News In Brief- Week Ending September 3 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 29 August 2006
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending September 3 2006.

photograph of a green railway carriage

01.09.2006 - Scarborough North Bay Railway Celebrates 75,000 Passenger In 75th Year

In its 75th Anniversary Year, Scarborough’s North Bay Railway celebrated its 75,000th passenger of the year this week.

David Milner, wife Lucy and daughters Abigail, 5 months and Ellie, 5 years, were delighted when they were informed by Council staff that their family’s journey marked the 75,000th passenger to travel on the railway in 2006. The family from Morley near Leeds are regular visitors to Scarborough and were visiting the Railway during their summer holiday.

"The North Bay Railway still proves to be a wonderful attraction for both young and old alike, but is particularly popular with children," said Andrew Williams, the Council’s Leisure and Community Services Officer. "I am delighted that Mr Milner and his young family enjoy the charm of the miniature railway and it seems very fitting that one of our returning visitors has become our 75,000th passenger this year.”

01.09.2006 - Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, Seeks East Midlands Artists For Parade

in Nottingham is asking artists from the East Midlands to apply for Parade – a series of exhibitions taking place at the gallery, each selected by a different guest curator.

Parade will take the form of three short, sharp exhibitions and is open to all artists, emerging and established, living in the East Midlands: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. The shows will run consecutively from January 2007 and will be accompanied by an overarching publication and programme of events for artists.

For information on how to apply for Parade contact Helen Jones at Angel Row Gallery on 0115 915 2864, or email or visit

detail from an oil painting showing a beach scene

01.09.2006 - Hastings Museum and Art Gallery's First Turner Watercolour Unveiled

A stunning watercolour of Hastings beach by JMW Turner has gone on public display at .

Hastings: Fish Market on the Sands, Early Morning was purchased at Sotheby's in June 2006 for a hammer price of £210,000, with a £31,806 contribution from The Art Fund. Additional funding came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund and local sources.

The painting was unveiled at its new home by Turner’s great, great, great niece Rosalind Mallord Turner. The Turner family’s connection with Hastings goes back to the 1930s when Maria Turner lived in Eversfield Place. She donated to the town a collection of Turner’s furniture which is now used in the Mayor’s Parlour.

01.09.2006 - Duxford Honours Spitfire With Anniversary Air Show

The Imperial War Museum Duxford will be welcoming one of the largest gatherings of Second World War Royal Air Force veterans at its Spitfire Anniversary Air Show on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September 2006. The gathering will be in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the legendary Spitfire, an aircraft synonymous with the Battle of Britain.

The Spitfire Anniversary Air Show will feature 17 Spitfires of different types and will also host the largest gathering of Spitfire veterans in the UK this year in what promises to be an emotional accolade to the legendary Second World War fighter. The veterans will be available to meet the public and will be doing signing sessions hosted by several of the trade stands at the show.

It was at historic Duxford in August 1938 that the Spitfire first entered RAF service with 19 Squadron. It remained operational there until the 8th Air Force of the USAAF was posted to Duxford, and the last Spitfires departed in March 1943.

photo of the prow of an old ship

31.08.2006 – Call For Gulbenkian Prize 2007 Entries

Submissions for the Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries 2007 – the UK’s single biggest arts prize – are invited from September 1 2006.

Now in its fifth year, the £100,000 prize is awarded annually to one museum or gallery in the UK, regardless of size or budget, for the best new development in the previous calendar year. Excellence, imagination and innovation would be demonstrated along with an ability to challenge public perceptions in particular projects or initatives.

Exhibition programmes, community projects or new buildings that have won the support of visitors and helped to promote the museum or gallery to a wider audience are all examples of what will catch the judge’s eye. The chair of this year’s judging panel is writer and BBC broadcaster Francine Stock.

Last year’s winner was Brunel’s SS Great Britain, which reported a 130 per cent rise in visitors following the prize.

The closing date for entries is November 3 2006. For more information go to www.the

31.08.2006 – Artists Call For Help To Preserve The Nation’s Texts

Today we’ll send almost 100 million texts to each other, but what about tomorrow? Will texting still exist? Will we remember the way we used to communicate? To celebrate this very modern phenomenon Central St Martin’s MA artists Melanie Rose and Arabella Lee are planning an exhibition of all things text, for which they need the public’s help.

The artists are calling on everyone to get involved and send all manner of everyday text messages to 62277 during National Textbank Week, from September 2-8 2006. Each submission should have the word ‘bank’ at the start. The contributions will be captured on a website, - a potted snapshot of how we communicate by text in the early 21st century.

The Arts Council supported exhibition, txtme, will open at New Greenham Arts, Newbury, on October 5 2006.

31.08.2006 – Art On The Prom Festival Brings Sticky Rock Art To Suffolk

The centrepiece of Felixstowe’s 2006 Art on the Prom Festival will bring a new meaning to the phrase ‘rock art’, and could rot many teeth.

Artist Bryony Graham will create an edible sculpture from 30,000 sticks of rock on Felixstowe seafront, each with ‘Art on the Prom’ baked into the centre, before they are all distributed to visitors on September 3.

