News In Brief - Week Ending July 30 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 24 July 2006
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  • Archived article

Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending July 30 2006.

a photograph of an ornate golden bed in a green wallpapered room

28.07.2006 - George IV’s Bed Arrives At The Royal Pavilion, Brighton

A new long-term loan from HM The Queen, a bed which belonged originally toKing George IV, has been installed at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.

The elaborate bed was made in 1828 for King George IV’s newly refurbished private apartments at Windsor Castle which were completed at the end of that year.

It has now been installed in the Pavilion’s King’s Apartments, a ground floor suite of rooms which George IV occupied in later life, for ease of access.

Made by the firm of Morel and Seddon, who carried out the redecoration of the Windsor apartments, the bed has now been assembled in situ by staff from the Royal Collection. It has been temporarily dressed by conservators from the Royal Pavilion who are undertaking more detailed research into the authentic Regency style of presentation.

The bed replaces a Chinese-style lacquer bed of the 1930s which had been on show since 1951.

28.07.2006 - New Ferry To Devenish Monastic Site, Northern Ireland, Launched

The Environment and Heritage Service of Northern Ireland has launched a new state-of-the-art ferry to take passengers to Devenish Monastic Site, where visitor facilities have also been improved.

The new ferry can carry 12 people to the site on Lower Lough Erne, where a new exhibition explains the history of the ruined Augustinian monastery. It was founded by St Molaise in the 6th century and a round tower from the 12th century still stands.

Over the summer the ferry will run daily from Trory Point, off the A32 4 miles north of Enniskillen, at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.

a photo of a wind instrument

28.07.2006 - Loophonium 'Wind Instrument' Goes Back On Display At The Walker Art Gallery

The Loophonium - created by the late Liverpool-based musician, composer, writer and humorist Fritz Spiegl – is going on display at the Walker Art Gallery from Saturday July 29 2006.

A cross between a lavatory and a euphonium, the surreal 'wind instrument' was devised by Fritz about 1960 by replacing the horn of a silver-plated euphonium with a toilet painted with flowers and a wooden seat in the form of a lyre.

The Walker bought the instrument – also known as a Harpicord after the well-known toilet cleaner – at an auction following Fritz’s death in 2003, aged 77. It has been conserved before being put on display.

“The Loophonium celebrates Fritz Spiegl’s musical contribution to Liverpool and the city’s humour," explained Display curator Pauline Rushton. "We already have a collection of musical instruments but this is quite exceptional. It’s great that our visitors can see and appreciate it.”

28.07.2006 - Caerlaverock Castle Celebrates 700th Anniversary Of Robert The Bruce With Re-enactment

Re-enactors will tell the story of Robert the Bruce at Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland on July 29-30, as part of celebrations marking the 700th anniversary of the Hero King's enthronement.

Two actors will play the part of the king, portraying his early years when he had himself crowned at Scone in 1306 before the long war with the English, and his later years as an ageing monarch, wracked with worry as his heir is only a child and the English are on the rise.

The story will include the murder of the Red Comyn, Bruce's famous victories and the Declaration of Independence in 1328.

28.07.2006 - Sheffield City Collection Acquires Sam Taylor-Wood Self Portrait

The Art Fund has helped to make its second key contemporary purchase in the last 20 years, with a grant for Sam Taylor-Wood's Self Portrait Suspended VII.

The Art Fund gave the Trust a £12,000 grant – over half the total cost – to help buy the piece, which was acquired for £21,000. Self Portrait Suspended VII will be on display at Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, from August 26 2006.

a photo of a deckchair

27.07.2006 - London Park Takes Delivery Of Heritage Project Deckchairs

Springfield Park in Hackney will soon take delivery of some bright and beautiful new deckchairs created as part of ‘Calico Springs’, a community heritage project celebrating the centenary of the park.

The unique chairs are printed with images chosen by park users to represent the historical and modern uses of the park. They were inspired by many of the participants’ fond memories of summers in the park and are symbolic of the commitment to its future.

