Go back in time for costumes and Babycham at glorious pair of historic West Yorkshire houses

By Ben Miller | 29 April 2009
A picture of people strolling in the sunshine on grass outside a brick house

Red House will be giving guests a night to remember for Museums at Night 2009

A pair of iconic period houses which featured in works by famous novelists the Brontes will be welcoming West Yorkshire visitors with bullet bras, sugared petticoats, Liberty bodices and themes from the 1950s for Museums at Night.

Red House in Gomersal and Oakwell Hall in Birstall will host a string of glamorous events from bygone eras on May 16 2009, including costumed tours, performances and fashion displays.

"Red House is a beautiful 19th century period home with strong Bronte connections," said Museum Officer Helga Hughes, promising guests a night to remember on behalf of organisers from North Kirklees museums.

They've done this through the Fabulous Fifties, a costume presentation by local theatrical company The History Wardrobe.

"I have seen various versions of their presentations and I cannot think of a better way to learn about historical costume - their presentations are just so accessible," enthuses Hughes.

"The aim is to present information about period costume in a very lively and amusing way which really engages and entertains the audience."

Viewers can peruse the themed displays at Spen Valley Stories, the "20th century local history gallery" at Red House, while supping on Babycham, Cream Sherry, Stout and fizzy pop from the period.

A mile away, Oakwell Hall will be revisiting the English Civil War of the 17th century with punch and cake.

"We wanted to offer events for Museums at Night which introduced visitors to the period house and the Brontes but also illustrated the broad range of interpretation the site has," says Hughes. "The two houses are real gems and this is the very first time that a joint event of this nature has been done."

Fabulous Fifties runs 7pm – 8.30pm (not suitable for younger children), complimentary drinks served in Spen Valley Stories gallery from 6.30pm. Admission £8, booking essential, call 01274 335100.

Night at the Museums with costumed tours of both museums (from restaurants) starts at 7.30pm (not suitable for younger children). Admission £10, booking essential, call 01924 326240.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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