News In Brief - Week Ending September 10 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 04 September 2006
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending September 10 2006.

a photograph of a soldier with a union jack flag attached to his packback

08.09.2006 - First Falklands War Exhibition Announced For Royal Naval Museum

The Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth is to host the first all-embracing exhibition about the Falklands War to mark the 25th anniversary of the conflict.

Major events will be held both in the UK and in the islands themselves to commemorate the 1982 war, with the museum's exhibition opening in Easter 2006. It is intended to tie in with a huge internet 'exhibition' by the RNM called 'Sea Your History' which intends to digitise 15,000 naval artifacts from the 20th Century.

08.09.2006 - New Arts Complex To Revitalise Forgotten Corner Of Glasgow City Centre

The Briggait, a 19th Century former fishmarket in the heart of Glasgow's Merchant City, is set to be transformed into an exciting new resource for visual artists following a £1.7m award from Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund.

Led by local artists studios collective, The Wasps Trust, together with Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Glasgow City Council, the new complex will house 11 visual arts organisations to create a dynamic arts quarter in the city.

It is anticipated that the renovation will be complete in 2009.

08.09.2006 - The Lowry Teams Up With Umbro For Football Art Prize

The Lowry and football kit manufacturers Umbro have teamed up to launch a football-themed art competition with prizes totalling £25,000.

One Love: The Football Art Prize is asking artists to submit work in any two-dimensional medium including photography and moving image. The aim is to create an exhibition, to be shown at the Lowry on Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, that reflects the varied emotions of the beautiful game.

Judges include fromer England goalkeeper David James and contemporary artist Mark Wallinger. Deadline for submissions is September 25 2006. For more information and to download an application form see

a photograph of a man driving a steam train

07.09.2006 - Leighton Buzzard Railway Secures Historic Railway Station

The Leighton Buzzard Railway (LBR) has declared itself to be "quietly satisfied" with the apparent resolution of its long-running planning issues concerning Page’s Park station.

At a meeting of the Planning Committee of South Bedfordshire District Council on August 30 2006 it was agreed that a new lease will be negotiated for the Page’s Park station site, on terms which would provide LBR with acceptable security of tenure.

It was also agreed to allocate the sum of £100,000 to LBR, as a first instalment towards the construction of a combined station building and community rooms at Page’s Park.

“We are pleased with this outcome, which we regard both as a justification of our refusal to accept the situation in which we found ourselves last year, and as recognition of the excellent standards attained by our volunteers," LBR Chairman Mervyn Leah.

The LBR now needs to raise several hundred thousand pounds to realise it's restoration plan and to open the station to the public in 2009.

07.09.2006 - North East Mining Museum To Re-Open In October 2006

The £16million redevelopment of Woodhorn Colliery Museum into one of the North East's top visitor attractions is due to be completed and open to the public on October 28 2006.

With the new name of 'Woodhorn' the revamped museum will feature a new main building together with restored original pit buildings and state of the art computer simulations that will transport visitors back to the heyday of the colliery.

"There will be something for everybody, from the amateur historians... to people who are keen to remember or find out what it was like in our coal mining communities, " promised Project Director, Neil Anderson.

landscape painting

07.09.2006 – William Dyce Exhibition Solves Landscape Mystery

A new exhibition of the work of Aberdeen-born artist William Dyce reveals the truth behind one of his most famous paintings.

The exhibition, running until November 11 2006 at Aberdeen Art Gallery, features the Victorian artist’s landscape Shirrapburn Loch – the true location of which has never been pinpointed. There is no loch in Scotland named Shirrapburn, and no evidence that it ever existed.

Confident that the painting depicted a real scene, Helen Smailes, Senior Curator of British Art at the National Gallery of Scotland (which holds the painting in its collection), began research to find its location.

Local hillwalker Dr Ken McTaggart joined the search following a public appeal for help and after much hunting in vain, found Stuckgowanburn on Loch Lomond. With the help of his digital camera, he compared the scene to Dyce’s painting and found strong similarities between the two.

“There were so many points of direct comparison in the hills that I was convinced I had found the elusive scene,” he said, and believes that Shirrapburn must be a corruption or mis-transcription of Stuckgowanburn, solving the long-standing mystery once and for all.

photo of a man in Roman soldier costume

07.09.2006 – Segedunum Needs You To Recreate Wallsend Roman Community

Hundreds of volunteers are being invited to recreate the bustling community of Roman Wallsend on September 8 2006.

