News In Brief - Week Ending March 18 2007

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 12 March 2007
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending March 18 2007.

photo of graffiti depicting a monkey

16.03.2007 - Rail workers given lessons on recognising Banksy works

Rail workers employed by Network Rail to get rid of graffiti around stations and on trains have been given art lessons so they don't paint over work bytop artist Banksy.

The training has been put in place a month after staff painted over one of the Bristol-based artist's distinctive murals in Leake Street by Waterloo Station. The mural showed a monkey blowing up bananas with dynamite.

A Network Rail spokesperson said that given the possible value of Banksy works, cleaning contractors have been asked to notify managers if they come across any graffiti that might be by the artist. The graffiti may then be removed and auctioned for charity.

16.03.2007 - WWI trench in Cannock Chase scheduled as ancient monument

A rare World War One training trench discovered in Cannock Chase Forest has been designated as a scheduled ancient monument by English Heritage to protect it for future generations.

The trench, whose exact location has been kept secret, will be looked after by the Forestry Commission and English Heritage. It was found when a local forester fell into it over a decade ago.

16.03.2007 - Southwark's Manor Place Baths no longer at risk

The historic Manor Place Baths in Southwark, South London, have been saved for the local community by the Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan Buddhist group, which is opening a new complementary health centre in the building on March 17.

A much-loved landmark on the Walworth Road since 1895, this Grade II-listed washhouse has been on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register for the last three years. Now Southwark Council has recommended the building be taken off the list after successful renovation by the Buddhist group.

a photograph of a pleased looking man holding a book whilst standing in front of a statue

15.03.2007 - Norton Priory ranger off round the world thanks to Winston Churchill

A ranger at Norton Priory Museum & Gardens has been awarded a prestigious national award by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Paul Quigley will receive a travel and research bursary of about £6,000 to help him travel to sacred sites around the world which are also tourist destinations, to see how they balance increasing visitor numbers while maintaining their peace and tranquillity.

He's hoping to visit Shinto temples in Japan, monastic sites in Hungary and aboriginal sites in Australia. He will spend up to six weeks travelling and return having gained knowledge and experience of significant value to his work as well as his own personal development.

The scheme was endowed in 1965 as a living memorial to Sir Winston. This year there are 98 Churchill Fellows, selected from 779 applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, trades and professions. For more information see

15.03.2007 - Centrepiece arrives to complete Wimpole Hall’s splendid Dining Room

Following almost 10 years of restoration of the Dining Room at Wimpole Hall, the centrepiece of the remarkable room is to be installed on Friday March 16 2007.

An eight-light chandelier, modelled on the style of the Victorian period, has been custom-made for Wimpole and will be put in place by the Hall’s conservators in time for the start of the new season when the grand interiors of the National Trust property open to visitors this weekend.

painting of a woman with grey hair

15.03.2007 - Jewish Museum receives Salaman portrait

On Thursday March 22 the Jewish Museum, Camden Town, will celebrate the arrival of a portrait of Hebrew scholar Nina Davis Salaman (1877 - 1925) into its collection.

The oil painting, by eminent Jewish artist Solomon J Solomon (1860 - 1927), was painted in 1918, the year of his Presidency of the Royal Society of British Artists. It was in the ownership of the Salaman family until the recent death of Nina Salaman’s youngest daughter, Esther Salaman, the renowned voice teacher of Hampstead, NW London.

Dr Jeremy Schonfield, historian and family friend, will speak on Nina Salaman's contribution to Hebrew scholarship while Peter Hamburger, Salaman’s grandson, will talk about her domestic life and the circumstances surrounding the presentation of the picture. The event begins at 3pm.

The portrait, which is currently on loan to the Jewish Museum, captures Nina Salaman in her prime - a woman of outstanding beauty, intellect and character.

15.03.2007 - Renowned designer and engineer to give lecture on Brunel's SS Great Britain

Internationally acclaimed designer and Brunel fan, Thomas Heatherwick, is to give a lecture on Thursday March 22 in Bristol on board the .

Best known for his innovative engineering and use of materials, Heatherwick is arguably one of the UK’s most ambitious designers.

His work ranges dramatically in style and size from the stunning ‘Rolling Bridge’, at London’s Paddington Basin, to an expandable handbag for French handbag manufacturer, Longchamp, and a seafront café due to open this summer in Littlehampton.

Tickets for the ‘Annual Crofton Gane Lecture’ are on sale for £5. The lecture, which starts at 7pm, will be in the First Class Dining Saloon.

a model cross section of slave ship showing galleys barrels and slaves on benches

14.03.2007 - Cowper and Newton Museum to mark abolition of slave trade with Lottery help

The end of the transatlantic slave trade in British ships is to be commemorated in song and poetry and with a special exhibition in Milton Keynes, thanks to a £49,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

From Slave Trade to Fair Trade is being organised by the Cowper and Newton Museum working in partnership with the local authority’s youth and schools music services, educational resource centre Global Education Milton Keynes, Christian aid charity World Vision and Culture Milton Keynes.

