News In Brief - Week Ending April 22 2007

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 16 April 2007
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending April 22 2007.

photo of a worn metal badge

20.04.2007 - Bosworth badge may help pinpoint battle

A silver badge probably worn at the Battle of Bosworth has been declared Treasure.

The small broken badge shows a bird, probably an eagle. It has been dated by the British Museum to the late 15th or early 16th century – exactly the right date to be associated with the Battle of Bosworth (1485).

It was found by a volunteer working with Leicestershire County Council’s survey to find the true location of the battlefield, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"We believe this is a heraldic badge identifying the wearer as a retainer of a particular nobleman," said Richard Knox of Bosworth Battlefield Centre. "Unfortunately, it is broken so we cannot identify whose badge it is. It is just the sort of thing likely to be lost in a battle."

"We are undertaking a systematic survey of the area to locate the battlefield and this represents another piece in the jigsaw. The survey has another year to run and we hope to have come to a conclusion by the time we have finished.’

The badge will be acquired by Leicestershire County Council and will go on display in the Bosworth Battlefield Centre.

20.04.2007 - Names wanted for petition to protect William Morris Gallery

The Friends of the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London, are campaigning to stop council changes to the museum, and are asking for people to sign their online petition.

In January 2007 Waltham Forest Council proposed cutbacks to severely limit the opening hours of the gallery, the only one in the world dedicated to the Arts & Crafts pioneer, and to terminate the contracts of all staff.

The consultation period is now over and the Friends are hoping to collect 10,000 signatures by the end of April for their petition pressing the council to rethink the plans.

The museum was opened by Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1950 and contains internationally important collections reflecting the enormous range of Morris's activities, including textiles, wallpapers, furniture, stained glass, tiles, fine printing and book arts.

Click here to go to the petition.

20.04.2007 - Museum planned for Boxted Airfield

Boxted Airfield Historical Group are planning to create a museum on the former RAF site near Colchester in Essex.

They want to promote the history of the airfield and they people who flew and worked from there and have applied for planning permission to convert two Nissen huts into the museum.

Boxted was home to 386th Medium Bomb Group, 56th Fighter Group, 354th Fighter Group and 5th Emergency Rescue Service during World War Two.

photograph of a round logo with 07 in the centre

19.04.2007 - Glasgow Art Fair opens in city centre

St George's Square in Glasgow City Centre has been transformed into an art lover's and buyer's paradise with the opening of the 2007 Glasgow Art Fair.

The fair, which runs until April 22, takes place in tented pavilions that will offer an estimated 16,000 visitors four days of buying, selling and discovering art. Sales figures in the past have regularly been in excess of £1million with individual purchases ranging from as little as £50 to over £30K.

Now firmly established as the UK’s most prestigious contemporary art fair outside of London, the Art Fair will showcase 43 selected galleries from Scotland, the UK and Europe exhibiting work by over 1000 artists.

19.04.07 - Culture Minister places export bar on illuminated manuscript

Culture Minister, David Lammy, has placed a temporary export bar on a 15th century illuminated manuscript of the Hours of the Passion.

Previously unavailable to scholars and mostly absent in literature on manuscript illumination of the period, the bar will provide a last chance to raise the money to keep the manuscript in the United Kingdom.

The manuscript comes from the collection of the late Lord Wardington and is a book of hours of the highest quality from the Bedford Workshop in Paris, the most important centre of manuscript illumination in Europe in the 15th century.

The decision on the export licence application for the manuscript will be deferred for a period ending on June 17. This period may be extended until October 17 if a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase the manuscript at the recommended price of £635,200.00 excluding VAT is expressed.

19.04.07 - National Galleries Scotland to host singles' evening

Following on from the success of last year, the National Gallery of Scotland is hosting another Singles' Night on May 5.

Part of Show Scotland’s Big Events Weekend, the event will provide a rare opportunity for singles to enjoy a relaxed evening chatting to likeminded individuals over a glass of wine, surrounded by world-class paintings and sculpture. There will also be brief guided tours occurring throughout the evening.

