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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Fossils fuel the dinosaur imagination at three-day festival

Careful with that baby T-Rex.
Getting ready for the festival.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is returning to Scarborough for a third year, bringing fun, fascinating forums and forensic foraging to all things palaeontological.

The three-day event opens on Friday 16 September with a schools and education day. All three days are open to the public, with events programmed to appeal to everyone from the smallest members of the family to the serious geologist, many of them free.

The festival takes place in and around Scarborough’s famous Rotunda Museum – the first purpose-built geological museum in the country which provides the perfect backdrop for the programme of workshops, theatre, specialist talks, storytelling and fossil hunting.

Highlights include a visit from best-selling children’s author Ian Whybrow, writer of Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs; curators from The Natural History Museum exploring dinosaur discoveries; Dinosaur Park – fresh from The Edinburgh Festival; Emerald Ant’s exciting giant Iguanodon Restaurant Show and the return of everyone’s favourite free-range baby T-Rex.

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is organised by Scarborough Museums Trust, and sponsored by The Palaeontological Association.

Organiser Samantha Brown said: “The Fossil Festival has attracted thousands of visitors over the past two years, and this year’s is going to be even bigger and better. We’re looking forward to a great weekend of events where science meets the imagination.”

Further information:

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Richmond visitor attractions get cash vote of confidence

Uniform success: Green Howards museum
director Lynda Powell in the costume store
with a rare 18th century militia uniform.
Two Richmond visitor attractions are in line for more than £100,000 Arts Council funding.

The Green Howards Museum and The Georgian Theatre Royal will benefit from the second round of the the council's Museum Resilience Fund, which has seen £12m donated to 94 museums and organisations across the country.

The theatre has received £38,630 to fund a post to support its Georgian Theatre Experience while the museum will use its £65,304 to develop the way it manages its extensive collection of uniforms. Some collection pieces are rare and include a complete soldier’s uniform worn during the Crimean War.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Archaeology fans are sure to really dig this Rotunda festival

A free one-day festival of archaeology promises to unearth a range of family activities at Scarborough's Rotunda museum this Saturday (16 July).

Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
Activities include opportunities to try out various ancient crafts, including flintknapping, bone and antler working and fire by friction, with re-enactor James Dilley – all based in his Mesolithic deerskin hut. There will also be a skills demonstration of Paleolithic cave painting, Neolithic cheesemaking and animal bone identification, led by staff from the Unversity of York.

Drama workshops bringing the Stone Age to life – history with all the fun and the savage bits left in and a journey through pre-Roman Yorkshire with historian Dr Peter Edwards also feature along with Stone-Age-style coil-pot-making sessions and an uncovering the past session where participants excavate their own trowel led by Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society.

Rarely seen prehistoric objects from Scarborough Museums Trust’s archaeology store will be showcased.

Don Henson from the University of York will present a lecture on Global Warming and the Resettling of Britain after the Ice Age.

Entry to the Rotunda is free for the day to include all the Festival events.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

All taxidermy features great and small: the art of presenting specimens

Internationally-known artist Mark Hearld will contribute three original works of art to the next exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery which runs from Saturday 9 July until Sunday 25 September.

Mark Hearld with the taxidermy collection in Scarborough Museum Trust stores. Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
Mark has curated All Creatures…, displaying specimens of taxidermy from the Scarborough Collections in new and imaginative ways. He's also creating three new works of art, including a herring gull collage which will become permanent parts of the collections.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Richmond's museum recognised

Richmondshire Museum goes into the height of the visitor season with a top TripAdvisor award under its belt.

The Certificate of Excellence recognises accommodation providers, eateries and visitor attractions that have earned great reviews.

Mike Wood, former chairman of the Richmond-based attraction and honorary director, said: "It’s really rewarding to welcome visitors and, in turn, to be recognised for all the hard work volunteered over many years to make the museum what it is today.

Heather Leisman, TripAdvisor's vice president of industry marketing, said: "With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honours hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travellers."

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Young Daisy ensures that museum's new café makes the cut

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity has performed the official opening of a new café in the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes with a little help from a local youngster.

Making the cut .. Daisy performs the opening with help from Sir Gary Verity.
Sir Gary cut the ribbon at The Firebox Café with six-year-old Daisy Allenby whose mum and dad – Stage 1 Cycles owners Helen Pollard and Mike Allenby – started the business and are running it on a franchise basis.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Tourism bosses give Scarborough's old jail visitors the hard cell

Scarborough Museums Trust has teamed up with the borough council to offer tours around the town’s former jail on Dean Road, a building that isn’t usually open to the public.

