News In Brief - Week Ending July 9 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 03 July 2006
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending July 9 2006.

a photograph of the queen being presented with a gift by a soldier

07.07.2006 - Royal Opening For Scottish Cavalry Museum

Soldiers from The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards rolled out the red carpet for their Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty the Queen, when she visited their new £1.5 million Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh on Thursday July 6 2006.

With the The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards having just returned from an operational detachment in Iraq, the museum opens with a state-of-the-art presentation and unique exhibits detailing their colourful history from Blenheim to Basra.

Among the key exhibits is a never before seen collection of military and personal memorabilia, loaned by world renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, which depicts not only his own service with The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards' antecedents the Royal Scots Greys but also that of his father before him.

07.07.2006 National Waterfront Museum Launches New Learning Zone

Swansea's National Waterfront Museum has launched a new learning zone with financial backing from the steel company Corus and the steelworkers' union, Community.

The dedicated learning space can be enjoyed by everyone from toddlers to pensioners for formal education and informal fun activities.

"This new learning zone offers an excellent opportunity to bring the museum to life... I am confident that it will be a valuable resource for the local community and beyond and I urge everyone to come along and take part in the activities already planned," said Jane Davidson, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning.

a photograph of a dead bird

07.07.2006 - Natural History Museum Acquires Frigatebird

The first ever Magnificent Frigatebird found in Britain will become part of the Natural History Museum Bird Collection. Originally from the tropics, there have been only seven records of them in Britain and Ireland and only two identified as Magnificent Frigatebirds.

The unfortunate bird was blown off course during bad weather in the Atlantic and after being found by a Shropshire farmer in November 2005, it was transferred, emaciated but still alive, to Chester Zoo where it expired a month later.

The specimen was given to the Museum's bird expert, Katrina Cook, who carefully restored it. Photo © NHM

07.07.2006 - Wimbledon Museum Acquires Fred Perry's Last Cup

The 70th Anniversary of Fred Perry's third consecutive Wimbledon victory has been celebrated by Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum who have acquired the Renshaw Cup won in 1936 by Britain's last Gentlemen's Singles champion. The cup goes on display in the Museum on Friday July 7 2006.

The silver Renshaw Cup, designed by Richard Crossley and hallmarked "London, 1936", was a prize won by the Gentlemen's Champion, in addition to the Challenge Cup which is still in use today. The Renshaw Cup was retained by the champion, while the Challenge Cup remained with the club.

"The Gentlemen's Singles title has not been won by a British player since Perry's triumph in 1936," said Honor Godfrey, Curator of Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. "It is very fitting that this Cup is added to the Museum's collection on the 70th anniversary of Perry's last Wimbledon singles victory."

a graphic with the word sewers on it

06.07.2006 - Latest Episode Released In Artangel's Online Night Haunts Project

Sewers, Sukhdev Sandhu's fifth 'episode' for the Artangel-sponsored Night Haunts online art project has been launched this week.

Artangel Interaction invited Sandhu to record his forays into the London night during 2006 in this special collaboraiton with web designer Ian Budden of Mind Unit and sound artist Scanner.

As each new episode of Night Haunts goes live, subscribers are emailed with the new installment. To find out what its all about and to get involved click on

06.07.2006 - MLA Launches New International Web Pages

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council has launched new international pages on its website.

Practical information on topics such as funding possibilities and international networks, inspiring case studies, and material to help develop the case for working internationally sit alongside information on MLA’s recent activities in the international arena.

“Working internationally expands horizons, develops skills and opens up new and exciting possibilities for the sector and the people who use its institutions," said Sue Hughes, MLA’s International Policy Adviser.

MLA has put together a series of factsheets to provide useful information about international work. Information is available to help site users learn about sources of funding, what opportunities professional organisations can provide, and major current and future international issues. Find out more at

06.07.2006 - Urban Panel Visits Harlow To Review The New Town Experience

The Urban Panel, which brings together the expertise of English Heritage and CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), visited Harlow on 5 and 6 July as part of an investigation into regeneration initiatives, options for expansion and growth strategies affecting the 'first generation' new town, which was founded sixty years ago.

"The Urban Panel's visit to Harlow is one of a series focussing on learning lessons from the New Towns experience," said Rosslyn Stuart, English Heritage Planning and Development Director (East).

"Through observation, inquiry and debate, we are all working towards greater awareness and capacity amongst those involved in the process of making places of quality and truly sustainable communities."

a bone pin in the shape of a bird

06.07.2006 - Rare Hairpin Gives Curators Something To Crow About

A rare 4th century hairpin featuring a cockerel or bird motif has been put on display for the first time at Aldborough Roman Town, near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

English Heritage believe the three and half-inch long artefact, made from animal bone with a crow motif on the top, is one of only a handful ever found in the UK and the only one of its kind recovered from Aldborough.

The pin was sent to English Heritage through the post by a local man, who in the past has also donated Roman coins to the site's burgeoning collection. A note on the 19th century box containing the delicate item said it was found at Aldborough sometime between 1850 and 1880. The town was once a thriving Roman town, complete with public baths and opulent villas.