To find out more, including ticket booking information, see the What's On section of the National Galleries Scotland website.

photo of a bridge across a gorge

18.04.2007 - Ironbridge Gorge to host biggest ever walking festival

Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire is to stage its annual walking festival with an expanded programme for 2007.

The festival will run from May 5-13 at the World Heritage Site, with 20 walks in total, including challenging day hikes, wildlife and local history-themed walks and a circular tour of the Gorge.

Most walks have a maximum of 15 places, so pre-booking is essential, except for a few which are ‘first come first served’. Phone Judy Walker on 01952 432769 for more details.

18.04.2007 – Blue Plaque for pioneering conductor

Sir Michael Costa (1808-1884), pioneering conductor and orchestral reformer, is to be commemorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at 59 Eccleston Square, London.

Costa was the dominant figure in England's musical advancement during the mid-19th century and it was during his career that England largely shed the reputation of being a ‘land without music’.

The Blue Plaque will be unveiled by Maestro Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera, on April 19.

photo of Mackintosh interior

18.04.2007 - Charles Rennie Mackintosh house looking for volunteers

A popular National Trust for Scotland building designed by famed architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is looking for volunteers to help out at the house.

The Hill House in Helensburgh was commissioned in 1902 by Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie and Mackintosh not only designed the building, but created the gardens and much of the interior and furniture.

“For our income, we rely on people visiting us, becoming a member of the Trust or leaving us a legacy,” said Charlotte Rostek, Property Manager of The Hill House. “However, there’s another way that people can help support this fantastic masterpiece - and that’s to volunteer some time.”

For more information, call Charlotte on 0844 493 2208.

18.04.2007 – Museum Association entry-level forum to meet

The Museum Association’s newly established forum set up to address problems faced by new entrants to the sector is to meet for the first time in May.

Consisting of 26 professionals from museums, universities and training courses, the panel will deal with issues such as lack of diversity in the museums workforce, shortage of science and technology experts, difficulties in securing jobs, a lack of support by museums for museums studies courses and absence of a clear development path for new recruits.

a detail of a painting showing a mountain on the edge of a lake

17.04.2007 - David Hockney joins Tate for major exhibition of Turner's watercolours

David Hockney is joining forces with Tate Britain to curate the gallery’s largest ever exhibition of Turner watercolours.

Hockney on Turney Watercolours will showcase around 165 watercolours from the world’s greatest collection of Turners, including recent acquisitions like The Blue Rigi.

At the heart of the exhibition Hockney, himself an accomplished watercolourist, will present his own selection of Turner’s unique colour studies or ‘beginnings’ with a commentary on the processes the artist used.

“Turner is one of the masters of watercolour,” said Hockney. “I am thrilled to be working with Tate on this major exhibition and to study in depth their extraordinary collection of Turner’s watercolours.”

17.04.2007 – Glasgow museums consider prayer rooms

Museums and libraries in Glasgow may set aside prayer rooms after a suggestion from the Scottish Executive.

The idea is to make a room available for quiet contemplation so people of any faith can go there. St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art already has such a room. The Burrell Collection and Kelvingrove may follow suit, meaning that visitors who pray during the day can stay in the galleries to pray.

17.04.2007 – Historical Cumbrian bridge restored

A late medieval packhorse bridge in Cumbria has been restored thanks to a grant of £8,700 from English Heritage.

The narrow, 16-foot-long bridge at Heltondale Beck, near Askham, has been carrying pedestrians, horses and livestock over the beck since the 17th century and is used to this day.

Over the years much of the bridge’s lime mortar had been washed away and the downstream arch and abutment had collapsed. The repair grant will allow specialists to make the bridge safe for future generations

“For people in this area it is an important part of our heritage and a reminder of how life used to be,” said farmer Alice Robinson, on whose land the bridge lies. “We are really pleased that it can be saved for people in the future to use and enjoy.”

17.04.2007 - Caerphilly to develop new Winding House museum

Caerphilly County Borough has secured £2.7m to develop a bigger and better museum for the borough.

