Exploring the past and imagining the future of Shrewsbury Quarry

Take a step back in time and a giant stride into the future to learn more about Shrewsbury’s Quarry on Sunday 18 November 2018 as part of a UK-wide festival of humanities.

Co-organised by Dr Liz Oakley-Brown (Senior Lecturer in English Literature) and Dr Anna Mackenzie (Deputy Head of Events) of Lancaster University, with independent Shrewsbury researcher Advolly Richmond and artist Jamila Walker, the day will include free interactive talks, a guided walk, and creative activities at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery and on site at The Quarry.

The Being Human Festival of the Humanities runs each year, celebrating on-going research and events within the humanities and supporting free events across the country to attract a public audience. As part of this Festival, the literary, social and historical past, present and future of Shrewsbury Quarry (now a 29-acre historic park) will be explored through a range of family-friendly activities.

Dr Mackenzie and Dr Oakley-Brown are Early Modernists with research interests in drama performed in what may be seen as non-traditional spaces and are both fans of Shrewsbury itself. Entitled ‘Shrewsbury’s Quarry: Exploring the Past; Imagining the Future’, the day will feature:

Shrewsbury’s Quarry: Origins and Legacy – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Vaughan’s Suite, 11:00am to 12:00pm. Booking required.

Delivered by garden historian Advolly Richmond, this illustrated talk considers how the Quarry has functioned as an important social space since the 16th century, and asks how that legacy might be developed for future local communities.

A image of a black and white illustration of Shrewsbury and the Quarry.Walking the Quarry – meeting at the main entrance to the Quarry (at the blue gates). Booking required.

Join Advolly Richmond, a garden historian, on a guided tour of the park, discussing key features on the Quarry. Please meet at the main entrance to the Quarry by the blue gates ready for 1pm.

As with any outdoors activity in November, it is advisable to bring layers and waterproofs. Fingers crossed for a dry day!

Crafting the Quarry – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Walker Suite 11:30am to 2:30pm. No booking required, but room capacity is limited.

A family-friendly drop in print making session with visual artist Jamila Walker, using natural found objects from the Quarry. Open to all ages and all children must be accompanied. No artistic skills required.

Playing the Quarry in Shakespeare’s England – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Vaughan’s Suite 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Booking required.

A little known fact about the Quarry is its references within literature. This is an informal workshop about the Quarry’s hidden theatrical and literary past with Dr Anna Mackenzie and Dr Liz Oakley-Brown. Come and hear about Shrewsbury’s Renaissance theatre scene, and also learn about how space was used both on and with the stage to create drama by Shakespeare and other playwrights.

Fay Bailey, Learning and Communications Manager at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, said:

“We are excited to be working with Lancaster University to deliver a series of talks and activities that encourage people to explore the rich history of The Quarry and Shrewsbury.

“We are working hard to attract families and history lovers to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery and the town as a whole and being part of the Being Human Festival is a wonderful opportunity for us. We’re all looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Museum and are confident everyone will enjoy their experience with us.”

Dr Anna Mackenzie of Lancaster University, said:

“One of the big appeals of this event is the breadth of activities. We hope that there will be something for everyone, from a guided tour of the Quarry and a talk about Shrewsbury’s Early Modern theatre, to an illustrated talk on the Quarry and print making. We are delighted to link up with Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on this exciting event.”

Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, also of Lancaster University, added:

“As an aspiring Salopian and an Early Modernist, Shrewsbury has so many draws for me, both personally and for my research.

“We are really looking forward to presenting some new ideas on Shrewsbury and the Quarry’s Renaissance performance spaces. We hope people will come along, enjoy the day and get involved.”

The sessions for ‘Shrewsbury’s Quarry: Exploring the Past; Imagining the Future’ can be booked through Eventbrite and you can also follow the event on Twitter.

Being Human 2018 is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Half-term magic at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

A magic, mystical adventure awaits this October half-term as Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery invites you to celebrate Museums at Night with a host of magical events.

Visitors will have the chance to make a magic wand or witches broom, explore the art of potion making and spell writing, experience magic shows and a host of magical creatures.

At 5pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be screened on the Balcony giving visitors and their families the perfect museum setting to sit back and relax.

An image of a child wearing a witches hand casting a spell with her wand. She is in a wooden room surrounded by pumpkins. Museums are Magic is happening throughout October half-term 2018 at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said:

“Last year’s Museums are Magic weekend proved to be hugely popular among families so it’s fantastic to see Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery running this event again.

“Museums are Magic offers families a different, but wonderful and interactive way to engage with the Museum and its collections, and this year there will be magical adventures throughout the October half-term week.”

“Last years’ event saw the Museum bustling with magical activity so I would encourage families to pay a visit.”

