Culture24/7: Tom Daley, Dorothy Wordsworth and the Prince of Wales make History

By Ben Miller | 02 April 2013

From Tom Daley's Olympic swimming kecks to the dresses in 1940s Vogue, here are our History and Heritage tips for April...

A black and white photo of a woman in an elaborate fashion hat
Mouvements de Femmes: Norman Parkinson by Roland Mouret opens in Bath this month© Norman Parkinson Ltd
Antique Trinkets and Defunct Industrial Machinery, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon

An exhibition reflecting on the shifting culture of Cymru, Big Pit’s new show surveys the rise of industrial museums, beginning with the demise of heavy industry in Wales.

Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber, Hampton Court Palace, London

More than 200 years ago, if you were a privileged and lucky courtier, you might have been granted a private audience with the Prince and Princess of Wales in a bedchamber, entered via a drawing room privy to secrets and scandals. Dream of sleeping on some of the Baroque beds forming the centrepieces in a salacious show of royal decadence. Read our Artist's Statement.

Our Friends Electric, Beamish Tramway, County Durham, April 4-7

Doff your cap on the Beamish’s 40th birthday by taking a special tram service along the one-and-a-half-mile tramway. There will also be behind-the-scenes tours, talks and a powerful line up of steam, vintage and veteran vehicles taking to the roads for four days.

Opening the Olympics, Museum of London, London

Even when he was wearing his yellow jersey in the opening ceremony, Bradley Wiggins might not have anticipated the stratospheric cycle track success ahead of him. It’s one of 70 objects here, also featuring Tom Daley’s Union Jack swimming trunks and costumes from the initiating and closing parties.

Arbeia Fort and Museum, South Shields

The fort which guarded the main sea route to Hadrian’s Wall, Arbeia was a supply base for the 73-mile divide between Rome and the Barbarians. Find out why at the reopened site, complete with galleries full of stupendous finds and reconstructions of original fort buildings.

Mouvements de Femmes, The Octagon, Bath, from April 13

On the centenary of Norman Parkinson’s birth, Bath in Fashion (which runs April 12-21) has taken over a Georgian chapel for a look at rare shots by the fashion photographer extraordinaire. A 1948 Vogue shoot is one highlight curated by Roland Mouret, who’s made dresses for Scarlett Johansson and Victoria Beckham.

Dorothy Wordsworth: Wonders of the Everyday, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, Cumbria

Even by 19th century writers’ standards, William Wordsworth’s sister was a bit of a card. Attempt to unravel some of the mysteries of her life and career in an exhibition aiming to allow visitors to draw a variety of conclusions. Read our Preview.

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