Working in collaboration with artist Kally Laurence, a team from The Building Exploratory spent a day in the park helping visitors use block printing techniques to create a large-scale printed calico timeline.

Three of the finished canvases are on view as part of East End Eden, an exhibition at Hackney Museum celebrating parks and open spaces from Hoxton to Hackney Marshes.

27.07.2006 - Mayor Of Newcastle To Celebrate Centenary With Coach Trip To Exhibition

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle will personally deliver a major exhibit to an exhibition which will mark the hundredth anniversary of the title of Lord Mayor later this week.

Councillor Diane Packham will arrive at the Discovery Museum on Thursday, July 27 at 3pm in the historic Lord Mayor's Coach, after travelling from the Civic Centre at 2.30pm.

The coach which was last used at an event at the Mansion House, where it is kept, will be pulled by two horses which are coming from Beamish Open Air Museum.

After arriving at the Discovery Museum, Councillor Packham will hand over the coach to Alec Coles, Tyne and Wear Director of Museums. It will then become an exhibit in Celebrating 100 Years of the Lord Mayor, an exhibition covering the role of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

The month long exhibition which runs from the Monday August 14 will include mementoes from past title holders and covers some of the events in Newcastle's history over the past 100 years.

27.07.2006 - Bristol University Archaeologists Excavate A Transit Van

A transit van used for many years by archaeologists from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum is to be 'excavated' by Bristol University's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The innovative research project led by PhD student, Cassie Newland, will involve a detailed archaeological and forensic investigation of the vehicle's contents and structure and is designed to help archaeologists refine techniques in the study of a modern artefact.

After being involved in 15 years of archaeological research, it is hoped the van will yield evidence of its history and usage. "This is an innovative project that brings archaeology really up to date," said Dr Mark Horton Head of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.

A blog about the excavation can be followed at

a photograph of a camouflaged canoe

27.07.2006 - Royal Marines Museum To Host Cockleshell Heroes Day

The Royal Marines Museum is offering the public a chance to hear the remarkable story of the Cockleshell Heroes on Sunday 13th August.

Operation Frankton was one of the most daring and innovative raids of the Second World War. Twelve Royal Marine Commandos in small canoes ('cockleshells') succeeded in sinking one ship in Bordeaux Harbour and severely damaging four others. Only two of the soldiers made it back to Britain alive.

A historical interpreter will be at the museum on the 13th to re-tell the tale of daring and hardship as told by one of the heroes of the raid - Bill Sparks. There will also be gallery trail and craft activities. The event, which is free, starts at 11.30am and finishes at 4pm. Normal admission prices apply.

27.07.2006 - Crossbow Nut Unearthed In Southampton French Quarter Excavation

Finds retrieved by Oxford Archaeology from Southampton French Quarter include an antler bone ‘nut’ which forms part of the firing mechanism for a cross bow (or arbalest).

The nut was retrieved from a pit containing 13th-14th century pottery and archaeologists believe it may be a relic of the French/Genoese raid of Southampton in 1338 which had a devastating affect on the town.

Following the incursion Edward III ordered the completion of a defensive circuit around and ordered that the town be reinforced with the supply of ‘springalds, engines, arbalests, lances and armour’.

The size of the nut shows that it belongs to a very large military crossbow, possibly even a heavy siege bow. The iron remaining on one side of the nut may even be the remains of the trigger.

a photograph of a man holding a painting in frame pictured in front of a warship

26.07.2006 - South East Artists Depict Architecture, Heritage & Leisure At Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The winners of an art competition held at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard have been announced and an exhibition opened of the winning artwork.

Artists and photographers from all over the South East of England were invited to work within the Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth using the theme of ‘Architecture, Heritage and Leisure at the former Royal Dockyard’.

Best in Show went to Mr Michael Chaplin (pictured) for his watercolour, HMS Cavalier Arriving, with other awards being presented for photography, oil and acrylic and watercolour/pen and ink.