More than 50 artists will also display their work on the promenade for the festival. See the Art on the Prom website for more details.

a photograph of a steamroller moving through the air on a mechanical arm

30.08.2006 - Massive Flying Steamroller To Take Up Residence Near Tate Britain

A 12-ton yellow steamroller that flies through the air is to take up residence - for a limited period from October 2 2006 - on the Parade Ground in front of Chelsea College of Art and Design, opposite Tate Britain.

The Flying Steamroller is an offsite project by the artist Chris Burden that combines sculpture and performance. Attached to a pivoting arm the steamroller is driven in an enormous circle until its maximum speed is reached.

The performance runs from October 2 until October 16, 10am to 6pm daily and has been arranged by the South London Gallery as an off-site project to accompany Burden's solo exhibition, 14 Magnolia Double Lamps, on display at the South London Gallery from September 15 until November 5 2006.

30.08.2006 - Council Consults Public On Future Of Old Sarum Airfield

Salisbury District Council is seeking the views of locals on whether to designate Old Sarum Airfield as a conservation area.

The airfield near Salisbury is one of the oldest surviving active airfields in the UK and is one of the few grass airfields still in use. Used continuously since 1917 it has been used by the RAF, British Army and latterly, the Old Sarum Flying Club.

Designating the airfield as a conservation area would help to protect it from development and ensure the survival of its many listed buildings - including World War I hangars. Details of the proposal can be found on the council's website at The closing date for comments is October 19 2006.

30.08.2006 - Report States That Libraries Hold Key To Growth Of 'Knowledge Economy'

A new study commissioned by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has found that England's public libraries are playing a crucial, but often overlooked, role in the growth of the 'knowledge economy'.

The report, Public Libraries In The Knowledge Economy, showed libraries play a central role in communities' economic vitality and makes the case for promoting public libraries as economic development partners.

Every library authority surveyed for the report provided learning and skills support in basic skills, family learning and education for young people and most also provided computer skills training. Many also provided invaluable services to businesses, particularly new businesses, in their local areas.

photo of a vw beetle car next to a vintage tram

30.08.2006 - Classic Cars To Descend On Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village near Matlock, Derbyshire, will be welcoming two classic car rallies during September to rub shoulders with their own vintage vehicles.

Ford Capris will descend on the village on September 3 2006 and the iconic VW Beetle and VW camper van will be arriving on September 17.

Organiser of the Capri event, Roger Webster, said: "Crich Tramway Village provides a unique atmosphere for vehicle rallies with its recreated street and rides on vintage trams. The events are always very well attended and much loved by vehicle owners."

30.08.2006 - Lightbox Looking For Parents For Consultation Over Gallery Plans

The Lightbox, a new gallery and museum under construction in Woking, Surrey, has called on parents to take part in a new round of consultation about what visitors want from the centre.

Parents with children aged 4-14, whether they are regular gallery goers or not, are wanted to participate in sessions on September 6 and 7 2006. Volunteers should contact The Lightbox on 01483 725517 or email

photo of a tall thin castle on a seaside cliff top

30.08.2006 - Scarborough Castle To Commemorate Battle Of The Somme Anniversary

The 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme will be commemorated at Scarborough Castle on September 2-3 2006.

Visitors will witness weaponry and battle tactics displays including a rapid-fire display and a gas and platoon attack from more than 30 re-enactors from the 10th Essex and 8th Manchester Regiments. There will also be a demonstration of the training and tactics used by British soldiers for advancing into no-man's land and details of the frontline field hospital.

"The Great War is a particularly poignant time to recreate and most of us are likely to have family that fought in this global conflict," said regional events manage Jon Hogan. "The event is a great opportunity to pay tribute to those who gave so much and also to gain a real understanding of what life was like for our soldiers on the frontline."

a photograph of a young woman holding a Saxon buckle

29.08.2006 - Rare Saxon Buckle Found By Detectorist Goes On Display At Museum Of London

A newly discovered Saxon buckle has gone on display at the Museum of London. The Hispano-Visigothic copper alloy buckle plate, dates from c. AD600–720 and would usually be found in southern Spain or Portugal.

The extremely rare artefact is only the second example of its type to have appeared in England, and was unearthed in the outskirts of London by a metal-detectorist, Bill Robson.

"This buckle is as beautiful as anything you could hope to find on Bond Street and would originally have been gilded – probably in gold or tin," said Faye Simpson, London finds liaison officer and Museum of London’s community archaeologist.

"This is a really exciting find, which has come to light through responsible metal detecting. Discoveries like this really do show the importance of reporting stray finds. It also indicates the devastating effect of ploughing to archaeological sites and how these are increasingly being discovered by members of the public.”

29.08.2006 - The Future Of Brain Power To Be Revealed In Science Museum Exhibition

Today’s medical technology could be used in the future to enhance our brains to make them work quicker and better, according to findings revealed in a new free exhibition opening at the Science Museum on October 10 2006.

Visitors to the museum will be able to see how today’s pioneering science works, alongside the mind boggling future possibilities and the ethical questions they raise in the new interactive exhibition at Antenna, the Science Museum’s contemporary science gallery.