Chair of trustees for the Cowper and Newton Museum, Tony Seward said: “We look forward to working with our partners across Milton Keynes in delivering this exciting programme. We hope it will bring home that slavery and its legacy are important issues for everyone, regardless of whether they live in a former slaving port or far inland.”

14.03.2007 - Jersey Archive throws open its doors to the public

The Jersey Archive will be hosting its second annual open day on Saturday March 17 from 10am until 4pm.

Admission is free and there will be a range of activities on offer to the public throughout the day. A series of scheduled tours will be condcuted behind the scenes of the Archive, passing through strong rooms, the cataloguing room and the conservation workshop.

Two talks have also been scheduled - one on house history at 11.30am and another on The Treasures of the Archive at 2.00pm whilst members of the Channel Islands Family History Society will also be available to help visitors search for their ancestors. For more information and to book a place on a tour or a talk call 01534 833300.

a photograph of a depth charge hanging from the roof of a gallery

14.03.2007 - Rescue plan mooted for Explosion! museum in Gosport

According to reports in the Portsmouth News a group called Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) has had talks with Gosport Borough Council to discuss taking over the running of Explosion!, the Museum of Naval Firepower.

GVA is a charity based in the the town which supports nearly 300 community groups. If it takes over the running of Explosion! it is thought it could transfer its charitable status to the museum, open up funding opportunities and use volunteers to run the attraction.

The council wants to save over £100,000 a year by cutting its current subsidy to the museum, which has repeatedly failed to attract visitors despite having an award-winning collection.

Originally funded with a £3.5 million grant from the Millennium Commission, the Museum opened in 2001 and stands on the site of a former Navy Munitions works at Priddy's Hard in the heart of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The details of the plan and the future of Explosion! are due to be discussed at a meeting of the Council on March 29.

14.03.2007 - Bowes Museum to create new education suite after £100, 000 funding pledge

The Bowes Museum has announced it has received a £100,000 pledge from the Newcastle based Shears Foundation, to support the creation of a new education suite in three of the Museum’s vaults.

Work is scheduled for summer 2008 and the transformation will include a teaching space with the latest interactive media such as digital whiteboards and software and a networked overhead projector, and a ‘wet space’ for hands-on activities and workshops. These will be used to provide formal education sessions for schoolchildren.

The project is part of a series of capital work that has received first stage approval by the Heritage Lottery Fund for an award of £3.3 million. The next few years will see the creation of new displays, improved stores and visitor amenities.

a photograph of a museum exterior with a tank and watch tower

13.03.2007 - Bomb disposal men commemorated at Eden Camp Museum

A special unveiling ceremony will take place at Eden Camp War Museum on March 14 2007 to commemorate six members of RAF Bomb Disposal who were awarded the George Cross during and immediately after WWII.

The unveiling of six display boards, by Air Marshall Sir John Willis, will take place in the museum's recently opened Medal Room. Serving members of RAF Bomb Disposal will also be present and will hand over a CRVT armoured personnel carrier to the Museum.

13.03.2007 - Historic Scotland welcomes its three millionth visitor

The record-breaking, three-millionth visitor to Historic Scotland properties in 2006-07 was presented today with a bottle of Dallas Dhu Whisky by Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport.

The Minister was on hand to meet the fortunate recipient of the whisky at Edinburgh Castle during Scottish Tourism Week. Forecasts suggest the 75 ticketed Historic Scotland properties will have welcomed more than 3.1 million visitors by the end of the financial year (March 2007).

a photograph of a larger than life model of a newly born baby on a gallery floor

13.03.2007 - Mueck's Baby Girl delivered to Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has acquired an iconic hyper-realist sculpture of a baby girl by Australian artist Ron Mueck.

The enormous five metre sculpture, A Girl, was made especially for an exhibition of Mueck’s work at the Gallery in 2006, which became the most popular contemporary show ever organised by the National Galleries of Scotland. A Girl was purchased for £400,000 with a £50,000 grant from The Art Fund.

“I am delighted that Mueck’s gigantic painted fibreglass baby has found a home in Scotland," said Richard Calvocoressi, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. "We have an outstanding collection of super-realist sculpture and I am sure she will become as iconic and familiar as Duane Hanson’s lifesize Tourists.”

Picture: Ron Mueck, A Girl, 2006. Courtesy Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

13.03.2007 - Bolton demolition workers save rare manuscripts for museum

A team of builders from Clitheroe who saved several boxes full of manuscripts from a skip have given their finds to Bolton Museum.

