Weekly what’s on: 11 to 17 August

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…


jethro 8 cutout flipSummer holiday family fun!

For details of all our events and activities for families this summer, download our new MERL families guide or visit the Family events page.

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.



Woolly sheepWeekly make and takes
12th to 17th Aug – Woolly sheep!
£1 per child, drop-in
Always a popular activity – dig your hands in a basket of beautiful wool tops and decorate a colourful woolly sheep!

For details visit the Summer family events page on our website



familytourguidesFamily tour
Tuesday 12th August, 2.30pm
Free, drop-in
Join Dolly the Dairymaid and Maggie the Thatcher for a fun, interactive 30-minute tour of the Museum and hear stories of what it used to be like to live and work in the countryside.




Guided tourGuided tours
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.




Garden June 14Tremendous trees!
16th August, 1-5pm
Free, drop-in
Suitable for all
A special event celebrating our love of trees. Learn the science of identifying and surveying trees, have a go using the trees in the MERL garden and use your new  skills to identify the trees in your local area.




DennyReading 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


greenhamCollecting 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.


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