The exhibition, which is still to be named, will explore a variety of current and future technologies that could include artificial memory implants, advanced lie-detection tools that tap in to your consciousness, communicating with comatose patients and controlling virtual reality.

a photograph of a man on a staircase with portraits

29.08.2006 - Weston Park Stately Home Gets New Curator

A former Sotheby’s director and National Trust historian has been appointed as curator at Weston Park stately home in Shropshire. Gareth Williams from Shropshire will be responsible for overseeing Weston’s magnificent collection of arts and treasures which date back more than 300 years.

As part of his role, Gareth will have responsibility for appropriately conserving each piece and developing Weston’s highly successful education programme. He will also be responsible for improving the provision for cultural tourism at the property.

Weston boasts one of the most important collections of fine and decorative arts to have survived in its indigenous setting in the region. Its art collection includes stunning portraits by Van Dyck and furniture by Morell and Hughes. "I am greatly looking forward to the challenge of developing conservation and also expanding the opportunities for learning and access at Weston Park," said Gareth.

“I hope to support this by increasing the opportunities for volunteers at Weston and in creating an exciting and entertaining events calendar focusing on the house and its collection in 2007.”

29.08.2006 - Cornwall's Celtic Crosses Fitted With Microchips To Prevent Theft

One hundred of Cornwall's most vulnerable Celtic crosses have been fitted with microchips to deter criminals from stealing them.

Grants from several organizations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, have funded the scheme, which uses electronic tags that cause no damage to the crosses - a number of which have been stolen and sold to private collectors over the last 20 years.

"It's sad that protection of this sort should be needed," said Ann Preston-Jones, senior archaeologist with Cornwall County Council. "As the crosses are monuments of great importance to Cornish identity and well-loved and cherished by local communities."

The crosses were originally made during medieval times and acted as boundary markers to establish pathways to the nearest parish church.

a photograph of a man in knights armour on horseback together with a man in a sports jacket and another one dressed as a knave

29.08.2006 - Rugby Coach Presents Queen's Golden Jubilee Trophy At Armouries Joust Competition

Brian Noble, Great Britain Rugby League Team Coach, presented the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Trophy to Tony Capwell who became the winner of the International Joust this bank holiday weekend at the Royal Armouries, Leeds.

The authentic 15th century re-enactment takes place every year at the museum, and as the prize is a trophy belonging to the Queen, it’s always hotly contested. After winning the individual joust, the champion has his coat-of-arms engraved on one of the shields suspended above the trophy.

The Royal Armouries commissioned the trophy to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. Brian also presented the prize for chivalry, a bunch of red roses, which this year was won by Chris Lockie and Arne Koets.

29.08.2006 - October Gallery Revamps Exhibition Space After £75,000 Grant

The October Gallery in London is carrying out a 'capital development project' following a grant from Arts Council England. The grant of £75,000 will be used to renovate and redesign the gallery's exhibition space and entrance.

"We are pleased to be investing in the redesign of the October Gallery's space to improve access and sustainability," said Sarah Weir, Executive Director of Arts Council England, London. "The gallery is a vibrant resource in London's cultural sector which offers a unique experience and is able to reflect and cater for the diversity of the capital's population."

The work is due to take place from August to September 2006 with the gallery re-opening to the public on October 3. Their first show, Fiona Foley's Strange Fruit will open on October 19 2006.

29.08.2006 - Neanderthals Were Sophisticated Says Bristol University Archaeologist

Neandertals were much more like modern humans than previously thought, according to a re-examination of finds from one of the most famous palaeolithic sites in Europe by Bristol University archaeologist, Professor Joao Zilhao, and his French colleagues.

Professor Zilhao has been able to show that sophisticated artefacts such as decorated bone points and personal ornaments found in the Châtelperronian culture of France and Spain were genuinely associated with Neandertals around 44,000 years ago, rather than acquired from modern humans who might have been living nearby.

Professor Zilhao said: “This discovery, along with research on the rock strata at other cave sites, has huge implications for how we view the European Neandertals and, more widely, human evolution. The differences between Neandertals and modern humans may be much less than had been previously thought, suggesting that human cognition and symbolic thinking may date back to before the two sub-species split around 400,000 years ago.”

Professor Zihao's findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) USA.

photo of stonehenge

29.08.2006 - Stonehenge Visitor Centre Application Called In By Secretary Of State

Salisbury District Council says it has received official notification that the Secretary of State is to hold a public inquiry on English Heritage's planning application for a new visitor centre at Stonehenge.

An inquiry will now be held by the Planning Inspector who will gather evidence from interested parties and then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The district council will be required to put forward expert witnesses and justify its support for the proposal. The inquiry will also hear from objectors to the scheme.

The council approved the application in July 2006, subject to a number of conditions including government approval of the A303 roads scheme, which includes a flyover at Countess Road, a 2.1km bored tunnel, a bypass round Winterbourne Stoke and junction improvements at Longbarrow Crossroads.

"It is unfortunate that this issue is to be the subject of yet another public enquiry," said Council Leader Cllr Richard Britton. "We had hoped that, by making our approval subject to a number of conditions, the issue would have been resolved."

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