The free Praesidium II event will symbolise what the community around Segedunum Roman Fort, Tyne & Wear, would have been like. Participants don’t need to wear Roman fancy dress, but they will be able to meet costumed Roman re-enactors throughout the day.

Activities will begin at 11am, with filming of the recreation, for posterity, lasting until 12.30pm. Anyone interested in taking part should call (0191) 236 9347 and leave their name and contact number.

photo of the Transatlantic Slavery gallery at Liverpool Maritime Museum

06.09.2006 – International Slavery Museum To Open August 2007

have announced that the new International Slavery Museum will open on August 23 2007 - Slavery Remembrance Day.

The date chosen commemorates an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of St Domingo (modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1791. Designated by UNESCO, the date is a reminder that enslaved Africans were the main agents of their own liberation.

The year 2007 will also be marked as the biecentenary of the British Parliament passing the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act on 27 March 1806. Liverpool was the European capital of the slave trade in the late 18th century, growing rich on the profits of the transatlantic market. Read more in our article.

06.09.2006 - Million Pound LS Lowry Liver Building Painting To Go On Display At Tate Liverpool

LS Lowry’s masterpiece The Liver Building (1962) will be exhibited at Tate Liverpool as part of a special Lowry in Liverpool Focus Room. Recently auctioned at Christie’s, the painting was sold to a private collector for £1.2million, the second highest price ever paid for a Lowry work.

a photograph of an entrance way to a castle monument

06.09.2006 – Historic Scotland To Invest £2.7m To Improve Welcome At Edinburgh Castle

Historic Scotland is investing £2.7million to cut queues and give visitors a warmer welcome when they arrive at Edinburgh Castle.

The project will halve the time taken to queue for tickets with a swift new electronic system, and transform visitors’ view of the castle by removing the current ticket office from the esplanade. A new terrace and gathering area will offer spectacular views of the city. Online booking will also be available. The new system should be in place by 2008.

06.09.2006 – Darwin Honeybee Experiment Recreated At Down House

English Heritage has recreated one of the most important experiments behind Charles Darwin’s work On the Origin of Species at his former home, Down House in Kent.

A new specially constructed observation beehive in the house gardens will allow visitors to see honeybees building honeycomb just as Darwin did 150 years ago when trying to prove the theory of evolution.

Darwin needed to prove how the complex hexagonal substance could be constructed instinctively by insects without divine intervention, so turned to beekeeping friends to provide him with a swarm of bees in a glass-sided hive, enabling him to study comb-building.

“The addition of this beehive,” said Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes, “which played such an important part of his research, will give visitors a greater appreciation of the range of his investigations and their value for our understanding of the natural world.”

06.09.2006 - Welsh Culture Minister Backs Plans For Kyffin Williams Gallery

Welsh Assembly culture minister Alan Pugh has lent his support to the concept of a Kyffin Williams gallery as a tribute to the late painter.

Politicians and artists have called for a National Gallery of Wales in Cardiff, which would host works by Sir Kyffin, to be named after the Anglesey artist.

Oriel Ynys Mon on Anglesey is now looking for £1.4million in order to extend its gallery to house 400 works donated by the artist.

photo of a man and woman in old fashioned rural dress outside a woodland thatched cottage

05.09.2006 - Prestigious Author To Visit Ulster American Folk Park

Popular Irish children's writer, Marita Conlon McKenna, is heading to the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh on September 9 2006 to read extracts from two of her best-selling novels - Under The Hawthorn Tree and Wildflower Girl.

Both novels fit in with the park's setting as a museum of emigration and will offer children an opportunity to relive the novels in an environment similar to that depicted in the stories and McKenna will read from a number of locations around the venue.

There will also be various themed activities for children and adults, including open hearth baking, an exploration of traditional cures and medicines, traditional craft demonstrations and a forest nature trail. McKenna will be available to meet with the public and sign books.

The event is taking part in conjunction with the launch of a new BBC Northern Ireland radio series and website called Tandy, which aims to help 9-11 year olds develop skills in listening, literacy and ICT and encourage an interest in the world around them.

