Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sorting the liquorice collection

The museum collections contain many hundreds of objects associated with the liquorice industry in Pontefract

Liquorice has been grown there since the Middle Ages by monks for medicinal reasons. Later factories such as Bassetts and Dunhills flourished, using imported liquorice to make sweets.  Find out more about the history of liquorice by clicking here.

Work experience placement, Sarah, surrounded by liquorice objects
Sarah is spending her work experience placement with Museums to sort and photograph the collection. The results will be used to improve the museum database in preparation for putting the images on the web in the future, so liquorice fanatics the world over can explore our collections!

Once upon a time Pomfret cakes were only made in Pontefract. Although this is no longer the case some are still nonetheless manufactured in the town itself and visitors can still catch that sweet smell on the air.
To mark the importance of liquorice to the town there is an annual Liquorice Festival with all sorts of events taking place and a rare opportunity to buy a liquorice plant of your own.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Half Term Fun!

We have been delivering some fun holiday sessions to children aged 2 – 12 this half term.  

Dressing up in hats and wigs - who will you be?
Children have asked questions, thought about, crafted and been creative on themes such as the weather, medieval life and Waterton's wonderful animals.  Session have been delivered at both Sandal and Pontefract Castles, Pontefract Museum and the new Wakefield Museum in Wakefield One.

Waterton's eye-view of the Caiman Crocodile!
Sessions for the Easter holidays are already being developed by the team.  If you would like to be added to our e-mailing list for future notification of activities and events let the team know.

Creative fun!

Concentrating hard!
Imagining life in the past

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's never too early to visit a museum...

It’s never too early to visit a museum…        This is part of Kids in Museums manifesto, a charity dedicated to making museums open and welcoming to all families and is exactly what we are aiming to achieve ourselves. Our learning team run free activities throughout the year and are especially busy coming up to school holidays with themed craft activities for ages 2- 5s and 6-12s.  These sessions are great fun but you don’t have to be booked into a workshop to enjoy the museum with your younger children.
Hector in The Front Room - time to get creative!
The new galleries have been designed for everyone to find something that interests them – whether that’s a table full of colouring pencils or an opportunity to get close up to boa constrictor! 

Up close to a boa constrictor
The display cases, full of new and exciting things, are at just the right height for little to people to explore and there is a mixture of objects especially meant for touching and feeling within easy reach.   There’s also plenty of opportunity for creative play with our newly installed kitchen and two different areas for dressing up with mirrors.  Activity sheets and trails are available in the Front Room - and ask our Visitor Hosts for information on our new digitrails.
Hector has found the caiman!
Why not combine your visit with a trip to the new Children’s library located on the first floor and then finish it off with a well-deserved treat in Create Cafe, who have a lovely children's menu and new lunch box offer.

On a practical level Wakefield One is fully accessible to buggies with lifts located at each entrance and baby change facilities on the ground floor. Why not give it a go?!

The new Experience Wakefield website has now been launched - check here for special event listings.  
The new Experience Wakefield website is live!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be our Valentine!

To celebrate Valentine's Day, we thought we would share some historical Valentines from our collection.  We hope you have a lovely day!
Cupid himself features on this Valentine's cards dating to 1880-1910

Valentine card decorated with leaf design (1850-1900)

A fringed and padded Valentines (1850 - 1900)

This unusual sampler bears the motto 'Beware of Modern Love'!  (1850-1860)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Crafty Crocs

Today has seen our Crafty Crocs meet for the first time in 2013. Keeping in sync with the current weather our focus was on snow!  Children created snowless snowmen, hand print robins and star shaped foxes.
Today's Crafty Crocs  proudly showing their star-shaped foxes

Having creative fun!

Being creative can get messy!

Future sessions will be held on Tuesdays 5th March, 7th May, 4th June and 2nd July.  

Booking is essential on 01924 302700 (Booking line open Monday- Tuesday 9:30am – 4:45pm and Wednesday 9:30am – 1:30pm) or contact the team by e-mail.

Henry made a robin from his hand print
During February half term there will be a 2-5 years workshop on Thursday 21st February.  

Rain, Rain Go Away will see our younger visitors create weather themed crafts in the warmth of the Learning Zone along with a visit to the Museum – Booking is essential.