An atmospheric location for an important collection. The Collection in Lincoln. Courtesy Coleman Getty
This Saturday is the Night at the Museum event - part of Museums and Galleries Month 2007. Our East Midlands writer Chloé Titcomb takes a look at what East Midlands museums and heritage sites will be doing to mark the occasion.
Museums and galleries will be opening their doors to the public across the country on the night of Saturday May 19.
Originally a French concept, Night of the Museum, has now become extremely popular, with many events all over the country.
“I’m particularly pleased to see a huge range of Night of the Museum events, making a considerable contribution to the pan-European festival for the first time,” said Liz Mackenzie, co-chair of Museums and Galleries Month 2007.
Something fishy going on at Mansfield Museum for Night at the Museum. © Mansfield Museum
The East Midlands is certainly making a valuable contribution to the third Night of the Museum, with ten different events taking place at venues across the whole region.
As the theme of the month is ‘People who are we?’ focusing on identity, three venues in the East Midlands have decided to explore the identity of their local areas and its inhabitants in a variety of manners.
Daventry Town Council Museum will be presenting an exhibition of historic photographs of the town and how it has changed, including photographs of past town dignitaries. Free, contact: 01327 301246 for more details.
The Collection, Lincoln will also be exploring the identity of the people of Lincolnshire by linking people from the past, such as Thorfast the Viking smith, to the present day. There will also be a screening of Night at the Museum at 2pm and 7pm and guided tours at 6pm and 8pm. Contact 01522 550955 for more details.
Belgrave Hall - lots of fun during the day, but how spooky does it get after dark? Courtesy Leicester City Council.
Bakewell Old House Museum will celebrate local identity with song, poetry, story telling and music, including an intriguing 'promenade performance' - supported by Belper choir. From 6.30 to 9.30, telephone 01629 813 642.
A popular theme throughout the East Midlands this year is ghost watching, with a number of locations providing spooky events.
For the thrill seekers, an evening at one of Britain’s most haunted buildings, Leicester’s Belgrave Hall and Gardens, will provide a night-time tour, along with talks about the history of the site and new accounts of ghostly sightings. But do beware, you may be accompanied by some unexpected guests! 7pm - 11pm, contact 0116 2666590.
How about having a nose around the cells at night at the galleries of Justice? © Galleries of Justice
Other ghostly evenings include ‘Dire Deeds and Horrible Hauntings’ at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham (evening - contact 0115 9153935) and ‘Ghosts of the Past’ at the Sir John Moore Foundation, Leicestershire. Along with spooky stories in the dormitories, ‘Ghosts of the Past’ also includes 17th Century music and dancing. 5.30pm - 9pm. Contact: 01530 273629.
Mansfield Museum will also be stepping back in time with a recreation of the Museum’s Edwardian era , featuring visits to the stores by lamplight, a traditional English buffet, turn of the century tunes and the history of Edwardian museums. 6pm - 9pm - contact Jodie Henshaw, Museum Development Officer on 01623 463088 firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
With all the ghosts around the rest of the region, you would be forgiven for thinking that a night at Newstead Abbey, listening to the poetry of Lord Byron would be relaxing without any signs of ghosts. However with an appearance from Lord Byron himself to recite his poems, others may well join him! 6pm - 8.30pm, contact: 01623 455900.
Lord Byron lived here... Newstead Abbey. © Nottingham City Council
Not only will Nottingham’s NCCL Galleries of Justice be frightening people with their evening tours of the Victorian prison, they will also remind visitors just how precious our own identities are as each visitor will be ‘sent down’, with no mention of a release date… 5pm - 7pm, contact: 0115 9520555.
One of the most intriguing events taking place is ‘Going Dutch’ at Gainsborough Old Hall, Lincolnshire, where people get the chance to explore the manor house’s connections with Holland whilst attempting to speak the language and sample authentic Dutch recipes! 7pm - 9pm book a place on 01427 612699.
With events for all ages and tastes, Night of the Museum is set to be a brilliant evening and a perfect way to see Museums and Galleries in a totally different light.
To discover more MGM 2007 events featured on 24 Hour Museum or to find a museum near you showing Night at the Museum just enter MGM into the search box on this page or see the what's on page to search by date or place.
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.