Have fun and be inspired by Heritage Open Week this half term
A variety of heritage sites – including some run by Bath & North East Somerset Council – will be opening their doors and inviting residents and visitors to enjoy their unique attractions in a week-long celebration this half term.
A wide range of events and activities will take place in museums, galleries and heritage sites across Bath and North East Somerset. Over 20 sites will be opening their doors to the public from Saturday 27 October to Sunday 4 Novemberr to celebrate Heritage Open Week 2012.
As part of the family fun, children can get hands on with history and get crafty by making Minerva masks at the Roman Baths; creating fabulous frames for their artworks at the Victoria Art Gallery and making a treasure chest for their prized possessions at the Fashion Museum.
Late night opening returns to the Roman Baths for one night only with "Tuesday Treasure Hunters" on 30 October, from 6pm to 9pm (last entry 8pm). Everyone is welcome to discover more about the gilt bronze statue head of Sulis Minerva with some expert investigators and bring along your own finds for identification too!
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A rare treat is lined up for heritage enthusiasts with a behind-the-scenes look at the Roman Baths local history store. Held in the St John's Store, Upper Bristol Road, on Thursday 1 November, from 11am to 3pm, "What's in Store?" offers the chance to marvel at the old spa equipment, bath chairs and furniture made by local craftsmen. There is also a special opportunity to see the German-built coal truck from the 1890s which was discovered in the railway vaults in the last decade and has been painstakingly conserved.
There is also the chance to see archaeological finds from Combe Down Stone Mines and Keynsham, including Roman mosaics which have not been on public display for over a decade and Keynsham Abbey stonework. This second "What's in Store?" event takes place at the Pixash Lane Store, next to Pixash Lane Recycling Centre, between Saltford and Keynsham on Saturday 3 November, from 11am to 3pm. In preparation for this, Bath & North East Somerset Council will be working with year 13 students from Wellsway School on a Museum Takeover Day. The group of students will 'takeover' the Pixash Lane Store for a day and create information panels for the archaeological objects. This will feed into their A level curriculum.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: "Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to organise Heritage Open Week and celebrate the area's distinctive array of heritage sites with this special programme of activities. This year, the Council, working with Bath Tourism Plus, has secured match funding from the Government's Regional Growth Fund to promote this unique festival of our heritage to families throughout the region.
"These events can be a thoroughly rewarding experience as you can find out a lot about Bath and North East Somerset's rich heritage – which might have otherwise been taken for granted. On top of that, there are lots of fun things to do and plenty of great ways to keep the children entertained over the half term holidays."
Entry to the museums for their Heritage Open Week events is free of charge to Bath & North East Somerset Council residents upon production of a Discovery Card. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please note that not all of the museums are open free of charge for the whole week and admission charges apply to non-residents.
A family trail is included at the back of every Heritage Open Week brochure. Aspiring treasure hunters can use it to follow the trail clues around 12 different museum sites to discover a fascinating object and claim a stamp at each museum.
For full details of Heritage Open Week 2012, including listings and the online brochure, visit Bath & North East Somerset Council's website www.bathnes.gov.uk/openweek or pick up the Heritage Open Week brochure in your local library or museum.
Some of the events taking place at Bath & North East Somerset Council's heritage sites:
- Magnifica Minerva – Explore the story behind the goddess Sulis Minerva. Make a Minerva mask. Ages 5-11 years.
Roman Baths: Saturday 27 October – Friday 2 November; 10am-1pm & 2-4pm
- A Gallery Treasure Trove – Come and walk the gallery planks to find some arty treasures. Complete the trail and follow the map to find out if 'X' really marks the spot of a hidden treasure trove.
Victoria Art Gallery: Saturday 27 & Tuesday 29 October – Saturday 3 November; 10am-5pm (1.30pm-5pm on Sunday 28 October and Sunday 4 November; closed Mondays)
- All that Glitters is not Gold! – Hunt for treasures around the museum in our treasure trail. Ages 3-11 years
Fashion Museum: Saturday 27 October – Friday 2 November; 10.30am – 4.30pm, Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 November; 10.30am – 4pm
- Take a Line for a Walk: The Big Draw – Paul Klee's 'taking a line for a walk' is the most famous statement about drawing ever made. Be inspired by the Gallery's 'Harbour scene' and Klee's fish paintings to create your own magical scenes and strange sea creatures.
Victoria Art Gallery: Saturday 27 October; 11am-4pm
- What do you Treasure? – Be inspired by bags and purses in the museum to make a container to put some of your treasured possessions in. Ages 3-11 years.
Fashion Museum: Monday 29 – Wednesday 31 October; 10.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-3.30pm
- Fancy Frames – Be inspired by the fabulous picture frames in the Victoria Art Gallery and create your own frame to display your masterpieces. Ages 5-11 years.
Victoria Art Gallery: Tuesday 30 October & Friday 2 November; 10.30am-12noon
- World Heritage – What is so special about Liverpool? – Join our special talk on Liverpool's World Heritage. This is the second in a series of three heritage talks this autumn.
Guildhall: Monday 29 October; 1.10pm-1.45pm
- Finding Treasure – Kurt Adams from the Portable Antiquities Scheme talks about his role in recording archaeological objects found by the public in the local area. What is treasure and has any been found locally?
Roman Baths: Tuesday 30 October; 3-4pm
- Scrapbook Treasures – Explore the special exhibition "Bath Sky Diary" and use images of sky and clouds to create a scrapbook for those special things you want to keep.
Victoria Art Gallery: Wednesday 31 October; 10:30am-12noon
- What is Treasure? – Explore what different people identify as treasure with our museum curators.
Roman Baths: Wednesday 31 October; 10am-12noon and 2-4pm
- Mighty Mask Making – Gallery paintings are used to inspire this free mask making workshop, all materials provided. Ages 3-11 years
Victoria Art Gallery: Thursday 1 November; 10.30am-12noon
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