You can book your tickets for Museums are Magic online here or by popping into the Visitor Information Centre as you enter the Museum.

Following the Museums are Magic weekend, lots of fun magical craft activities will be available every day from Monday 29 October until Sunday 4 November plus a special Halloween Lego® workshop where you can create a spooky castle.

What’s On!

Saturday 27 October – Rob Chapman

Experience marvellous magic shows with magician Rob Chapman at 11am and 2pm (shows last one hour)

Sunday 28 October – Magical Creatures

Magical Creatures with ‘Animal Man’ Simon Airey at 11am and 12pm (shows last one hour)

Monday 29 October – Sunday 4 November

Drop in for magical crafts which will be available every day!

Wednesday 31 October – Lego® Spooky Castles

Join us for a special Halloween LEGO® workshop and create a spooky castle.

LEGO® maestro Rob Spinks from ‘Bricks n’ Tricks’ will guide you through the build and light up your castle at the end of the workshop!

You find more information by clicking here.

 

 

Free entry at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in heritage celebration

In celebration of Heritage Open Days, we are delighted to be offering free entry on Sunday 9 September 2018.

Visitors to the Museum will be able to experience the amazing collections on display that bring over 650 million years of history to life.

As well as free entry, we are thrilled to be offering FREE guided tours of the Museum giving you the opportunity to explore the collections more intimately than ever before. These tours will run at:

  • 12pm – 1pm
  • 2pm – 3pm

During your visit, you will come face-to-face with some of the best preserved mammoth bones

An image of a mother and daughter posing on a replica of the prow of the Titanic at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery are offering free entry and guided tours as part of the Heritage Open Day celebrations.

Family ‘reliving the voyage’ in Titanic: Honour and Glory

in the UK, take in one of the UK’s finest fossil collections, experience the Roman Gallery, and relive the voyage in the latest special exhibition, Titanic: Honour and Glory.

Come and discover the stories that make this county unique. Explore millions years of history through a thousand remarkable objects in the extraordinary set of buildings that house Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. From a medieval town house to an early Victorian Music Hall they span more than 750 years of history.

An image of brilliantly preserved Roman Tombstones in the Roman Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Roman Stones

During your visit, you can also visit stop. café bar, the Museum’s vibrant café bar, which provides the perfect spot for relaxing after visiting the Museum’s galleries or taking a break from taking in the town of Shrewsbury.

Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country; in 2015, over 4,800 events welcomed around three million visitors across England.

Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

 

NOTE: Participation on the guided tours will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Laying the building blocks: Brick History exhibition breaks visitor records

The hugely popular Brick History exhibition has broken visitor figure records with 18,697 people visiting between 12 February and 15 April 2018 to be taken on a journey through 13.8 million years of history portrayed in Lego bricks.

With tiny recreations of Concorde and Titanic that would sit in your hand, to a 1.5m square castle bustling with activity in periods of both peace and war, Brick History proved to be popular among people of all ages.An image of a father and his son looking at the Lego model of Rochester Castle with intrigue in the Brick History exhibition which is open at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery until Sunday 15 April 2018.

Children and adults alike were wowed by the intricate Lego displays and enjoyed the opportunity to display their own creative skills in the Lego playzone.

Figures show that 70% of total visitors to Brick History were families and children which is fantastic news for the future of Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

Fay Bailey, Learning & Communications Manager at Shropshire Museums, said:

“We are working hard to position Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery as a family friendly place to visit so to have had such a large proportion of our visitors to Brick History fall within this demographic is absolutely wonderful.

An image of a toddler playing with Lego in the playzone at the Brick History exhibition that was at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery between 12 February and 15 April 2018.

Toddler playing with Lego in the Brick History playzone

“We are thrilled that Brick History has proven to be so popular and delighted that our visitors had such an enjoyable experience with us. Our playzone provided opportunities for people of all ages to explore their creativity. We were very impressed with the fantastic models and designs.”

As Brick History is de-installed, it is time to look forward to the next special exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery… Titanic: Honour & Glory which opens on Monday 2 July 2018.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the great things happening and the exciting exhibitions and events coming up!

An Evening on Rural Women presented by Pentabus Theatre Company 

Come and hear different perspectives exploring the role of women in rural communities, from Land Girls to the contemporary WI. Featuring a panel of feminists, journalists, experts and writers on Rural Women at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on 16 February, 7,30pm.

Chaired by local and national radio presenter Vicki Archer, the panel will discuss topics including the misconceptions around the roles that women have played in rural life and what it means to be rural women in the 21st century.An image of Vicki Archer in a radio studio smiling to the camera. She will be chairing An Evening with Rural Women at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 16 February 2018

Agnes Greatorex, The Women’s Land Army, 1919 famously said:“I think the First World War did change women. Because once we’d had a taste we wouldn’t go back to service, we were free.” 

