You can find details of all our forthcoming events at on our What’s On pages, but here’s what’s happening at MERL this week…
As well as the ‘Make and takes’ and workshops listed below, there’s garden games, a rat trail, dressing up and more to entertain children of all ages any time you visit.
An introduction to cooperage
- 23 August
- 3 – 4pm – talk
- 4 – 4.15pm – visit the coopering section in the museum with the speaker
- Free | Booking advisable but not essential
What is a Cooper and Cooperage? This talk by Marshall Scheetz, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, USA will introduce the historical importance of the cooperage industry in rural and urban England. Historian and Journeyman Cooper, Marshall Scheetz will make reference to tools and cooperage in the MERL collections along with images from his own research to describe the construction of a cask, the uses of cooperage and the training of a cooper from Apprentice through to Journeyman and Master.
Following the talk, join Marshall in the coopering section of the Museum to see the tools relating to the craft and watch a short video showing the process of making a cask.
2.15-2.55pm – You are invited to join a free guided tour of the museum, focussing on the craft collections.
See some examples of the projects Marshall works on day to day on his Instagram account at http://instagram.com/marshallscheetz
Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays, 3-3.45pm
Free, booking advisable but not essential
Let our fully trained tour guides tell you the stories behind the objects on display and visit the object store to see MERL’s hidden treasures.
Fabulous felt-making workshop
22nd August, 10-11am, 11.30-12.30pm, 1.30-2.30pm, 3-4pm
£3 per child, Book, Suitable for families with children aged 5+
Be inspired by the MERL collections and create your very own felt wall-hanging to take home. With artist, Claire Smith
Reading University College: WW1 and beyond
Tuesday 1st April to 31 August, 2014
Staircase hall, MERL
Free, drop-in, normal museum opening times
Funded by Arts Council England as part of the Reading Connections project, and inspired by the University of Reading Memorial Book and Clock Tower memorial, this exhibition reveals the stories of the men and women with connections to the then Reading University College, who fell during the First World War. The exhibition also looks at the theme of War in a broader sense with interesting items from MERL and the Special Collections relating to other conflicts.
Part of our WW1 programme
Collecting the countryside: 20th century rural cultures
Until Autumn 2014
Temporary exhibition space
Free, drop in, normal museum opening times
Since 2008 the Museum of English Rural Life has been adding even more objects to its collection, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme, in order to represent each decade of the last century. (Find out more in Curator, Isabel Hughes’ recent post) This exhibition gives a taste of what has been acquired and challenges visitors to suggest the modern-day objects that the Museum needs to collect for the future. The exhibition will help the Museum to explore how to incorporate more recent histories and representations of the English countryside into its displays as part of the new Our Country Lives project.