The papers date from 1900 to 1940 and detail mill blueprints and auction catalogues concerning Bolton and Lancashire Cotton Mills. Found during the demolition of an engineering company in Bolton town centre they offer a valuable insight into the industrial heritage of the area.

charcoal sketch of a miner digging at a coal face

12.03.2007 - National Coal Mining Museum buys Henry Moore sketch

The National Coal Mining Museum for England in Wakefield has purchased Miner Drilling by Henry Moore to join its collection of mining-related art.

It is the first work by the internationally renowned artist, the son of a coal miner, to enter the museum's collection.

Although best known for his sculptures, Moore (1898-1986) produced an important body of drawings during the Second World War which were to influence his later work.

Miner Drilling was made in 1942 when he spent time at Wheldale Colliery, Castleford drawing miners at work, during his period as a war artist. Mining was a reserved occupation during the conflict as it was so important for the war effort, which meant that miners could not join 'regular' forces.

"Miner Drilling is of particular importance, as the museum previously held no examples of Moore's work," said Rosemary Preece, Curatorial Director at the museum. "His status in the art world together with his close links with the Wakefield district makes this an iconic piece for the museum."

12.03.2007 - Campaign for Learning announces winners of Best Family Learning Week Event

The Campaign for Learning has awarded East Riding Children's Centre and Birmingham Central Library the Best Family Learning Week Event held in a museum or gallery.

Sponsored by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), East Riding Children's Centre won the award for an event at Sewerby Hall and Gardens where families were led on a trail of discovery that allowed them to explore their environment through a series of creative activities.

Birmingham Central Library was awarded the accolade for its Best Families Love Libraries event. Its free Space Trail attracted more than 15,000 visitors, and all seven floors of the library were used, with story telling and other creative activities on offer.

"Family Learning Week can really make a difference in the community, bringing families together to learn in a welcoming environment," said Linda Siegle, Joint Chief Executive of the Campaign for Learning.

12.03.2007 - Historic Scotland encourages young Scots to take up traditional crafts

Historic Scotland are organising a series of traditional building craft events at heritage sites across the country.

The events run until March 16 and are aimed at primary and secondary school children to raise awareness of the important role specialist trades play in protecting and conserving historic properties.

They will highlight the fact that traditional crafts like stone masonry, carpentry and slating can offer a rewarding career and show the value of Scotland's historic built environment.

"At the moment there's a serious shortage of specialist craftspeople and that's an issue which is of great concern to us," said Sue Mitchell, Historic Scotland's Education Manager.

"We're therefore trying to do all that we can to raise awareness of how valuable traditional trades and building craft skills are. It's vital that we get the message across to people whilst they're still young and have their career options open."

photo of a reconstruction of a bronze age grass roofed hut

12.03.2007 - Budding armourers can learn sword casting at Flag Fen

Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre in Peterborough is running a two day sword making course on March 24 and 25 2007.

Students will learn from master bronze caster David Chapman and spend the weekend creating their own sword which they can then take away as a unique souvenir.

Archaeologists have unearthed numerous ancient swords at Flag Fen, which is considered one of the most important Bronze Age sites in Europe.

For more details of the course phone 01733 313414 or visit the Flag Fen website.

12.03.2007 - British Library says adopt a book for Mother's Day

The British Library has revealed a range of gift options from its adopt-a-book scheme in time for Mother's Day on March 18.

The Library says the scheme is the ideal way to help protect the world’s greatest book collection and give mothers a very different gift that will last a lifetime.

Suggested titles include Emily Bronte’s classic novel Wuthering Heights (1858), Boris Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago (1961), Mrs Beeton’s All About Cookery (1871) and the Use of Wine in Fine Cooking (1950) by Elizabeth David.

A number of adoption packages are available - ranging from a £25 donation that allows the person to receive a personalised certificate through to a lavish £500 donation that sees their name inscribed on the British Library’s List of Conservation. For more information see

12.03.2007 - Call for events for Architecture Week 2007

Individuals and organisations are being encouraged to stage events for Architecture Week 2007, which takes place from June 15-24.

Private building owners, public centres, National Trust buildings, art galleries, museums and architectural practices can all organise events like tours and exhibitions or open up normally private environments to the wider public.

Organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects, Arts Council England and the Architecture Centre Network, Architecture Week aims to inspire people to think creatively about the spaces around them.

The theme of this year's Architecture Week is How Green is Our Space?, looking at all aspects of the environment from climate change, green roofs, recycled building materials and sustainable design through to physical green spaces within the built environment.

Even if events do not have a green theme they can still be a part of Architecture Week: go to its website to register.

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