River And Rowing Museum To Develop Punjabi Audio Guides

By Nicola Tann | 16 February 2006
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a model showing Toad from Wind in the Willows in a rowing boat on a river

Toad's antics will soon be translated into Punjabi. Photography by Fil Gierlinski. Picture courtesy of River and Rowing Museum.

Punjabi Audio guides will be developed for a Wind in the Willows exhibition at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley, with funding from a Museum Development Service Small Grants’ Scheme.

The initiative is designed to allow families of the multicultural and multilingual communities in the area to be able to attend events at the museum. This follows recently established links between the museum and a local school in Slough.

“The idea for the Punjabi audio guide came from a showcase visit for the pupils of Godolphin Junior School and their families,” said Valerie Wardlow, Head of Education at the River and Rowing Museum. “We noticed the different English language abilities across the generations and this sparked the idea for a translation.”

A photograph of a model toad wearing a nighty being chased by two comical policemen

Photography by Fil Gierlinski. Picture courtesy of River and Rowing Museum.

The project is in the very early stages of development with a local community media company in the process of recording the guides to accompany the museum's Wind in the Willows exhibition.

The museum has invited the pupils and their families back at the end of March when the first draft version of the tapes will be available. The families will provide a ‘test run’ for the tapes and give feedback to help with development.

“We have a strong commitment to increase the diversity of the audiences we serve, and make every effort to encourage schools and community groups from urban areas such as Reading and Slough to make use of the museum resources,” added Valerie.

“We are always looking for opportunities to connect with these audiences and find projects and funding to work with them.”

A photograph of a museum display with a cravan and other scenes from Wind in the Willows

Photography by Fil Gierlinski. Picture courtesy of River and Rowing Museum.

The audiotapes feature straight excerpts from the Kenneth Grahame book and the exhibition has three-dimensional scenes from the Wind in the Willows story.

The Godolphin Junior School became involved with the River and Rowing Museum as part of Creative Partnerships, the DCMS’ and Arts Council England's flagship programme in cultural education.

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Nicola Tann is the 24 Hour Museum Renaissance Student Writer for Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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