Communications and events co-ordinator
Georgie Samuels at the old jail. Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
The Grade Two listed building opened in 1866, but only operated as a jail for 12 years. It provided accommodation for 36 men, 12 women and four debtors or juveniles. It’s believed that one of its first residents escaped by scraping away mortar which hadn’t fully set, and removing bricks.

Scarborough Borough Council uses it for storage, but the interior is preserved as it was in the 1800s.

Museum trust team members will lead the tours equipped with knowledge gleaned from current and former conservation officers Derek Green and Chris Hall.

Georgie Samuels, the trust's communications and events co-ordinator, said: “The old prison is one of Scarborough’s best kept secrets, and this is a rare opportunity to take a look around and hear about its fascinating history.”

Tours will take place at 11am and 2pm on 30 and 31 March, and 1, 6, 7 and 8 April. Places cost £5 and booked by calling Scarborough Art Gallery on 01723 374753.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Rotunda masters the science of fun with weekend of celebrations

Education officer Rosie Goodwin prepares for British Science Week
outside the Rotunda Museum. Photo by Tony Bartholomew.

A range of activities gets under way this weekend (19 and 20 March) at Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum covering space, windpower, geology and engineering. The event will help mark British Science Week.
Scarborough Museums Trust education officer Rosie Goodwin said: “British Science Week is the UK’s largest grassroots celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

“This year the theme is all about the different spaces where science can be found and done. With activities throughout the Rotunda Museum, we’ll be exploring spaces above, below and all around us.”

Further information:

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Key artefacts go on display

Artefacts from Star Carr, one of the world’s most important Mesolithic sites, have gone on display at the Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum.

Collections manager Jennifer Dunne with the Star Carr display.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
The items, from the waterlogged area at the Scarborough end of the Vale of Pickering known as The Carrs, include a red deer skull which may have been used as a ceremonial headdress or hunting disguise, birch bark rolls, which may have been used to extract resin as an adhesive for flint tools, and animal remains such as those of the red deer, beaver, pine marten and aurochs – an extinct ox.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Volunteers sought as museum prepares its busy programme

The team behind the hidden gem Richmondshire Museum has a busy new season lined up when it reopens on Good Friday so is inviting volunteers to get involved.

There'll be opportunities to help with a series of new displays, exhibitions, fundraising events and other activities. A volunteer session is being held at 2pm on 14 March.

VisitEngland awarded the Richmond-based museum hidden gem status last season.

Further information:

Monday, 4 January 2016

Something pops up to evoke memories of seaside town

Alex Bird and Arran Howie
of Tortoise in a Nutshell.
 Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
 A ‘pop-up’ museum will take the sights, sounds and smells of Scarborough to the town’s streets this year.

The beach-hut themed mini museum, featuring automata and diorama, is inspired by the Scarborough Collections, the museum objects and artwork owned by the borough, and is involving the community in its creation.

Edinburgh-based theatre company Tortoise in a Nutshell has designed the pop-up museum, Alex Bird, from Tortoise in a Nutshell, said: "We spent around ten days in Scarborough talking to organisations across the town, including the libraries, the Maritime Heritage Centre, The Street, the Friends of Dean Road Cemetery and the Archaeological and Historical Society, to find out what the town means to them."

Scarborough Museums Trust project officer David Rounce said: "The museum will look at Scarborough’s past, but also its future as a thriving and vibrant resort.

“It will be interactive with lots of things to touch as well as look at, so whatever their age and ability, visitors should have lots of fun.”

A display about the initiative can be seen in Scarborough Art Gallery’s community gallery until Sunday (10 January).

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Veterinary firm's cash boost is just the tonic for museum

Malton-based veterinary medicine firm Vetsonic has given the World of James Herriot in Thirsk a £5,000 boost for its foundation fund.

Ian Ashton ,World of James Herriot managing director; Rosie Page,
daughter of Alf Wight (James Herriot) and Vetsonic founder Ray Rochester.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Victorian street gears up for Xmas

Coming to life for Christmas:  Kirkgate, the museum's Victorian street.
The shopkeepers and characters at York Castle Museum are gearing up to bring a Christmas experience from a bygone era when they take part in a series of one-hour guided tours from 19-23 December. Visitors can wander over the cobbles and under the garlands of the decorated Victorian street and meet the folks whose lives revolved around the traditional stores more than a century ago including Eliza Mistletoe and Barnaby Jingle. Father Christmas is also expected to make an appearance. And on 12, 13 and 17-24 December there will be performances of A Christmas Carol when the life of cold-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge transforms in the much loved festive tale of redemption. Further information:

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Catch museum before season closes

Local history lovers have until the end of October before a hidden gem closes its doors for the season.

