Severndale’s Historical Takeover Day

Students from Severndale Specialist Academy have been working with staff from Shrewsbury Museum since early September, to put together displays and exhibitions for the Kids in Museum Takeover Day 2017. They spent weeks creating the artworks displayed in their own exhibition for the day all based around World War II, from poppies to aeroplanes, gas masks and toys of the day. Professionally and enthusiastically they talked to members of the public about their displays.

An image of two pupils from Severndale Specialist Academy reading to our mini-mammoths and their parents in the Shropshire gallery.

Severndale pupils with our Mini Mammoths

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

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to hand-over the museum to such a talented group of students from Severndale, Wilfred Owen and Severndale at Mary Webb Schools. The children’s’ infectious enthusiasm and warmth made Kids in Museums Takeover Day a truly wonderful experience for our staff, volunteers and visitors. We can’t wait for next year!”

The students also led the Mini Mammoth’s story and crafts session, together with a group of students from Wilfred Owen Primary School. Together they read The Owl Babies to the weekly Mini Mammoth’s babies and toddlers and continued with a craft session afterwards to make lots of fun things including owl masks for the children to take home. The pupils said, “The story telling was amazing I want to do it again and be a story teller when I’m older. We helped the little ones to talk and sign better.”

One of the parents said that “I was at the museum today with my daughter for her weekly Mini Mammoths session, it was a ‘takeover’ day so there were many pupils from Severndale involved in our session and helping out throughout the museum, and it was fabulous! They were all a huge credit to the school!! On leaving we visited the exhibition that was put on by some of the pupils in the balcony room and were actually taken around the exhibition by one of the students, and he was brilliant! His enthusiasm and understanding was superb!! He was telling me all about the war, poppies and spitfires and showing my child the pictures close up so that she could enjoy them too and explaining the background behind the artwork etc. It was truly impressive.”

Members of the public said, “I’d like to say what a delight all the children at the museum were. They opened the doors for us into the café, and gave us leaflets and explained about the exhibition upstairs. We took advantage of this offer and went to the exhibition. All the children greeted us warmly and explained about the exhibits. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, thank you.”

Others helped in the shop putting leaflets and gifts out on display and also giving help and advice at the reception desk. Some were meeting and greeting the public and pointing them in the right direction of the displays they wanted to visit.

Jayne Woodhouse, Teacher at Severndale, said:

“The students had an amazingly positive experience which has raised their confidence and self-esteem. We have been able to do this by working with the staff at the museum whose belief in our children has empowered us and the children to take on this challenge. Together with our friends at Wilfred Owen, we were able to make the day the great success that it was.”

When the pupils were asked if they had a wonderful time, they said:

“It’s been a huge success, we showed them a lot of good stuff and they know we are a good school and we can have a brighter future together.”

Sonya Jones, Teaching Assistant from Wilfred Owen School, commented:

“Some children have been working in collaboration with students from Severndale on a performance and song from the wonderful story ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell. The children used singing and storytelling activities to entertain young children during a parent and baby group at the Shrewsbury Museum on Friday morning. The activities were a great success and children from both schools developed lasting friendships.”

Students and their families from Severndale also visited the exhibition at the weekend and enjoyed all the displays, thank you for supporting us.

Click here for more information about the Learning Programme at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

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.

Samurai: Warriors of Japan to bring taste of Japan to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Spectacular touring exhibition, Samurai: Warriors of Japan, is to open at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Monday 16 October.

An image of Samurai armour with a red sun behind.

Samurai: Warriors of Japan comes to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Monday 16 October 2017.

This exciting exhibition brings graphically to life the story of the Samurai and their fall from power as Japan opened up to the West.

Samurai: Warriors of Japan illustrates a range of armour, weapons and costumes using films props from the Tom Cruise blockbuster movie, The Last Samurai (2003), the only Samurai film ever to be made in the West. The Oscar nominated costumes and props have come direct from California and have never before been displayed in the UK.

This exciting exhibition is the only touring exhibition about Samurai available in the UK and includes a real suit of Samurai armour as well as a range of intriguing artefacts.

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

“Following on from Antarctica: Life in a hostile land, this new exhibition shows the amazing range of areas Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery covers in its exhibitions.

“Samurai: Warriors of Japan is a touring exhibition that includes exhibits that have never been on display in the UK before so this is a great opportunity to see something truly unique. I’m eagerly anticipating this exhibition and would encourage everyone to pay it a visit.”

Phil Scoggins, Interpretation Officer at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, said:

“Whether you appreciate Japanese history and culture, are curious to explore the world of the Samurai for the first time or are a fan of Tom Cruise movies, this exhibition holds something of interest for all.”

An image of two Samurai suits of armour with swords and graphic panels.

Samurai suits of armour

Barry Chandler, Director of Pop-Up Exhibitions Ltd said:

“We are really looking forward to bringing our samurai collection to Shrewsbury, we think this is the most comprehensive collection of Last Samurai props and costumes in the UK and we are always adding new items to the exhibition.”

