The Culture24/7: History and Heritage Picks for September 2011

By Richard Moss | 30 August 2011
cover artwork for Commando comic featuring three soldiers in the jungle
The iconic artwork of Commando comic - on show at the National Army Museum© DC Thomson
With the long lost British summer seemingly on the wane, here’s our pick of seven museum exhibitions and events to see you through the Indian summer of September...

Heritage Open Days September 8-11 at hundreds of venues across England

This is the big one. The largest heritage festival of the year, Heritage Open Days takes in everything from country homes to Cold War bunkers and this year numbers over 4,000 free events on a long weekend of discovery stretching from Thursday to Sunday.

Hit the website for more details – and get planning now – some of the best events and tours get booked out double-quick.

, Snibston Discovery Museum, September 17

Until the decline of the coal industry in the 1980s the miner’s gala used to be a staple of the collier’s year. Beauty pageants, singing, dancing, ferret racing, dog shows, brass bands, drinking… all of it now sadly part of a world we have lost.   

The Leicestershire Miners Gala at Snibston returns us to these heady days with something more than just a recreation - this will be the fourth year the NUM-backed event has been held since the original celebrations ceased.

National Army Museum until April 30 2012

For men of a certain age, Commando comic was an essential part of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. Back then, before Star Wars and other intergalactic adventures began filling young minds with names like Luke Skywalker, we were still fighting World War Two.

This exhibition at the National Army Museum explores the artwork and the stories that make this an enduring comic institution (the sole survivor of its type). It also looks at the tough fighting outfit that gave the comic its name - and the iconic Fairburn Sykes dagger symbol.  

, People's History Museum, September 24 2011

Dr Michael Sanders, Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Manchester, leads this illustrated talk on the role of song and poetry in the Chartist movement.

As well as campaigning for the vote, the Chartists liked to belt out hymns and this event marks the anniversary of the Great Chartist Meeting at Kersal Moor on Saturday September 24, 1838. Corista, a Calder Valley choir, will perform songs from the recently discovered 'National Chartist Hymn Book' – the first time they will have been heard in over a century and a half.

Nat Lofthouse: A Celebration at Bolton Museum and Art Gallery until October 29 2011

He may belong to another era, when footballers smoked woodbines and earned a relatively comparable wage to the rest of us, but in Bolton the name of Nat Lofthouse is remembered by more than those who hanker after an era of leather caseys and knee-length football shorts.

This exhibition, which includes photos, memories and memorabilia donated by his family, is a fitting tribute to a man who, between 1946 and 1960, scored 255 goals for Bolton Wanderers and netted 30 goals in just 33 appearances for England. Exploits that are now part of local folklore.

Memory Remains: 9/11 Artifacts at Hangar 17 at Imperial War Museum until February 26 2012

It somehow seems impossible that we’re already looking at the 10th anniversary of the shocking World Trade Centre attacks of 9/11. At Imperial War Museum they are marking the world changing event with Francesc Torres’ haunting photographs of the remains of the World Trade Center held at Hangar 17 of JFK Airport.

At sister venue, Imperial War Museum North, a British Union flag recovered from Ground Zero and presented to the people of Britain will go on public display for the first time on September 10 2011.      

, No 1 Royal Crescent Bath, September 13 — October 30 2011

No 1 Royal Crescent presents the ideal location for an exhibition about an author whose life and work has become synonymous with the Regency period.

Jane Austen remains one of the most enduringly popular of English authors and curators at the Georgian house delve into the life of her novels, explore the craftsmanship of book production in the 18th century and the importance of reading in Jane Austen’s Bath.

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