Alison Marsh, Curator at the Historic Dockyard said; "Art in the Dockyard gives local artists and photographers an opportunity to visit our wonderful site and to discover our maritime heritage and to ultimately exhibit their works of art in a unique and fitting venue."

The Art in the Dockyard exhibition is open until September 3 2006 and can be enjoyed by all visitors to the Historic Dockyard at no additional cost.

26.07.2006 - Culture Minister Defers Export Of Two Outstanding Anglo-Saxon Finds

Culture Minister, David Lammy, has placed a temporary export bar on two outstanding Anglo-Saxon finds: a gilded mount with interlace decoration and a great square-headed brooch. The bar is designed to provide a last chance to raise the money to keep the items in the United Kingdom.

The Minister's ruling follows recommendations by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest.

The committee, which is independent but run by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, recommended that the export decision on both items be deferred on the grounds that they were of outstanding significance for the study of Anglo-Saxon fine metal work.

a photograph of a primitive glider

26.07.2006 - Yorkshire Air Museum Celebrates Aviation Pioneer On Yorkshire Day

The will be celebrating the life and work of Sir George Cayley, the Yorkshire born inventor who is known as the 'Father of Aeronautics', on Yorkshire Day, Tuesday August 1.

Cayley was born in Scarborough in 1773 and resided at the family home at Brompton Hall, where he died in 1857. A Yorkshire gentleman, he was founder of both the Yorkshire and Scarborough Philosophical Societies and was President of the York Mechanics Institute from its foundation in 1827.

By 1804 he had used several model gliders and from his experiments produced one in the configuration of the modern aeroplane, with a main lifting surface, longitudinal stability and direction controlling tail surfaces. Cayley is credited with the design of the world's first aerofoil - a principle that has been used in aviation ever since.

The Rev. Leonard Rivett and Professor Jim Matthew, authors of the book 'A Yorkshire Genius', will give a lecture on the subject of Cayley at 2pm at the air museum. The lecture is free to anyone visiting on the day and several members of the surviving Cayley family will be present for the occasion.

26.07.2006 - Chichester District Museum Appeals For Local Help To Put On Victorian Exhibition

is asking for local residents’ help to create a dramatic display collage, featuring photographs of people who lived in Chichester and the District during the Victorian period (1837-1901).

The exhibition will explore the lives of individuals from the period, such as Joe Faro, who sold hot pies at the Cross in Chichester and J. C. Budden, a builder who constructed many buildings in the local area.

Pictures of Victorian ancestors and views from the era will be carefully copied by museum staff and returned to their owners. Anyone who can help is asked to contact Jane Seddon at the Museum on 01243 784683 or email - or pop in to the museum Tuesday to Saturday between 10am - 5.30pm.

a photograph of a cathedral tower

25.07.2006 - English Heritage Find Hidden Medieval Walkway At Bury St Edmunds Abbey

Recent renovation work to Bury St Edmunds Abbey have revealed a previously unknown medieval walkway under years of vegetation and soil.

English Heritage had been restoring the houses carved into the abbey's west front and unearthed the well-preserved stone walkway, which would have been used as a maintainance route by workers at the abbey. The houses date from the 17th century but the walkway was built before the abbey's dissolution in the 1530s.

"The West Front is a substantial piece of medieval architecture and this discovery gives important clues as to how the abbey was used," said John Ette, Ancient Monuments Inspector for English Heritage. "Because the stones of the abbey were sold off at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, there is not much left for us to examine. This is a significant find."

25.07.2006 - Historic Scotland To Identify Aberdeen Buildings For Listing

Historic Scotland inspectors are visiting Aberdeen to review existing listed buildings and survery new ones for protection. The team will then contact the local authority and owner, where possible, and following consultation with town planners will make recommendations to the Scottish Executive to list the buildings.

Listed buildings are selected on their special architectural or historical interest and can be placed in A, B or C(s) categories of importance and protection. All buildings constructed before 1840 are likely to be eligible for listing.

Local residents who know their area well can provide invaluable information for the survey - contact the lists officer on 0131 668 8705 for more details.

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