05.09.2006 - Colchester And Tendrig Open Studios Season To Start

The ninth Colchester and Tendring Open Studios season is set to open on September 9 2006 and continues every weekend until October 1 2006.

A total of 58 artists are opening their studios to the public on these dates, giving visitors a unique insight into the artistic process and an opportunity to meet the artists and even buy objects they like. Minibus tours will run from firstsite @ The Minories Gallery, Colchester, on each day of the event.

There will all be an Open Studios exhibition at the Life Cafe Gallery in Colchester and a show at Cuckoo Farm Studios, also in Colchester, on September 9 and 10.

photo of a man in a suit delivering a lecture

05.09.2006 - Tank Museum Announces Lecture Programme

The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, is running its fourth annual series of lectures starting this September.

The first lecture, Flers And The First Use Of The Tank, kicks off on September 21 2006 and is presented by author and former soldier Trevor Pidgeon. Other events include Researching War Art with John Schofield, Head of English Heritage Military Programmes and Military Myths Of The Two World Wars with author and TV presenter Gordon Corrigan.

Call the museum on 01929 405096 for more information and tickets. Picture: Richard Holmes lectures at The Tank Museum in 2005.

05.09.2006 - RIBA Set To Launch China Fortnight

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is set to launch its China Fortnight of events on September 11 2006.

China Fortnight will showcase the collaboration of British architects and engineers in China with particular emphasis on social and environmental sustainability, looking at plans for the world's first zero-carbon eco-city, organic farms, green housing and eco-friendly transport.

Events include the exhibition Going Green In China along with seminars and workshops.

photo of a man in a scientists white coat examining a whale skeleton

04.09.2006 - Skeleton Of Thames Whale Arrives At Natural History Museum

The skeleton of the stranded 'Thames Whale' has arrived at London's Natural History Museum after a post mortem examination by the Zoological Society of London.

The cause of death of the northern bottle-nosed whale was found to be dehydration, but initial studies by the museum indicate that it might also have been suffering from arthritis. It died in January 2006 after swimming up the Thames and becoming disoriented, despite efforts to save it.

It will now become part of the museum's reference collection and be used to research the life of its species and other whales. There are currently no plans to put the bones on public display although the museum has not ruled this out for the future.

04.09.2006 - 17th Century Tomb Saved Through English Heritage Grant

English Heritage has committed £50,000 to restore the tomb of 17th century poet and politician Edmund Waller in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

Restoration work on the tomb, set in the grounds of St Mary and All Saints Church, began in May 2006 and the grant will ensure the survival of this grade II listed structure, which dates from 1687 and is decorated with winged skulls and Latin inscriptions.

Waller was born in 1606 and became MP for Ilchester aged 18 and joined the Long Parliament from 1640 to 1644, although he was implicated in a plot against parliament and extradited to France. He later returned to England, however, and rejoined parliament in 1661 eventually becoming one of its longest-serving members in history.

photo of a red brick stately home with formal gardens in front of it

04.09.2006 - Stately Home On The Look Out For Volunteers

Weston Park, one of the Midlands' finest stately homes, is calling on students and other individuals to join its volunteer programme to help bring its historical collections alive.

A range of roles are available for volunteers including becoming house guides, park rangers, assistant gardeners and education assistants. Students completing a vocational qualification covering museum and heritage, history of art or conservation courses are also encouraged to apply for work experience projects.

Volunteers enjoy a range of benefits when they have attained a certain number of hours including discounts and free entry passes to certain events.

Weston Park was designed and built in 1671 by Elizabeth, Lady Wilbraham, and houses a rich collection of fine and decorative arts. It currently attracts 20,000 visits a year and is also used for several large events like the V Festival and the Summer Proms Spectacular.

Call Gareth Williams on 01952 852100 for more details and an application form.

04.09.2006 - New Exhibition Space For Wakefield Opened In Historic Orangery

A new public exhibition space has been opened in an unusual venue in Wakefield, West Yorkshire - the town's 18th century Orangery.

The building has formerly been used as a zoological garden, bathhouse, burial ground, school, office and conference venue. Its east wing will now be used to present a varied art and architecture exhibition programme aiming to encourage improvement and understanding of public spaces - streets, public buildings, squares, parks and open spaces.

Its first exhibition, Small Structures, opens on September 7 2006.

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