Friday, May 29, 2015

Half Term Fun

This week has seen Wakefield Museums deliver quite a variety of family workshops!

From booked sessions to drop-in crafts, families have created, participated and been hands-on. There has been mosaic coaster making, digital drawing, puppet shows and even live owls!

Castleford Museum held a drop-in session for visitors to make their own mosaic coaster with ceramic tesserae – staff worked hard to keep up with demand for the grout to stick designs together!
Mosaic coasters
27 May was the 150th anniversary of the death of Wakefield explorer and pioneer conservationist Charles Waterton, to mark this event we delivered our Barmy Birds workshop. We had some amazing creations made and participants even got to look at owl pellets and what they contained - thanks to Jo from the RSPB Yorkshire (Old Moor) for supporting this session.  Feedback from the sessions included “A fun and educational workshop for children and adults alike

Barmy birds!

There were also some owl related crafts as part of the Wakefield Artwalk and Nightingale Festival (#Waterton150), along with a display of real owls from the Yorkshire Owl Experience. One youngster told us “That was cool, glad we went!”  

Owl Crafts

Charles Waterton and Ruby the Owl!

Some Brilliant Boats were designed over at Castleford Museum.  From origami sail boats to sparkly canoes youngsters (and parents alike) produced some wonderful paper boats.  One design will be taken into school as we were told the child’s new topic will be ships and boats this term – good timing for all!

Brilliant Boats

Cusan Theatre delivered The Princess of the Rainforest - An enchanting visual story with life size puppets, masks and visual treats. “I liked the monkey and snakes, but they had to find somewhere new to live! I liked it” said one of our younger visitors.

The Princess of the Rainforest
The digital drawing session saw the use of object from the collections and museum displays being given a bit of a makeover. Using a free app on iPads participants created their own amazing digital artwork and images. Feedback included “Very informal session. Kids loved every bit of it – working with museum objects, exploring the museum space, learning new app – everything was fun (and yet educational!) Very relaxing as well Thank you.”

Digital Drawing
Taking inspiration from the artist and sculptor Henry Moore, there were drop-in activities at Castleford Museum, with tiles being decorated in our own take on Henry Moore's artistic style.

And still to come:

Henry Moore Sculptures
Saturday 30 May
11am – 2pm
Castleford Forum Museum
Be inspired by the community case created by St Joseph's School and create your own Henry Moore sculpture from clay.
Suitable for all!
Free, no need to book

At Wakefield Museum there are NEW activity sheets that have been developed by Wakefield Museum Young Curators Club (YCC) out for families to use on a daily basis too. The YCC in their last meeting looked around the museum and developed some word puzzle activities for others to take part in. These are out in the museum ‘front room’ for you to have a go.

Keep updated on all our activities by joining our mailing list!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Wakefield!

We are involved in an exciting research project with the West Yorkshire Historic Environment Record, which is already showing some interesting results about Wakefield's distant past!

Over the past couple of months, The Historic Environment Record Officer for West Yorkshire has been examining the Palaeolithic (750,000BC to 10,000BC in the UK) and Mesolithic (10,000BC to c. 3500BC) flint collections of Wakefield Museum for a Historic England funded project. 

This project involves visiting local museums across West Yorkshire, to review and record their flint collections in order to improve the early Prehistoric records of the West Yorkshire Historic Environment Record (HER). The project results will be discussed with leading academic professionals and fed back to the participating museums - improving knowledge and understanding of these collections. 

The project will enable more accurate planning advice to be provided, and help the people of West Yorkshire to better understand the early Prehistoric occupation of the area.  

Middle Palaeolithic flint hand axe from Lee Moor, Stanley
Although the project is only part way through, it would appear from looking at the finds that Wakefield was one of only a couple of locations in West Yorkshire to be visited by Palaeolithic hunter-gathers in the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic period (c. 60,000BC to 10,000 BC).

Friday, May 15, 2015

The British Civil Wars - new exhibition

A stunning new exhibition was opened last night in Pontefract Museum by Councillor Les Shaw.

The British Civil Wars exhibition contains unique and special objects from Wakefield Museums collections plus loans from other museums.  

Taking pride of place is the newly conserved Keirincx painting showing Pontefract Castle before its destruction.

The opening event, part of the Museums at Night Festival, included Civil War soldiers from the Earl of Manchester's Regiment, and a printing workshop where visitors could print their own Civil War Propaganda-inspired leaflets.  Some amazing work was produced!

As well as the new British Civil Wars exhibition, don't miss the other new displays. 

Pontefract's own domestic goddess, Elizabeth Moxon, published a recipe book in the 18th century...

...and of course, Pontefract liquorice!

The British Civil Wars is on display in Pontefract Museum until 16th January 2016.

Friday, May 8, 2015

New Reminiscence Boxes

We are very proud to announce that we have a new series of Reminiscence Boxes now available to borrow. 

For more information, please click here.