06.07.2006 - Arts Council England Supports Arts In Yorkshire With £589,000 In Grants

Arts Council England, Yorkshire has announced its latest rounds of Grants for the arts awards, investing in artists and arts projects that put the arts at the heart of the region.

Forty-eight projects in Yorkshire and the Humber are earmarked to receive a total of £589,167.

"These awards ensure that high-quality work reaches a wide range of people, engaging them as both audiences and participants," said Andy Carver, Executive Director of Arts Council England, Yorkshire. "We are investing in a diverse and innovative arts sector that will put the arts, and active participation in the arts, at the heart of the region."

For information about the Grants for the arts programme, including how to make an application, contact Arts Council England on 0845 300 6200 or visit

a photograph of three men posing by a sign

06.07.2006 - New Signage Shows The Way To Belfast's Heritage

As Belfast prepares for what could be its busiest tourism season yet, dozens of new information signs have been erected across the city to help visitors find their way around – and residents find out more about their own locale.

Four different types of sign have been installed, at main entry points into the city, at three of the city’s most distinctive buildings – the City Hall, St. Anne’s Cathedral and Queen’s University - at key junctions and outside more than 30 sites of historical and architectural interest.

The signs are part of a £1 million cultural tourism visitor management plan, with the majority of the funding coming from the European Union’s Peace Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Photo © Belfast City Council

05.07.2006 - Museum Association Opposes Sale Of Paintings By Watts Gallery

In a statement issued by the Museums Association's ethics committee, the MA has advised the Watts Gallery against its plans to sell items in its collection as it would contravene the MA's code of ethics.

In a statement the MA said: "The committee has made this difficult decision because there is strong evidence to suggest that the proposed sale is financially motivated. As a result it runs counter to the MA's Code of Ethics, which opposes disposal primarily for financial reasons.

The museum, which is currently considering its options, wants to sell Jasmine by Albert Moore and The Triumph of Love by Edward Coley Burne-Jones for an estimated £1m.

painting of James Watt

05.07.2006 - Portrait of James Watt acquired by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has purchased a portrait of engineer James Watt by the great British portraitist Sir Thomas Lawrence.

The painting was acquired for £302,200 with a £67,200 contribution from The Art Fund. Additional funding came from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

James Watt (1736-1819) is well-known as one of the most important engineers of the Industrial Revolution, developing a steam engine that profoundly altered the landscape of both Great Britain and the rest of the world.

His extraordinary new steam engines were produced at the Soho engineering works in Handsworth Heath, outside Birmingham, after he moved to the city from Glasgow in 1775 to form a business partnership with Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton.

05.07.2006 - Report Reveals The UK's Sporting Heritage

A report commissioned by the Sports Heritage Network, a partnesrhip of sports based museums and academics, has revealed the wealth of sporting heritage to be found in the UK.

The research was undertaken in 2005 with a survey of over 500 museums, galleries and archives and details significant collections held in the public domain for 59 sports. The report also includes many recommendations for the future of the Sports Heritage Network including proposals for contemporary collecting, displays and exhibtions as well as recommendations for co-operating with the London Olympics in 2012.

For more information on the network contact Michael Rowe at the River and Rowing Museum on 01491 415643.

a photograph of a school group with a large paper scroll

05.07.2006 - Scroll Petition Fills Up As Somerset Museum Campaign Gathers Pace

Somerset County Council's £4.75 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to restore Taunton Castle and rejuvenate Somerset County Museum has been backed by local people who have already filled a six metre long petition in support.

Entitled 'Museum of Somerset 2006' the scroll states: "In the year 2006 we the undersigned pledge our support for a new Museum of Somerset and will strive to ensure that Somerset's wonderful heritage is protected for future generations."

The council hoped it would receive 5,000 signatures on the scroll by the end of July, but after only three weeks it is already full and a second scroll is in production. A copy will be sent to the HLF to show the amount of local supoort for the bid.
Photograph: Pupils at Wiveliscombe School sign the scroll. © Somerset County Council

05.07.2006 - New Storage Facility For Expanding British Library Book Collection

The British Library is to build a major new book storage facility for millions of its low and medium use items at its Boston Spa site in West Yorkshire.

The facility will be constructed alongside existing buildings to provide additional storage capacity for 7 million books and journals from the UK national collection, which is currently expandinig at a rate of 12.5km of linear shelf space per year.

photo of Kensington Palace wine bottles

04.07.06 – Princess Margaret’s Treasures Returned To Her Kensington Palace Home

Historic Royal Palaces have purchased former possessions of Princess Margaret at auction and put them on display at her old home, Kensington Palace.

Visitors to the palace can now see such treasures as the Venetian Blackamoor torchères she displayed in her drawing room, the Royal Menu written by her chef indicating her preferred dishes and three bottles of Kensington Palace white wine, made from grapes grown in her private garden (possibly used to wash down the dishes!)

