his wife's heart failure. He now faces charges that could lead to 20 years in prison. ICA visitors can hear Kurtz and others discussing bioterrorism at the screening.

photo of a uniform

21.06.2006 - Yorkshire Air Museum Unveils Rare Additions To Uniform Display

New additions to the Uniform Display at Yorkshire Air Museum will be unveiled on Thursday July 22, making the collection one of the most significant in the world.

Rare uniforms from the former South African Air Force prior to independence in 1994 have just been donated through the Aircrew Association. The Association has designated the Yorkshire Air Museum as receptor for their archive artefacts, allowing the museum to acquire difficult-to-obtain outfits, like those from formerly occupied lands such as Poland and Commonwealth countries.

One of the new uniforms is No. 1 Dress, complete with brevets, buttons and decorations and ceremonial dagger. The collection covers the history of the Royal Air Force, modern clothing and includes WWII uniforms from France, Poland, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and South Africa.

20.06.2006 - New Cultural Leadership Programme Gets Backing Of Chancellor.

A new £12 million funded Cultural Leadership Programme promoting excellence in management and leadership within the cultural sector has recieved full backing from Chancellor Gordon Brown.

“The Cultural Leadership Programme will create new opportunities for collaboration across the public and business sectors," said Mr Brown. "I am convinced that such interaction will enrich the cultural sector, the wider economy – and the nation as a whole – for generations to come.”

The initiative, which aims to provide a strategic approach to embedding a strong leadership culture and increase diversity in the creative sector, is being delivered by three sector partners working in collaboration: Arts Council England, Creative & Cultural Skills (Sector Skills Council) and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

a photograph of the front of Georgian style town house

20.06.2006 - Priory House In Dunstable Re-Opens Following Refurbishment

The final phase of restoration work at Dunstable's historic Priory House is now complete and the building will be fully open to the public from Wednesday June 21 2006.

A new permanent exhibition charts the history of the town from pre-Roman settlements to the present day. The Grade II* Listed Building also boasts a contemporary Tudor Wall painting and contains the original 12th century fan vaulted ceiling of the Dunbstable Priory Hospitium. The refurbishment was aided by £1.1 million Heritage Lottery Award.

20.06.2006 - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Celebrates 200th Birthday In Colchester

Colchester Borough Council is celebrating the 200th anniversary of one of the UK's most popular nursery rhymes. Saturday June 24 2006 sees the bicentenary of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star penned in Colchester in 1806 by Jane Taylor.

A celebratory event runs at Hollytrees Lawn in Castle Park in Colchester on June 24 between 12pm and 4pm and will involve craft activities, an astronomy display, music and storytelling. A new landscape sculpture by Nicola Burrel will also be unveiled to mark the bicentenary. Nicola worked with St Johns Green Primary School on the project and pupils will be on hand for a rendition of the rhyme during the afternoon.

a photograph of ruined cloisters

19.11.2006 - Saving Grace For Leicestershire Historic Monument

Grace Dieu Priory, an ‘at risk’ Leicestershire ruin dating back to 1235, has been saved after a campaign lasting ten years and costing more than £500,000. The Priory opens on Saturday 1 July 2006 with music, maypole dancing and an exhibition of relics discovered at the site.

‘The Friends of Grace Dieu’, a group of local residents, architects, archaeologists, and specialist contractors, among others, will continue to maintain and develop the site as well as run events. The restoration has involved architectural exploration, planning conservation and developing additional paths, which will allow riders on the Sustrans National Cycle route to pass through the Grace Dieu woods. A thanksgiving service will take place at the Priory on July 2.

19.06.2006 - Protection For WWII Troop Ship 66 Years After Sinking

The final resting place of over 3,000 British servicemen who died when HMT Lancastria was sunk in World War Two has been given legal protection by the French Government.

The requisitioned Cunard Liner was was sunk off St Nazaire on June 17 1940 with heavy loss of life. Its wreck is located off the mouth of the Loire, off the Pointe de St. Gildas. "This will do much to preserve the sanctity of the ship's remains and illustrates the importance both Governments attach to the protection of graves, such as HMT Lancastria," said Tom Watson, Minister for Veterans.

a photograph of a train in a train yard

19.11.2006 - Beamish Triumphs At National Awards Ceremony

Beamish North of England Open Air Museum has won a national award for ‘Best UK Attraction for Group Visits – Long Visit’ beating runner up, The Eden Project, and finalists including The Alnwick Garden, Castle Howard and Alton Towers.

Darren Jensen, Head of Commercial Operations at Beamish, accepted the trophy in a ceremony at the Hilton Hotel Park Lane London on June 16 2006. Miriam Harte, Director of Beamish, said, “We hope that this will help to raise awareness of Beamish and bring even more coach trips to the museum and our region.” The awards were organised by Group Travel Organiser Magazine with readers voting for the winners. Picture © Beamish

19.11.2006 - Capital Values Report Champions London’s Heritage

A new report launched by the London Historic Environment Forum champions a new approach to thinking about historical buildings and sites in London and their impact on tourism education and even the forthcoming 2012 Olympic Games.

The report, named Capital Values, says that London’s historical and famous sites have generated more than £2.6 billion to the economy last year and provide for 1.8 million education visits annually. Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman of the London Cultural Consortium, said: “My message to local government is: ‘Don’t see your heritage as something to be put in a box. Let it speak and actively explore the ways it can enrich all areas.’”

a head and shoulders photograph of a man in glasses and suit

19.06.2006 - Beith Regeneration Hailed A Success

A project to regenerate the Scottish town of Beith has been successfully completed and has attracted the praise of Historic Scotland’s Chief Executive, John Graham (pictured left).

"Beith is a town with many historical assets," said Mr Graham, "...including the home of the Reverend Dr John Witherspoon, signatory of the American Declaration of Independence and founding president of Princeton College."

The restoration was a result of a multi partner initiative by North Ayreshire Council, Cunningham Housing Association, Communities Scotland, Scottish Enterprise Ayreshire, Historic Scotland, and Heritage Lottery Fund, and the voluntary sector through the involvement of the Heritage Building Preservation Trust. Picture © Historic Scotland.

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