The panel for the evening includes:

  • Joan Bomford –  Countryfile Farming Hero 2015 veteran farmer (Farming since the 1930s, still active at 85 on the farm, author of  Up With The Lark: My Life on the Land)
  • Kate Innes – Author and poet (trained in archaeology and museology, her books include ‘The Errant Hours’ set in Medieval Shropshire, and ‘Flocks of Words’ a collection of poetry about the rural mythic landscape)
  • Polly Gibb – Director of WiRE – Women in Rural Enterprise, awarded OBE for services to rural enterprise, and one HRH Prince Charles’ 10 Heroes of the Countryside
  • Sophie Motley – Pentabus Theatre Company’s Artistic Director (on behalf of playwright Matt Hartley, Here I Belong)
  • Celia Rawlings – Chairman of Shropshire Federation of Women’s Institutes
  • Amanda Jones – Founder of Shropshire Supports Refugees.

Each of the speakers will present for up to 10 minutes, followed by a group discussion and an opportunity for questions from the audience – we’d love to hear from as many of you as possible, including men!

The evening will also include Pentabus Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Sophie Motley discussing the inspiration behind Matt Hartley’s new play, Here I Belong which was commissioned by Pentabus Theatre Company and shall be re-touring nationally during Spring 2018 due to high demand.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 concessions and can be purchased by following this link.

Journey through history in LEGO® at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

2018 is set to get off to a thrilling start at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with the arrival of Lego: Brick History in February 2018.

Opening on Friday 9 February, Lego: Brick History takes you on a journey through pivotal moments in world history, modelled in Lego® bricks.

Experience historical moments and periods from Mozart to Martin Luther King, scientific discoveries from the Big Bang to DNA and recent history from mobile phones to the moon landings.

Here is a sneak preview of Lego: Brick History brought to life…

This exhibition has something for people of all ages. From tiny recreations of Concorde and Titanic that would sit in your hand, to a 1.5m square castle bustling with activity in periods of both piece and war, there is something for all to be amazed by and to admire.

Children and adults alike are sure to be inspired by this exhibition and eager to build their own LEGO® models.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“LEGO was a hugley popular exhibition when it visited in 2015 with over 14,000 people visiting the Museum during its’ five week stay, so it’s fantastic that it is returning.

“Brick History has something that people of all ages can enjoy. Young and old will have an affinity with LEGO bricks, whether it be those who enjoy building with them now, or those who have fond memories of building the most epic of models back in the day. I can’t wait for this incredibly exciting exhibition to open.”

Warren Ellsmore, creator of Brick History, said:

“We’re all very excited here to be coming back to Shrewsbury after the success of Brick City. Brick History is one of our brand new exhibitions and has proved to be hugely popular since it opened in Newcastle just last year. Trying to reflect the whole history of the world in LEGO bricks was a challenge, especially as we decided to focus on perhaps some of lesser known heroes and landmarks of the past – some of which are still very close to Shrewsbury!”

Bringing a sense of community into Lego: Brick History, this exhibition will feature the models created by our 3 ‘Build your own model’ competition winners!

LEGO: Brick History will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from 9 February – 15 April 2018.

To find out more about Warren Elsmore and his touring LEGO© bricks exhibitions, visit http://warrenelsmore.com/brickhistory/.

Music for Dogs at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is delighted to be hosting two performances of the acclaimed play, Music for Dogs in January 2018.

‘A funny and moving account of how one woman accidentally makes a fortune’

Music for Dogs is a black comedy written by award-winning Irish poet and playwright Paula Meehan and performed by Irish actress Carol Caffrey and is set during Ireland’s Celtic Tiger years.

The action takes place on Dublin’s Burrow Beach as a woman, Jane MacDonald, records a message for her estranged brother and sister. Janey’s story describes the very funny – if somewhat dubious – means by which she came to make the fortune she is leaving to her siblings. Though the context of Janey’s personal tragedy is a dark one, her essential humanity and joy in life are very much to the fore.

The performances will be on:

Friday 12 January 2018 @ 1.10pm – 1.50pm
Saturday 13 January 2018 @ 1.10pm – 1.50pm

Tickets cost just £5 and can be purchased from Shrewsbury Visitor Information Centre or by calling 01743 258888.An image of a dog wearing biker gear riding a motorbike carrying a retro music player with a yellow sky in the background as the sun sets over a silhouetted city.

What have others said about ‘Music for Dogs’?

“Music for Dogs is absolutely riveting… The script is so poetic… Carol Caffrey is brilliant…  It’s the best kind of play… great writing and wonderful performing.”  BBC Radio Scotland

“Music for Dogs – a moving and powerful piece of theatre” – Irish Post

“Music for Dogs is a great, well-written piece… with a revealing poetic narrative. At times very funny at others sad, I had tears in my eyes… Carol Caffrey is a consummate actor. I highly recommend it.” Wendy Thomson, Female Arts

For more information about Music for Dogs, click here.