“We are a charity with limited funds for purchasing artefacts,” said John Barnes, HRP Conservation Director, “however the Christie’s auction was a one-off chance to acquire some of Princess Margaret’s possessions which otherwise would have been lost to private collections.”

04.07.06 - Art Not Oil London Exhibition Extended

An art exhibition at The Foundry gallery in London critiquing oil company sponsorship of art has been extended to July 9 2006, after which it will tour to the Big Green Gathering festival, Norwich, Aberdeen and Bristol.

The campaign behind the exhibition aims to highlight the negative impact of fossil fuels, and hopes to bring an end to companies such as BP and Shell adding their names to the Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, respectively.

“Oil is a curse that also fuels war, poverty and environmental destruction,” says the organisation London Rising Tide, presenting the exhibition. “The companies responsible profit handsomely, yet they are still welcome in many of our most prestigious public galleries and museums. Why?”

a photograph of an old school building

03.07.2006 - Pioneering Primary School Receives HLF Grant

The historic school used by the educational pioneer who first developed the classroom and playground has been awarded £858,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Wilderspin National School in Queen Street, Barton upon Humber, will be restored to tell the story of how infant education was developed. The creation of Samuel Wilderspin, the early pioneer of infant education, the Grade II* listed school was built in 1844 and was used until 1978 when the school moved to other premises.

"This project will bring the building back to life so that today’s children can step into the shoes of the very first pupils to be taught here. What a great way to have a history lesson,” said Fiona Spiers, Heritage Lottery Fund Manager for Yorkshire and the Humber.

03.07.2006 - Arts Council Awards Encourage Arts In Schools

Arts Council England has announced awards to 124 schools across the South West. Artsmark is a national awards scheme that aims aims to encourage schools to increase arts in schools and to raise the profile of arts education acroos the country.

The first of the awards were made at a ceremony at the Arnolfini in Bristol on June 30 with further ceremonies slated for the Eden Project, Cornwall on July 5 and Bryanston School Blandford on July 12.

a photograph of people in a bar

03.07.2006 - Born Gay Or Made Gay? Just One Of The Dana Centre Topics For July

The Dana Centre in London has announced a lively series of events for July 2006 including an event that brings together leading scientists for the first time to discuss the nature versus nurture theories of homosexuality.

Futher events include a crash course in genetics involving the extraction of DNA using jelly, glitter and a turkey baster; a look at the myths behind cancer and Big Brother psychologist Harry Witchel discussing how the infamous show illuminates the science of conflict.

The Dana Centre is the Science Museum's stylish adults-only bar and café dedicated to discussing science, medicine, technology and the environment. For more information including times and booking information visit the Dana Centre website at

03.07.06 - Celebrities Open New Libraries For Love Libraries Campaign

Celebrities including Ben Fogle, Rageh Omar, Sandi Toksvig and Jade Goody opened three newly made-over libraries around the UK on July 3 and gave their backing to the Love Libraries Campaign.

Love Libraries is a national campaign to get adults back into English libraries and in March 2006 the campaign announced a 12 week project to transform three libraries in Richmond, Kent and Cornwall into models of a future library service with reading at its heart.

Over 150 authors and celebrities, including JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Nick Hornby have given their backing to the scheme which emphasises the value of and importance of the public library service to our national cultural life. For more information visit

a photograph of several remote controlled cars

03.07.2006 - Eureka! To Host Robot War For Summer Holidays

Eureka! the science centre and museum for children in Halifax is hosting a new attraction, 'Robogeddon' for the school holidays (July 22 to September 3) that will give visitors the chance to experience a Robot Wars-style encounter first-hand.

Up to four people at a time can play Robogeddon, scoring points by ramming or flipping their opponents. "We're very excited to be offering Robogeddon at Eureka! this summer as it's a game that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike and is as exciting to watch as it is to play," said Michelle Buckingham, Eureka! Marketing and PR Officer.

03.07.2006 - Guardian Family Friendly Museum Shortlist Announced

Falmouth Art Gallery, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, the North Somerset Museum in Weston-super-Mare, the Horniman Museum and the - both in South London are the five museums shortlisted for this year's Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award for 2006.

"Putting children and families at the core of a museum's purpose, rather than just tolerating them, is the mark of a good family-friendly museum," said Dea Birkett, Guardian writer and founder of the Kids in Museums Campaign.

The shortlist will be road-tested by families and an overall winner announced in the Guardian in late July. For more details see

a detail from painting showing a forlorn woman in flowing robes looking out to sea

03.07.2006 - Waterhouse's Lost Miranda To Be Offered At Auction

A stunning painting by one of the most acclaimed artists of the Victorian age has been discovered after 131 years and will sell at a Bonhams auction in November.

An early version of ‘Miranda’ by John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917), painted 41 years before his famous image of Shakespeare’s Tempest scene, is estimated to fetch between £100,000 – 150,000 at Bonhams’ sale of 19th Century Paintings at 101 New Bond Street, London on 14 November 2006.

The painting had been in a private Scottish collection and was discovered by Chris Brickley from Bonhams in Edinburgh during a valuation visit.

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