News In Brief - Week Ending August 13 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 07 August 2006
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending August 13 2006.

black and white passport photo of a punk rocker

11.08.2006 - Discovery Museum Needs Old Punks To Help New Exhibition

Discovery Museum in Newcastle is calling on the public to lend objects and record their memories of punk in the North East for its PUNK76! exhibition. The community project will encourage people to become involved in marking the 30th anniversary of this controversial cultural phenomenon.

If your first record was the Damned’s New Rose or you were outcast from your family for sporting a green Mohican then the outreach department at Discover want to hear your story. PUNK76!, which is due to open at Discovery Museum in November, will capture the unique experience of punk in the North East.

“Discovery Museum is constantly exploring new ways for visitors to find out about the history of North East England. There are many people in the region who are extremely passionate about Punk and the museum wants to capture this in the PUNK76! exhibition."

“We hope that the public will come forward with memorabilia such as fanzines, punk singles, photographs, gig tickets and posters that they are prepared to lend to us for duration of the show. We also want to record their accounts of being in a punk band during this period.”

If you would like to lend items for PUNK76! Please contact Michael McHugh at Discovery Museum on Mondays and Tuesdays on (0191) 277 2298 or email

11.08.2006 – English Heritage Festival Of History At Kelmore This Weekend

The English Heritage Festival of History is this weekend, opening at 9.30am on August 12 at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire.

Meet up with Peterkin the Jester in the Medieval Village – he’s jigged all the way there from Bristol; look skywards to the World War One airshow; dodge Cavaliers in the Civil War re-enactment and cheer on your team in the Knights Tournament. There really are hundreds of years’ worth of history to celebrate at the festival.

Guest Lecturers include Terry Jones and while the performance My Kingdom For a Horse will tell the story of English history through music and drama. The Living History Camp is the place to go for insights in everyday people’s lives over the last 2,000 years. Meet a Basque refugee waiting for children evacuated on the SS Habana from the Spanish Civil War in 1937, or have a go at archery under the supervision of a 12th century longbowman.

Find more details on

photo of a wall daubed in spray paint writing

11.08.2006 - See Utopia In Sunderland For One Day Only

Artist Rory Macbeth has painted the text of Sir Thomas More's novel Utopia on the inside walls of The Manor Hotel in Sunderland, where visitors can see the work for one day only this Saturday, August 12.

The walls, ceilings and floors of 1 Manor Place have become blank pages on which the 1516 work of literature is written in spray paint. The 40-room building is scheduled for demolition after August 15.

Viewing is by guided tour and spaces are limited, so get to the meeting point at the front entrance of the City Library on Fawcett Street in good time for tours starting at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.

photo of a woman in overalls shovelling coal into a steam train firebox

10.08.2006 – First Woman To Fire A Steam Loco On Main Line At National Railway Museum

A member of staff from the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York has become the first woman in England to fire a steam locomotive on the main line.

A qualified fireman and guard, Tracey Parkinson made her rail network debut on board The Scarborough Spa Express on August 10 2006, a regular summer seaside service. The Train Services Manager caught the train bug as a student on a work placement at the NRM and decided that shovelling coal on the footplate was the only place to be.

“There is no doubt that this day has been a long time coming for women on the railways,” she said, “but I have always been made to feel very comfortable by male colleagues on the footplate. They know I can do the job and that I will do it well… but I have to admit they are not much good when I drop a stitch in my knitting during the rest periods!”

Picture © NRM

10.08.2006 - New Book Celebrates NT Scotland's Little Houses Project

The National Trust for Scotland has launched a special book that looks at the history of one of Scotland’s most innovative and influential building schemes.

Little Houses: The National Trust for Scotland’s Improvement Scheme for Small Historic Homes, by Diane Watters and Miles Glendinning traces the history of the Little Houses Improvement Scheme and outlines the social objectives and basic architectural principles behind it.

The scheme provides a social purpose for buildings of architectural significance that would otherwise be lost and has helped to breath new life into many communities in Scotland, particularly in Fife, where in burghs such as Culross and Crail the positive impact of the scheme can still be seen today.

