Amy Moore highlights some upcoming exhibitions that have opened or are due to open within the UK & Europe.
ARMADALE CASTLE & MUSEUM
Clan Donald Skye’s spacious highland estate has seen increasing numbers of national and international visitors attend its Visitor Centre, which first opened in May 1976. In August 2013, VisitScotland awarded the Centre its fifth star as a Visitor Attraction. Armadale Castle was designed by James Gillespie Graham, and combines an educational visit with stunning woodland scenery – set within 40-acres of historical gardens. The Museum of the Isles opened within the gardens in 2002, where visitors are invited to discover 1,500 years of history through six interconnecting galleries. A seventh gallery houses a temporary exhibition, which changes every year. Group bookings of 10+ can benefit from a preferential travel trade rate of £6.50 per person, with the driver and guide enjoying free admission and complimentary refreshments when booked in advance. For more information visit www.clandonald.com
BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM
Bank of England Museum tells the story from its foundation in 1694 to since, becoming the UK’s central bank. With 300 years of history, Bank of England Museum still works to promote and maintain financial stability. Historical displays boast rich material drawn from its own, wealthy collection of books, documents, prints, banknotes, coins and photographs, set alongside interactive displays and artefacts. A contemporaneous, permanent exhibition called Your Money: What The Bank Does, further explores the role of the Bank of England in the current economy. For coach tours, brief pick up/drop off points are available in Bartholomew Lane. Bank of England Museum offers a variety of talks and presentations for groups of 15 to 50. Admission is free of charge, but must be booked in advance. Talks can last from 10 minutes to one hour. It is advised that guests allow an extra hour to explore the exhibition. For more information visit www.bankofengland.co.uk
D.H. LAWRENCE BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM
D.H Lawrence Heritage Centre is based in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, which is the quaint hometown of this remarkable English poet.
D.H Lawrence has been described as ‘the prophet of the Midlands,’ harbouring modern views on such topics as capitalism. The interior of the D.H Lawrence Birthplace Museum on Victoria Street has been decorated akin to the late Victorian period, with groups invited to book a fully guided tour. Also included in the ticket price is admission to the D.H Lawrence Heritage Centre, which was once the headquarters of Barber, Walker & Co, major coal company owners. The space now occupies a vast exhibition, gallery and bistro. Group benefits include one free space for every 10 paying visitors, a complimentary pre-visit for the group leader, a range of themed guided tours to suit group needs, and free car and coach parking. For more information visit www.dhlawrenceheritage.org
LONDON FILM MUSEUM
London Film Museum is situated in Covent Garden, the bohemian heart of the capital. Opened in March 21, 2014, Bond in Motion showcases the largest collection of James Bond vehicles in the UK, set within an exhibition previously displayed at The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film franchise, Bond in Motion is open seven days a week, featuring some exhibits never before seen in the UK, including 1/3 scale model AgustaWestland Helicopter and Bond’s Coat of Arm’s Cuff Links from Skyfall, 2012. Tracing 22 films, these exhibits are set alongside Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce, Octopussy’s Acrostary Jet and Crocodile Submarine. Group rates for 10+ start at £8.50 per child and £12.50 per adult. For student/youth groups, one adult is granted free access per 10 children/ students. Tickets are available from www.londonfilmmuseum.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk
SHERLOCK HOLMES AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
On October 17, 2014, a new exhibition opened at the Museum of London called Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die, which is scheduled to run through to April 12, 2015. Sherlock Holmes is one of the world’s most famous fictional detectives, who still manages to attract the interest of large audiences to this day. Visitors to the Museum of London will be transported to the authentic backdrop of Victorian London, which has provided the inspiration for many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. It has recently been announced that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s notebook, which contains the first ever lines of a Sherlock Holmes story, will be on display – set within the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind to be staged this generation.
The notebook is one of three that Doyle used to jot down his ideas, appearing within the section entitled The Genesis of Sherlock Holmes, which boasts a unique insight into the origins of his stories. Alex Werner, Head of History Collections at the Museum of London, said: “Sherlock Holmes is a global icon indelibly linked with London, so it is fitting that we are able to host this major celebration of Conan Doyle’s creation at the Museum of London. “This exhibition is really about gaining a deeper appreciation of the stories and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such a diverse collection of Sherlock Holmes artefacts and material under one roof.” Groups of 10+ will receive a special group rate of £8.85 per person, with additional talks or walking tours available to book. For more information visit www.museumoflondon.org.uk
IN FLANDERS FIELDS MUSEUM, YPRES
In Flanders Fields Museum reopened in June 2012 to accommodate an estimated 325,000 visitors per annum – a figure recorded towards the end of August 2014.