Richmondshire Museum, officially hailed as one of the nation's hidden gems by tourism body VisitEngland, is open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

The museum in Ryders Wynd, Richmond, is run by volunteers and funded by donations.

Before the season comes to an end, it will get into the Halloween spirit this half term with its Spooktcular – 26 to 31 October – where youngsters can get involved in designing a pumpkin, puzzles, colouring, book-making, and spot the silhouettes.

Further information:

Monday, 14 September 2015

Vet TV series could boost tourism

The team at the World of James Herriot museum is expecting a flurry of activity once a TV series based on the area's famous veterinary figure launches tomorrow evening (Tuesday 15 September).

Channel 5's documentary series The Yorkshire Vet is based on the original All Creatures Great and Small practice in Thirsk. The museum team appears in episode three.

Museum managing director Ian Ashton said: “This is fantastic news for the World of James Herriot and for Yorkshire because there are so many people who have been inspired by the original James Herriot books, TV series and films of All Creatures Great and Small and we are delighted to have been involved.”

“Visitors from around the world make their way to the World of James Herriot here in Thirsk and this new series based on the modern Skeldale Veterinary Practice will be of huge interest for Herriot fans and hopefully breed a new generation of aficionados.”

Friday, 11 September 2015

This fossil festival's dino-amic

Fossil fans will descend on Scarborough for the second Yorkshire Fossil Festival from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 September.

Don't get him angry! T-Rex makes a return to the Rotunda.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
Organisers say the event at the Rotunda Museum will feature a range of activities plus public talks by leading experts..

Scarborough Museums Trust and the Palaeontological Association are hosting the festival for youngsters.

And T-Rex who proved a hit outside the Rotunda during the Tour de Yorkshire in May makes a return on Saturday and Sunday, and dinosaur fans can also meet the co-presenter of the recent ITV programme, Dinosaur Britain, Dean Lomax.

The schedule includes sand sculpting and workshops, rockpooling trips and a dinosaur footprint walk. There will be two talks at Scarborough Library – on Friday evening at 7pm, with David Bond, and advanced research fellow at the University of Hull, will look at the environmental change during Earth’s greatest mass extinction events and on Saturday at 4.30pm with Dr Alexander Dunhill, a research fellow at the University of Leeds whose family-friendly talk looks at the dinosaurs that once roamed the Yorkshire Coast.

Tickets need to be booked with the Rotunda, telephone 01723 353665. Further information:

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Town's hidden heritage gems on show

The former home of a famous artist, a prison used as a film set, and events marking the 1914 Bombardment of the town are among a collection of hidden Scarborough heritage gems on show to the public over Heritage Open Days weekend from 10 to 13 September.

Giving the hard cell for heritage: communications and events coordinator
Georgie Samuels inside the old jail. Photo by Tony Bartholomew

The event celebrates England’s architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It’s a once-a-year opportunity to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

The Scarborough weekend is this year again administered by the town's Museums Trust.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A gem of a museum is recognised

The team behind Richmondshire Museum is celebrating after securing a Hidden Gem accolade as part of VisitEngland’s quality attraction scheme.

The museum, tucked away in Richmond's Ryders Wynd, is funded by donations and run by volunteers. It's open daily between April and October from 10.30am until last entry at 4pm.

Further information:

Friday, 24 July 2015

Printmakers' exhibition at Dales Countryside Museum is a mirror image

Artists from Sweden, Finland and Scotland will join Yorkshire printmakers today (Friday 26 July) to celebrate the contemporary craft at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes.

The Mirror Images exhibition, which will feature new and original printmaking, runs to 6 October.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Rotunda set for geologist 'rock opera'

John Pattison and Rachael Drew on
the balcony at the Rotunda Museum,
where Rock, Rascals and Revolution!
will be performed.

Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
A Scarborough theatre company is on the look out for actors for its next production, which will celebrate the life of ‘father of English geology’ William Smith.

Beach Hut Theatre Company presents the multi-media Rock, Rascals and Revolution! from the exterior balcony of the Rotunda Museum on the weekend of 26 and 27 September.

The show, part of Scarborough Museums Trust’s celebrations of the bi-centenary of the publication of Smith’s groundbreaking geological map, will also feature projections on the building.