Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Museums at Night

To celebrate the annual Museums at Night festival, we are running two very different events.

Have you ever wondered how Romans kept looking young and beautiful? How a Victorian eco-warrior could capture a ferocious caiman crocodile? 

Now's your chance to find out!

Lagentium Roman Spa
Thursday 15 May
Castleford Forum Museum
Join us for an evening of Roman inspired beauty.  Find out how the Romans kept young and beautiful, make your own Roman beauty cream and scented oils, and have your hair done in a Roman-inspired hairstyle!

Drop in anytime between 3.30pm and 6.30pm (Suitable for all).

If you would like to make some cold cream, first developed in the 2nd century AD, book onto one of 2 workshops. 

Cold cream sessions will take place at 4pm and again at 5.30pm, and are suitable for adults and accompanied children aged 8+ (hot water will be used).

Numbers are limited at each cold cream session to 10 participants.  To book your place, email

The Capture of the Caiman
Friday 16 May
Wakefield Museum
Come and hear how Charles Waterton captured the ferocious caiman crocodile!
Interactive storytelling and workshops for children aged 3-12 years old
The session will be running twice: 5-5:30pm and 6-6:30pm- performed in the Museum Front Room and followed by a museum trail and craft activity.
Booking is essential – call 01924 302700 or email
Fancy dress encouraged!

Museums at Night is Culture24’s festival of inspiring after hours cultural events at museums, galleries and heritage sites.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

George Kellett's World War One Diary: April 1918

Throughout 2014 we will be tweeting entries from a World War 1 soldier’s 1918 diary. You can follow George Kellett’s diary entries on Twitter @WW1_Diary.

We will also post the full month’s diary entries on this blog.

For George Kellett's March diary entries please see our previous blog: March 1918

1 April 1918 (Easter Bank Holiday)
Spent the day being medically examined and drawing hut and rifles

2 April 1918
On fatigues today in the Cook House

4 April 1918
Left Rouen today for the Batt
Left camp at 7pm traveling all night

5 April 1918
Traveling all day today

6 April 1918
Found the Batt Today at [?] Wrote to Pam and father

 7 April 1918
Had church parade is morning

9 April 1918
Had CC and CG Inspection this morning
Were not satisfactory so had to parade again at 3pm

11 April 1918
Left  Hortecote At 2pm arrived at Beaudricourte at 7pm passing through Frevent

12 April 1918
Left Beaudricourte at 2pm arrived at Barly at 5:30pm where we had to make our own bivys to sleep.

13 April 1918
Spent all day at Barly.  Had a walk in the village after dinner.

15 April 1918
Out wiring today in front of our medicine line

16 April 1918
On the roads working had quite an easy time

18 April 1918
Sent a letter home asking them to send a parcel.
Wrote to Pam and Ada and Willie

20 April 1918
Received a letter from father and the Express.  Wrote straight away back to them

This is an Easter card George sent to Emma.  It reads 'Just to wish you a Happy Easter from your loving sweetheart George xxxxxx'

22 April 1918
Orderly today but had to go out to work at night just the same. 

28 April 1918
Had Church Parade out in the open air just behind Monchy and Ressons 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Need for Speed: The Victorian Lady Cyclist

Wednesday 28 May, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Wakefield Museum, Learning Zone, Wakefield One, Burton Street, WF1 2DD

As part of Wakefield Museums' celebration of Le Grand Depart we are hosting a very special event exploring Victiorian Cycling:

Experience freedom as you cast off your chaperone, sit astride your steed and embrace the new thrilling craze of the bicycle. This lively talk embraces the lives and clothes of the emancipated, cycling women of Victorian England, including the daring few who donned the shocking Bloomer Suit!

This event is free but booking is essential, please call 01924 302700.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy St George's Day

To celebrate St George's day we present a selection of objects from the collection that feature dragons!

First World War recruitment poster featuring the legend of St George and the Dragon

Roman bronze brooch.  Enamelled dragonesque fibula, found at Castleford.

Bronze Chinese bowl used to burn incense, decorated with dragons and flowers.  This was a gift to the museum by Frank Green.  Frank Green was an avid collector and built up an extensive and important collection. He ran the family business in Wakefield making the 'Green Economiser', that his father had invented.
A large shallow dish, a salver, from 1787.  This was from Frank Green's collection.  The decoration shows St George and the Dragon.

Chinese kylin (dragon) with amber eyes.  Dating from 1750 - 1850. Also from Frank Green's collection. [This dragon is currently on display at Wakefield Museum].

'Dragon Pass' board game from the 1980s.

A cartwheel coin turned into a brooch with the figure of St George and the Dragon cut out.  The coin dates to 1819 and was designed by Pistrucci who designed all of George III coinage

Photograph, probably from 1930s / 1940s showing the Green Dragon Hotel in Pontefract in the background.

Temperance pledge from 1916, showing St George battling the dragon of intemperance! 

Pillowcase from around 1890 embroidered with a Chinese dragon.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Events and Exhibitions

Our new Events and Exhibitions leaflet is here!

We are really excited to have our new leaflet, detailing forthcoming events and exhibitions at all three of our museums.  The leaflet is currently being distributed throughout the region, and is available to download here.  

If you want to be sure of getting your own copy, why not pop into one of our museums to pick one up?

Not only that, but (while stocks last) the museums are offering visiting families a booklet with money-off-vouchers, a fridge magnet, a special Easter Egg Cup Hunt (with prize draw!), and even a template to make your own Easter Card (based on the 1950s egg cups below!).

How amazing are these 1950s egg cups?!  
  • At Wakefield Museum make a topsy-turvy animal; try on a wig; make a Tudor building; spot enemy planes and spend some time in the Front Room – an area for children to play and enjoy. 
  • Come face-to-face with a roman soldier at CastlefordForum Museum, try on some miners clogs and discover the unique and fascinating Iron Age chariot.
  • For those with a sweet tooth Pontefract Museum is a must see - discover the roots of liquorice in the town.  Can you spot the golden lion and a Victorian washing machine?!
There are also free workshops for families 
Find out the full details here! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Roman fun in Castleford

Saturday 29th March was a day of Roman-inspired fun at Castleford Forum Museum.

Nearly 500 visitors came to 'meet the Romans' during the event - some market visitors, no doubt, intrigued by the rather scary-looking Roman at the door!

Once they made it past the unconventional doorman, visitors young and old were inspired by the decorative metalwork demonstrations, as intricate patterns were stamped onto bronze bracelets.

Our younger visitors had the opportunity to make their own Roman coin, try on Roman armour, play the Roman Messenger game - and add to our display wall of Roman artwork.

A fascinating look at Roman cosmetics, perfumes, medicine and the chance to try a Roman hairstyle completed the experience!

Be sure to keep checking our events listing page to find out about future events - or why not sign up to our mailing list to be among the first to hear about what's happening?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It certainly felt like Spring today at Wakefield Museum!

April's sessions of Crafty Crocs were held today with our group of 2-5 year old visitors to Wakefield Museum.

Youngsters and their grown-ups searched the museum for clues before making Spring inspired creations. 

From funky folded patterned eggs, to fuzzy paper feathered chicks to blooming card tulips our Crafty Crocs created a colourful display to brighten up their homes.

Much fun was had by all!


Our next session is ion Tuesday 6th May – book now to reserve your place.

Crafty Crocs meets on the first Tuesday of each month, at 10 - 11am and 1:15 - 2:15pm, in the Learning Zone.  

Sessions are bookable on 01924 302700 or e-mail  to reserve your place.