In Flanders Fields Museum marks the centenary of the First World War. Upon entry to the exhibition, guests will receive a personally programmed poppy wristband, which stores language translation and allows visitors to access additional information on exhibits. There is an option to personalise stories, with approximately 600 available in the system. Such stories can be saved and sent as a souvenir, simply enter an email address upon logout.
GTW found the most emotive aspect to be a short film told from the perspective of the nurses/doctors in the First World War, with a neat focus on the Canadian Commonwealth. From October 2014-January 2015, In Flanders Fields Museum will host a temporary exhibition on the Battle of the Yser and the First Battle of Ypres, with additional 3D display. From April 2015-June 2015, a new, temporary exhibition on the Second Battle of Ypres, will educate the effects of the first gas attack on the Western Front. For more information visit www.inflandersfields.be
MEMORIAL MUSEUM PASSCHENDAELE, ZONNEBEKE
Memorial Museum Passchendaele officially opened in July 2013, constructed on the original site of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. The Battle of Passchendaele saw a 100 day advance reaching 8kilometres, with 1/2million casualties recorded. Memorial Museum Passchendaele hosts a number of interactive and immersive displays to mark the centenary. Once dropped off, visitors travel through woodland to access the Museum, which is based in the historic chateau grounds of Zonnebeke. At Memorial Museum Passchendaele, visitors are encouraged to interact with their surroundings through five separate levels, the main museum area, the 6metre underground ‘dugouts’ and an extension to the international/commonwealth exhibition, which leads through to a complex network of trenches. Whilst in the trenches, there was an opportunity to view etches within rusted metal shelters, before embarking to the Hall of Reflection, which saw nearby Tyne Cot Cemetery plaster the entire wall. For more information visit www.passchendaele.be
TALBOT HOUSE, POPERINGE
Talbot House was a former wartime destination for rest and relaxation, which arguably never strayed far from its roots. The distinct ‘every man’s club’ was said to be the most famous of all the British soldiers clubs, where every rank was welcome. A life size model of former owner Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton is present to meet guests upon entry, with Talbot House offering a welcoming and friendly stop for passers-by/strangers to the region.
British army chaplains, Neville Talbot and Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton, managed the property for three years from December 1915. Talbot House sees a short, introductory video presentation by The Happy Hoppers, who demonstrate the type of entertainment that would have been on offer at the time. For groups requiring their own virtual tour, Tubby’s Story Tablets neatly guide around the grounds. There is a small exhibition in house, accompanied by a guest book, which is marked with memories. Guests may not know that Talbot House was home to some common, everyday phrases such as: “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.” A select number of guest rooms are available to book for overnight stays, with each named after a key figure, offering a more personalised experience of ‘life behind the front.’ For more information visit www.talbothouse.be
MUSEUM OF THE BATTLE OF FROMELLES
Museum of the Battle of Fromelles saw its official opening on July 18, 2014, which marked the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles. The Battle of Fromelles was intended as a diversionary attack by the British and Australian troops, which backfired to a counterattack from the Germans, and saw almost 8,500 casualties. Upon entry to the exhibition, visitors are handed an audio descriptive guide. A neat footbridge provides a voyeuristic glimpse at five unique sections, opened by a descriptive presentation about ongoing archaeological/excavation projects. Museum of the Battle of Fromelles is constructed from concrete, with a convincing wooden patterning. Museum of the Battle of Fromelles features the stories of independent soldiers buried in the nearby cemetery, which was the last cemetery opened by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on July 19, 2010, seeing 250 soldiers retrieved from six mass graves in 2009. A miniature version of The Cobbers, by Australian sculptor Peter Coblett, sees Sergeant Simon Fraser carrying one wounded from the battlefield on his back. The main article provides the centrepiece at Fromelles Memorial Park. For more information visit www.musee- bataille-fromelles.fr