Thursday, 14 December 2017

New 'family space' opening at museum

New 'family space' opening at museum

HENLEY’S River and Rowing Museum has announced the opening of a new family space this weekend.

Called “Discover!” the space has been likened to a museum within a museum.

Head of marketing Catherine Yoxall said: “Building on the incredible success of Peter Rabbit this summer, which saw us achieve our biggest visitor numbers ever in our 20-year history, the case to invest further in our family friendly offer was very compelling.

“What we have created is effectively a mini-museum, to provide further opportunities for our younger audiences to have fun, to learn and to be inspired by the museum’s stories and collections.

“Having been shortlisted as one of the UK’s most family-friendly museums three times, we are very proud of our reputation with local families and hope that this new space will encourage even more families to engage with the museum and find out more about the history of our wonderful town.

“Local references are scattered throughout the space, and Hobbs’ boatyard and the Kenton Theatre are two of the historic local businesses that feature in the gallery.”

Doors to the new space open tomorrow (Saturday) and poet and storyteller Susan Lacey will be sharing her stories in the Discover! story corner from 2.30pm.

Other features include a sensory play area, an imaginative play area and a feedback space.

Tomorrow is also “Takeover Day” when young people are encouraged to take over job roles.

Three students from the Artways Art Club who are working towards their gold arts award will be leading 20-minute tours of The BFG in Pictures exhibition at 2pm, 2.45pm and 3.30pm.

Members of the RRM Youth Squad will be supporting families to explore the new Discover! space.

The space was made possible by a grant from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire Museum Development Programme.

Helen Cook, head of learning at the Mill Meadows museum, said: “We are very excited to be opening this new hands-on space in the museum to share more of our stories and objects with visitors in an interactive way.

“We have had feedback from lots of families about what they would like to see and we have worked with SEN groups to make the activities more accessible. We hope visitors will have fun exploring, playing and sharing.”

The River and Rowing Museum is open from 10am to 5pm daily. Annual passes are £12.50 for adults and £9.95 for ages four and over, with concessions £11.50. For more information, visit www.rrm.co.uk

• The latest River and Rowing Museum exhibition, The BFG in Pictures sees everyone’s favourite giant come to Henley in a magical exploration of Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations.

Curated by the artist himself, the show includes unpublished illustrations of one of Roald Dahl’s most popular creations — which was last year turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg.

A museum spokesman said: “Visitors can enjoy 40 of Blake’s original artworks for the story that has enchanted generations of children and adults.

“The exhibition includes Blake’s first designs which weren’t included in the book and provides a glimpse of a BFG that might have been...

“Families can curl up with a book in our story corner or enjoy some magical craft activities.”

The BFG in Pictures runs at the museum until Sunday, January 21.

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