Old House Museum Bakewell's welcoming cake - how long will it last when darkness falls at the museum? Courtesy Old House Museum, Bakewell.
Weekend three of Museums and Galleries Month 2008 sees a plethora of events and activities across the East Midlands. Here's a selection of what's on offer in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Newark Millgate Museum opens its doors after hours on Saturday May 17 2008 for a Magical History Tour. From 7pm, visitors have the chance to enjoy guided tours of the museum from a range of historic characters who will bring the exhibitions to life – and also provide the odd ghost story.
Newark Millgate Museum - opening late for Museums and Galleries Month
The costumed character guides, each representing their own era within the museum, will be played by museum staff, volunteers and school pupils from the Magnus Church of England School.
Local band The Talented Trio will be providing live music to compliment the museum's different historic periods, including jazz and 1940s swing. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.
Richard Arkwright once again holds court - catch his wisdom at Old House Museum's late night opening, May 17, 2008. Courtesy the museum
Bakewell Old House Museum is hosting its own night at the museum with a spectacular evening of music, storytelling and song from the Tudor period to the present day. After doors open at 7.30pm on Saturday May 17, visitors will be invited to tour the museum and enjoy songs and stories featuring the innovators who helped to shape the history of the Old House and its collection.
Featured individuals include mill owner and landlord of the Old House, Richard Arkwright, and the Duke of Rutland. Museum manager Anita Spencer said: “The audience promenade around the exhibits and it's a great opportunity to experience the whole museum. There's a fabulous buffet and it's lovely to hear these stories and music bringing the collection to life. There's a real buzz about the building.”
Derby's Chamber Choir The Sitwell Singers will start the evening with a selection of songs from the Renaissance and beyond. There will also be a reading by Poet Laureate of the Peak Ann Watkinson. Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children.
Alternatively, if you fancy sampling a beer or two this weekend, Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre will be offering over 120 to choose from, plus ciders, fruit wines, continental bottled beers and hot food.
The Rail Ale Beer Festival takes place on Friday May 16 and Saturday May 17 from 12 noon to 11pm. During the day visitors will have the chance to ride the Railway Centre's historic steam and diesel locomotives, and in the evening there will be live entertainment from local bands the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Friday) and The Idle Hands (Saturday).
Roundhouse manager Mervyn Allcock said: “This event has evolved into one of the highlights in our visitors calendars and we look forward to seeing even more people there this year.” Tickets are £5 in advance from Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre and £6 on the gate. Members of the Campaign for Real Ale will be entitled to a free half pint on production of a CAMRA membership card.
Salma Conway is one of our three Renaissance East Midlands arts writers, reporting on MGM 2008 events all over the region for the whole month of May. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council