To obtain a copy of the book, priced £9.95, write to Little Houses Improvement Scheme, The National Trust for Scotland, Wemyss House, 28 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4ET, or phone 0131 243 9449, or email

a photograph of a spitfire plane parked in front of a large tower building

10.08.2006 - Replica Supermarine Spitfire Goes On Show At IWM North

To mark the 70th anniversary year of the Spitfire, a full-size replica model Spitfire has been installed in the grounds of Imperial War Museum North.

It will remain on display throughout August including the Bank Holiday Family Weekend at IWM North on Sunday 27 & Monday 28 August 12pm - 4pm. Painstakingly recreated by Imperial War Museum Duxford (Cambridgeshire), real Spitfires are now too rare and precious to display outdoors.

10.08.2006 - Public Archaeological Investigation Launched At Hailes Abbey

Visitors to Hailes Abbey, near Winchcombe, will be able to watch while an archaeological investigation is being carried out between Monday 21 August and Friday 8 September 2006.

Archaeologists will be carrying out fieldwork on the damp boggy South East corner of the site, which is the source of flooding in extremely wet weather.

A viewing platform will be available for visitors to see the investigation in progress.

Niall Morrissey, Site Technical Manager, said: "The work is vital if we are to find a solution to the flooding. The viewpoint will be an excellent way of seeing archaeologists at work, which, I am sure, will interest many of our visitors." A small area of the site will be inaccessible while the work is being carried out.

10.08.06 – Cruise Ship Hosts Boudicca Exhibition

A cruise liner has welcomed artefacts from the time of Boudicca on board in a special exhibition created by Colchester Museums archaeology department.

The Fred Olsen liner, Boudicca, tells the story of the Iceni warrior queen with Roman coins, Samian Ware poettery and a sample of the Boudiccan destruction layer – bright red earth containing the remains of buildings burnt during the anti-Roman revolt.

“Colchester Museums is delighted to be associated with Fred Olsen and their ship Boudicca,” said curator Philip Wise, “and in addition to having her name spread worldwide on the bows of this lovely ship, it’s also wonderful to tell her story to so many people in this way.”

The liner is cruising from Dover to the Baltic, Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

a photograph of a castle wall and tower

10.08.2006 - Re-enactment Reveals Bows and Brigandines at Craigmillar Castle

On 13 August 2006 visitors to Craigmillar Castle will be able to discover what it was really like to be a Scottish soldier in the Middle Ages with an entertaining display of 15th century weaponry and clothing.

Contrary to popular opinion the event will show how Scottish soldiers of the period wore 'brigandines' - metal scales sewn on a jacket. There will also be special displays that will explain the difference between a crossbow and a warbow, a sword and a great sword.

The event takes place at the impressive 15th century castle from 1.00pm to 4.00pm and admission is included in the normal ticket price. There will be an archery display at 1.45 pm and the re-enactors will be showing off their skills with swords and other weapons at 2.45 pm.

photo of two people in front of a submarine

09.08.2006 – First Charity Abseil Off A Submarine At Chatham Historic Dockyard

Charity fundraisers will abseil from the top of a former cold war submarine at Chatham Historic Dockyard on August 13 2006.

The abseil down the 65-foot side of HM Submarine Ocelot is believed to be the first time an abseil has been attempted off a submarine in Britain. Ocelot was the last warship to be built for the Royal Navy at Chatham, completed in 1964. She was one of six ‘O’ class diesel-electric submarines built there, and now sits in dry dock.

Money raised will go to the Kent and Medway Walking Bus. A walking bus is an organised walk to school where children are picked up along set routes. The idea is to combat obesity and promote road safety skills, as well as reduce traffic congestion.

09.08.2006 – English Heritage And Transport For London To Work Together On Historic Spaces

English Heritage has signed a deal with Transport for London (TfL) to joint-fund a new position that will help to enhance city’s historic environment. The collaboration is part of public realm and transport projects including Crossrail and the remodelling of Parliament Square.

Edmund Bird, the newly appointed Heritage Advisor in TfL’s Urban Environment Team, will act as a voice for London’s built heritage, ensuring that the historic environment is considered in projects such as new tram proposals and underground station improvements.

“I relish my new role at Transport for London and intend to raise the profile of our outstanding built heritage,” he said.