Samurai: Warriors of Japan will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery until Sunday 21 January, 2018.

Currently on at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are Antarctica: Life in a hostile land which runs until Sunday 17 September 2017.

For more information about what else you can see at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, visit the website.

FREE entry across Shropshire Museums & Archives for Heritage Open Days

In celebration of the Heritage Open Days, Shropshire Museums and Archives are waiving entry fees and putting on special events to create a unique visitor experience.

Running from Thursday 7 September until Sunday 10 September 2017, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shrewsbury Castle, Shropshire Archives and Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, are each offering free entry and special events to visitor.

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

“Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the UK so it’s great to see Shropshire Museums and Archives getting involved.

“As well as the amazing things to see and do at each site, visitors will get to go behind the scenes and see and do things that are only available a very limited number of times a year.

“I’d encourage everyone to make the most of this great opportunity and get to our sites… and it’s free!”

Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days, said:

“At a time when many of our heritage sites, museums and buildings of cultural interest are under increasing economic pressure it’s heart-warming to see the number of Heritage Open Days events continue to grow.  Our army of volunteers play an important role in championing our wonderfully diverse local heritage, opening up doors and keeping access free for these very special four days every year. We are keen to encourage people to stand up for the places that are important to them by bringing to life their stories for everyone to enjoy.”

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

An image of mammoth bones on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery that visitors can see over the Heritage Open Days.

Mammoth bones found in Condover on display at Shrewsbury Museum Art Gallery

On Sunday 10 September, visitors to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery will be able to enter for FREE and see the amazing collections telling over 750 years of history in Shrewsbury and Shropshire.

Usually £4.50 for adults, you will get to see some of the best preserved mammoth bones in the UK, one of the finest geology collections as well an entry to Antarctica: Life in a hostile land and Synthetic Landscapes.

Guided town tours

As well free access to the Museum’s galleries on Sunday 10 September, you can explore the Medieval town of Shrewsbury on a free guided town tour, which usually cost £7.50. Advanced booking is advised to ensure your place.

Tour dates and times

Thursday 7 September: 2pm
Friday 8 September: 2pm

To book your place on one of these free guided town tours, call 01743 258888.

Shropshire Archives

An image of historic documents being looked after by a lady at Shropshire Archives ensuring the history and heritage of Shropshire is retained.

Behind the scenes at Shropshire Archives

Your chance to see behind the scenes at Shropshire Archives including the stores where over 5 miles (9 kilometres!) of records are housed in environmentally controlled conditions as well as the conservation and reprographics sections. A selection of our fantastic collections will also be on show including the recently conserved minute books of Much Wenlock Borough dating from 1495-1810.

Tour dates and times
Thursday 7 September: 2pm
Friday 8 September: 2pm

Pre-booking is essential. To book your place call 0345 678 9096 or email archives@shropshire.gov.uk.

An image of Laura's Tower at Shrewsbury Castle with green trees to the right and ivy growing up the side. Laura's Tower is open for the Heritage Open Days festival.

Laura’s Tower at Shrewsbury Castle (©Chris Glover)

Shrewsbury Castle

Sunday 10 September will see a rare occurrence at Shrewsbury Castle… the opening of Laura’s Tower.

Open one day a year for the Heritage Open Days festival, making your way to the top of Laura’s Tower will give you truly unique views across Shrewsbury making it a special opportunity not to be missed.

Visitors will also be able to enter the Castle Grounds and Shrewsbury Castle housing Shropshire Regimental Museum for FREE.

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

An image of a toddler stroking a lamb that is being held by a farm worker keeping alive the heritage of a Victorian Farm.

Toddler meets the lambs at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

With its’ of range of young and adult farm animals, working farm demonstrations and much more, Acton Scott Historic Working Farm is a perfect family day out. And… on Saturday 9 September, it’s FREE.

As well as free admission, the Farm is also holding extra demonstrations and behind the scenes guided tours so you can learn more about the workings of a Victorian Farm, and maybe, just maybe, get a little closer to the baby animals!

For more information, call 01694 781307 or email acton.scott.museum@shropshire.gov.uk.

An image of mammoth bones, with a huge tusk in the foreground, that are kept in the stores at Ludlow. Visitors can see these on 9 September as part of the Heritage Open Days

Mammoth bones in the stores at Ludlow Museum & Resource Centre

Ludlow Museum & Resource Centre

Enjoy a free 20 minute talk about the ‘Treasure’ acquired by Shropshire Museums through the Treasure Act. This talk focuses on artefacts held in the stores at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre and you’ll have the chance to hold some of the amazing treasures.

Saturday 9 September, 11 am – 12 noon

Following the talk you’ll have the chance to visit the Geology Store and view Shropshire’s other giant treasure, the MAMMOTH!

About Heritage Open Days

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.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

“This is the second year that players have supported Heritage Open Days, which continues to grow, not only in the number of events, but the diversity and quality of activities right across England.  We look forward to seeing thousands of people sharing the hidden histories on their doorstep and making a difference to their communities this September.”