MGM 2007 - A Journey Through Time At Kettering Museum

By Chloé Titcomb | 22 May 2007
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a photograph of a man playing a flute type instrument dressed in a chinese costume

Photo Chloé Titcomb © 24 Hour Museum / Renaissance East Midlands

The 24 Hour Museum's East Midlands journalist, Chloé Titcomb, takes a journey through time and place at Kettering Museum.

Visitors to Kettering Museum on Saturday May 19 travelled through time and around the world as the Museum opened its grounds for their seventh annual World of History Fayre.

Closely linked to the theme of Museums and Galleries Month 2007, ‘People who are we,’ visitors met characters throughout the day from a variety of historical eras, from the Saxons and the Vikings right through to World War Two troops.

a photograph of a group of re-enactors in Elizabethan costumes with muskets and swords talking to a group of people

Re-enactors explain the ways of musketry and sword. Photo Chloé Titcomb © 24 Hour Museum / Renaissance East Midlands

“I’m just walking around thinking how fantastic it all is, there’s such positive feedback,” said Clare Wood, Museum and Gallery Manager, “Everyone seems to love the story telling, adults as well as children!”

Not only were people enthralled by fascinating stories from around the world but there was also the chance to experience stories told by pirate re-enactors Tyburn Jigg.

With travellers packs full of strange objects and tales of pirates, ships, wrecks, smugglers, poachers and much more, children and adults had to beware they didn’t lose their teeth in their roguish schemes. Both adults and children sat open mouthed at some of the tall tales they were hearing.

a photograph of a boy holding a samurai sword whilst being spoken to by a bearded man wearing a Japanese samurai outfit

The way of the Samurai are many my son... Photo Chloé Titcomb © 24 Hour Museum / Renaissance East Midlands

The hypnotising traditional Chinese Dulcimer player, an instrument which has been played for thousands of years, transported visitors back to Ancient China as the wonderful melody produced could be heard across the grounds, when crusades and wars were not being fought in the Main Arena of course!

Stepping from Ancient China, visitors were also treated to music from around the world, with modern copies of traditional instruments such as the mechanical violin, playing songs to celebrate British heroes including Thomas Paine.

a photograph of a group of people looking at an American stars and stripes flag held by a man wearing am American Civil war Unionist soldiers outfit

Photo Chloé Titcomb © 24 Hour Museum / Renaissance East Midlands

Historical re-enactments took place throughout the day in the Main Arena where people had the chance to experience a Viking battle, medieval combat displays, Japanese weapons display, American Civil War and cavalry demonstrations and much more!

Despite warnings the Saxons had set up camp, people still had to be wary not to find themselves in the middle of a battlefield as fires burned and swords thrashed the air and with the Vikings nearby in their longboat, it was lucky there wasn’t carnage.

a photograph of a a m,an and a woman in eighteenth century costume playing instruments and singing onstage

Ye olde ballades are ye best! Photo Chloé Titcomb © 24 Hour Museum / Renaissance East Midlands

Walking through the grounds in Kettering Museum visitors experienced a number of historical eras, offering the chance to experience a little bit of what life would have been like for everyone from the early American colonialists, the bohemian Hussites from the Czech Republic and of course American and British soldiers.

“Living history is very relevant to people, it’s a good educational tool,” said an American Civil War soldier, “The children have seemed to really enjoy the day.” Historical re-enactors not only provided a spectacle for people to enjoy, it was also an extremely enjoyable and interactive way to delve further into the past and learn about some of the historical eras we do not know as much about.

a photo of a girl holding a large musket helped by a man in Elizabethan costume

Photo Chloé Titcomb © 24 Hour Museum / Renaissance East Midlands

Almost three thousand people turned out to enjoy the festive fun, forgoing the FA Cup Final in favour of some real battles. The fayre even attracted the Mayor of Kettering who enjoyed a discussion with some Japanese Samurai’s, who seemed to be teaching him how to fend off his opponents!

Kettering Museum also has a Family History Day, organised as part of Museums and Galleries Month 2007, on Saturday May 26 from 10am-4pm, including workshops, discussions and advice. For further information, email museum@kettering.gov.uk or call 01536 534219.

Shows the Renaissance in the Regions logo.

Chloé Titcomb is a Renaissance-funded student journalist covering MGM events in the East Midlands. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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