See What’s On at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in 2018!

An evening on Rural Women

Pentabus Theatre Company is delighted to be hosting An Evening on Rural Women chaired by local and national presenter and writer, Vicki Archer.

An image of Vicki Archer in a radio studio smiling to the camera. She will be chairing An Evening with Rural Women at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 16 February 2018

Vicki Archer will be chairing the evening

The event will be held at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Friday 16 February 2018 from 7.30pm.

The evening will explore the role of women in rural communities, from Land Girls to the contemporary WI and features a panel of feminists, journalists, experts and writers.

Attendees will also be able to discuss the inspiration behind, Here I Belong, which due to demand will be re-touring nationally this spring 2018.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 concessions and can be purchased by following this link.

Depressed Cake Shop Pops Up in Shrewsbury

Local cafes and bakers have been challenged to create delicious grey cakes for an upcoming event, a Depressed Cake Shop, aiming to get people talking about mental health.

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with Shropshire Mind, will be hosting a Depressed Cake Shop on Tuesday 10 October from 11am-2pm at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1LH.An image of a grey cake with a multi-coloured inside with a banner at the top advertising the depress cake shop at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Tuesday 10 October from 11am until 2pm.

The pop-up will take place on World Mental Health Day and will be raising funds for Shropshire Mind (Reg. Charity No. 1003117)

Many of Shrewsbury’s cafes and bakeries have volunteered to bake for the event – with one proviso – all of the baked goods on sale will have an element of grey to signify the grey cloud that can descend over someone who is struggling with mental health issues.

Stop. Coffee Shop, Ginger & Co and O’Joy are among the many bakers whose delicious and poignant treats will be on sale.

Everyone is welcome at the event.

Fay Bailey of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, said:

“Shrewsbury has a wealth of baking talent and we are very excited to see how that creativity will be put to use to make ‘depressed’ yet delicious grey cakes, while at the same time raising funds for Shropshire Mind and raising awareness of an increasingly important issue.”

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for Culture and Leisure, said:

“Museums are diverse places so it’s great that Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are working with local charities such as Shropshire Mind and local businesses to become even more inclusive to all, while at the same time raising awareness of an important and relevant subject through the Depressed Cake Shop.”

Heather Ireland, Manager at Shropshire Mind said:

“Approximately one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year.

That is why we want to use World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of these issues here on our doorstep in Shropshire.”

The Depressed Cake Shop movement was started in London in 2013 as a unique way to raise awareness of mental health issues as well as raise money for mental health charities.

It has become an international phenomenon, with Depressed Cake Shops popping up across the world in the UK, USA, Malaysia, Australia, India – and now Shrewsbury.

The movement has raised more than £78,000 for mental health charities around the world.

The pop-up is part of a series of events aimed at welcoming new visitors to Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Poetry Reading by Gillian Clarke at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Join us at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Friday 29 September 2017 for the book launch of Gillian Clarke’s amazing new collection, ‘Zoology’.

An image of the front cover of Gillian Clarke's new collection, Zoology. The image features a photo of a hare.

Gillian Clarke’s amazing new collection, Zoology

Doors open at 6pm with the poetry reading beginning at 7.30pm.

Zoology will be available for you to purchase following the reading with an opportunity to even have your copy signed.

Refreshments will be available from 6pm and you will also have the chance to look around four of the amazing museum galleries prior to the poetry reading.

If this is enough to whet the appetite, the evening also features readings from local talent, Liz Lefroy.

Tickets for this event cost just £7.50.

If you are a season ticket holder at the Museum, a Friend of Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery or an Art Fund Member, you can purchase a ticket at the reduced rate of £4.50.

Although tickets can be purchased on arrival, spaces are limited so it is recommended that you book your place in advance to avoid possible disappointment.

Gillian Clarke is the longest serving National Poet of Wales holding the role from 2008-2016 and is widely recognised for increasing the profile of the prestigious role.

“There is no gaudiness in her poetry; instead the reader is aware of a generosity of spirit which allows the poems’ subjects their own unbullied reality”. – The Listener

National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, said:

“Gillian has taken the role of National Poet to new heights during her tenure, and I’d like to thank her for her tireless efforts in promoting Welsh poetry and literature at home and on the international stage.”(http://www.literaturewales.org/our-projects/national-poet-wales/)

This reading is the first of a new series that will take place on the last Friday of each month at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with a range of exciting local and national talents already lined up.

For more information about this reading or to book, please visit us at the Visitor Information Centre at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery or call 01743 258885.