They are planning to develop the Elliot Colliery Winding House into the ‘Winding House’, due to open in March 2008.

It will be dedicated to exploring the history, heritage and culture of the area, showcasing local treasures and stories as well as bringing international art and artefacts.

The grade II listed winding house and its engine will be restored, a resource library and activity room will be created and there will also be a café bar and museum shop.

photo of a vintage red post van

16.04.2007 - Amberley Working Museum to hold Post Office Vehicle Rally

Amberley Working Museum in West Sussex is providing visitors the opportunity to see rare historic vehicles once used by the Royal Mail, Post Office Telephones and BT at its Post Office Vehicle Rally.

The rally, taking place on April 22, was inspired by the success of the Connected Earth telecommunications hall at the museum, explained event organiser Fred Stanford:

“The interest the vehicles in the Connected Earth telecommunications hall generate has always been high. Building on that by showing other similar vehicles in as wonderful a venue like Amberley seemed a natural development.”

“Judging on the level of interest so far, and the quality of vehicles already entered, the event looks to be unmissable.”

poster for seaside town conference featuring a pier

16.04.2007 – English Heritage conference on the future of seaside towns

English Heritage will host a two-day conference in the autumn to discuss how the historic character of the country’s seaside towns can be protected. Experts will also come together at the conference to talk about how seaside communities can regenerate themselves and bring about a renaissance.

“Many seaside towns have suffered a downturn in prosperity marked by physical, environmental and community decline,” said Allan Brodie, Senior Investigator at English Heritage. “Very often, the historic fabric that made these towns distinctive is under pressure to adapt to changing holiday tastes and at risk from inappropriate development.”

“A national debate on how and why we should protect this precious heritage is timely.”

Seaside Heritage: Colour Past, Bright Future will be held on October 16-17, 2007, at St-Mary-in-the-Castle, Hastings. See for details.

16.04.2007 - British Library to host May Day Festival inspired by Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths

The British Library is hosting a special free event on the May 7 Bank Holiday inspired by the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.

Tying in with the venue’s major exhibition, Sacred: Discover What We Share, the event will feature outdoor performances, open workshops, food, crafts, installations and displays reflecting on sacred places, journeys and traditions.

A number of metalwork installations inspired by the religions will be displayed and visitors can create their own works of art by joining in the workshops to produce giant paintings and designs.

There will also be a food and crafts market with foods from the three faith cultures and music from the London Jewish Male Choir, IDMC Gospel Choir and the Ameer Khan Qawwali Group. Contemporary Sufi dancer Zia Azazi will also perform a whirling dervish dance.

photo of truncheons

16.04.2007 - Vintage truncheons stolen from Trowbridge Museum

Seven vintage police truncheons have been stolen from Trowbridge Museum, Wiltshire.

The robbery took place on the afternoon of April 11, while many visitors were in the Museum.

All of the wooden truncheons were highly decorated with crowns and crests, and three had brass handles. The highly collectible items are each marked with the museum code, 1978, followed b a three-digit number. Their value is unknown.

Museum staff have asked that anyone with any information about the incident contact Trowbridge Police on 0845 408 7000.

16.04.2007 – Bronze Age ring declared Treasure

A ring dating back to between 1150 and 750 BCE, discovered in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, has been declared Treasure.

The ring, made from two types of gold on a copper alloy base, was found by a metal detectorist in August last year. It is a penannular (almost ring-like) ring – a mysterious accessory whose significance is uncertain. Nor do experts know exactly how they were worn, except that they weren’t worn on fingers and no-one has been found buried with one on.

The ring, worth about £700-£1,000, may now be offered to a local museum to purchase.

16.04.2007 – Culture Minister announces reappointment of Spoliation Panel members

Culture Minister David Lammy has announced that six members of the government’s Spoliation Advisory Panel have been reappointed for a third term.

The Panel resolves claims from people, or their heirs, who lost property during the Nazi era which is now held in UK national collections.

The members reappointed are Anna Southall, Prof Peter Jones, Peter Oppenheimer, Prof Richard Evans, Sir Terry Heiser and Sir Donnell Deeny.

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