“We are the custodians of a rich architectural legacy of underground stations by eminent designers of the Victorian era and the twentieth century such as Sir Charles Holden. We must ensure that these landmarks are sensitively adapted to meet the modern travel needs of our customers whilst maintaining their character and integrity.”

photo of a classical fronted building with a lawn and tree in front of it

08.08.2006 - Ulster Museum To Close For £11.5m Facelift

Ulster Museum in Belfast is set to close on October 1 2006 for a two-and-a-half year, £11.5m redevelopment.

The work will create a dramatic new central courtyard, extensive refurbishment of the museum's ground floor, new history and science galleries and a state of the art learning zone. Visitors will also have direct access from the central courtyard to the art, history and science galleries and to a new sculpture court housing the museum's important collection.

08.08.2006 - New WWII Website To Be Launched For Northern Ireland's Museums And Archives

A new website is being developed to bring online access to World War Two objects, reminiscences and images from Northern Ireland's museums and archives. The website will be launched in October 2006 by the Northern Ireland Museums Council, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and the Nerve Centre.

It aims to increase knowledge of Northern Ireland's role in World War II and to make the region's collections more accessible to teachers and pupils, to develop high-quality online learning resources on the war and to help museums and PRONI market their collections and activities.

photo of a castle on a wooded hill

08.08.2006 - Stirling Castle Awarded Green Tourism Award

Stirling Castle has received a gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme. The awards are made to organisations that have made efforts to minimise their impact on the environment and have been successful in reducing their consumption of energy and resources.

Tourist attractions are assessed on a range of criteria including the efficiency of their water and electricity use, use of green products and disposal of water. Stirling Castle had previously held a silver award before being presented the scheme's highest accolade.

watercolour painting of a clock tower

07.08.2006 - Cardiff Castle Painting Returns Home After 128 Years

A watercolour of Cardiff Castle's clock tower has been recently acquired by Cardiff Council and will be put on public display for the first time since 1878.

The work, by Herman Axel Haig, was a commission for architect William Burges, who was responsible for the 19th century restoration of the castle. It was purchased for £32,000 with contributions from the Art Fund, the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund and the Lord Pontypridd Bequest Fund.

It was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1870 and later in Paris in 1878. Since then it has been out of public view, staying in the Burges family, and was eventually sold by the great, great, great, great nephew of William Burges. The watercolour will go on permanent display in 2008 when the new Burges Gallery opens in the castle.

07.08.2006 - Portsmouth Historic Dockyard To Open Doors On Hidden Treasures

Hidden treasures from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be opened to the public for a series of behind the scenes tours as part of Heritage Open Days in September 2006.

Visitors will be able to see the Block Mills, which were opened in 1803 and turned out 130,000 blocks a year for the rigging of naval ships. The building is considered to be one of the country's most important industrial sites, but public access is normally restricted as it is situated in the operational naval base.

There will also be tours of the 18th century naval storehouses where the Royal Naval Museum's reserve collections are held, see Victorian Boathouse 6 and explore the reserve collection of the Mary Rose Trust.

Spaces on the tours are limited, phone 023 9283 9766 for booking details.

painting of a man sat surrounded by several girls and women in 18th century dress

07.08.2006 - Tate Acquires £1m Portrait Of 18th Century Literary Giant

Tate has acquired an important portrait of the acclaimed 18th century novelist Samuel Richardson for £1m.

Samuel Richardson, The Novelist (1689-1761), Seated Surrounded By His Second Family, by Francis Hayman was painted in late 1740 and bought with the help of grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund. It is one of the most signicant small-scale 'conservation pipeces' to have come on the art market in recent years.

Richardson was the author of Pamela Or Virtue Rewarded, which became a phenomenal success when published in 1740, going through five editions in its first year.

Hayman's work went on to inspire Gainsborough and many other British artists and this 'conservation piece' is a key example of a fashionable genre of informal portraiture in which sitters would appear in domestic or private settings.

07.08.2006 - Liverpool Museum To Host LGBT Singles Night

Merseyside Maritime Museum is to hold Liverpool's first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender singles nights combining evening tours of the museum's new Hello Sailor! exhibition with music and entertainment.

Hello Sailor! examines life on passenger and merchant ships from the 1950s to the 80s when being at sea was one of the few places where gay men could be themselves.

The LGBT night is on Friday September 1 and tickets need to be booked in advance - call 0151 478 4616 for more details.

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