Weekly What’s On: 20th to 26th January

This week’s What’s On includes links to our new events guides and details of the new seminar series which starts tomorrow…

WO cover JJ14Our new What’s On guide to events and exhibition at MERL is now available to download from our website. Find out about our full, fascinating and fun programme of public events from now until July, including seminars, a Vintage Night, Village Fete and of course our regular Rural Reads book club and guided tours. Printed copies will be available from MERL (or via our postal mailing list) at the end of the month.




FG JJ14 coverWe also have a fantastic programme of events and activities for families this Spring, from half term. Full details of all our events as well as information about what there is to do at MERL during any visit, are in our new MERL families guide, which you can now download from our website (or sign up to receive by post)





What’s On this week…


Somerset 2013MERL Seminar series: Untouchable England
Somerset Morris: West Country Friendly Society stave dancers

Tuesday 21st January, 1pm
Using antique Friendly Society stave heads, Somerset Morris has performed stave dancing across England and further afield for over 30 years. Hear about the team’s passion for this traditional and localised dance form. For full details of the series, visit our website

Followed by a ‘pop-up’ display of MERL’s Friendly Society pole heads (staves) in the mezzanine store.



magic carpetToddler time
Friday 23rd January, 10-11am,
£2 per child, drop-in
Suitable for families with children aged 2-4
Come along to the Museum with your little ones and enjoy rhymes, songs and craft activities.  This week we’ll be making bird feeders so that you can take part in this weekend’s RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch



Collecting the countryside: 20th century rural cultures
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.


Peril-and-Adventure-William-St-Clair-collection-768x1024Book jackets in the University of Reading Special Collections
Staircase hall, MERL
Free, drop-in, normal museum opening times
This display celebrates the wide variety of beautiful book jackets within our collections, through a selection of our most colourful favourites!  Read more on the Special Collections blog




You can also find details of all our forthcoming events on our online calendar

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