A fine time was had by all over half term when Rosie, Bournemouth Pavilion’s Pantomime Wardrobe mistress, came to entertain our youngsters. She brought with her some of the costumes they have. Of particular interest were the shoes in sparkly red and in pink (look closely) which, I was told, were size 12!
Everyone loves dressing up, and the Museum had some of its own replica historical costumes on hand.
Owain was in charge and decided the shoes were too big for him! Thanks to Rosie, Owain and all the Volunteers involved, who make these things happen.
Volunteers are invited to attend Volunteer Coffee Mornings, continuing one of our themes for volunteer talks for the year: celebrating the 800th anniversary of the move of Salisbury Cathedral from Old Sarum to its present site.
Tuesday 24 March
and Wednesday 1 April: Volunteer Coffee Mornings
Volunteer Roger Wadey will be giving a talk entitled ‘Living in 13th Century Salisbury: the lives of ordinary folk’. Roger will examine the lives of ordinary folk at the time of exceptional change in Salisbury, including the lives of peasants, specialist trades and the social landscape and marketplace in which the new city was being built.
We hope you can join us for tea, coffee and cake and to hear this fascinating talk. Both dates are the same event – so just chose one! There is no need to RSVP – please just turn up on the day.
Note from the Volunteer Co-ordinator (Bridget!): I am hoping to find a volunteer that would do a 5-10 minute presentation on an object of their choice at the end of the main talk. If you are interested in doing this please do get in touch.
Kind words from a happy customer after a family visit to our Tudor event on 14 December:
Saturday’s display was absolutely fabulous: we twice saw the Martial Arts display . We chatted with the three members coming from Wales and all three of them were very very knowledgeable and keen to share.
Having colouring/easy craft activities around the room was fab as one of my children was busy elsewhere, still listening to the talk.
What a food display ! what a lovely bunch of costumes !
Music was perfect: not too loud , not too tiring and nice and joyful in the background. Even from the cathedral entrance, it sounded great.
It was great to see the reindeer again for a Christmas feeling.
The Tudor Christmas festivities came, and went. And so did the crowds! Over one thousand visitors on Saturday enjoyed crafts, costumes, falcons, the table (not quite set for a King, but pretty good), martial arts, reindeer and friendly, happy company.
Thank you to the so many concerned in the preparation of it all – Owain Hughes, whose idea it all was; the sewing ladies; the pastry chefs and craftspeople; the decorators; the Albion Historical Falconry team; our friends from the Reindeer Centre,; the Salisbury Playhouse (for costumes); staff and volunteers; the Director (for letting us have real Tudor items on the table, and birds inside our beautiful King’s Room); David Davies who played the harpsichord beautifully and the man with the fife and drum, Jonathan Weekes!
And if there are any visitors reading this blog…….. Thank you for coming.
The decorations and table will remain on display until Twelfth Night, as is fitting.
An added incentive to be here on Saturday 14th is the fact that the entire staff will be in costume, as well as some of the Volunteers. Yes, even our esteemed Director, Adrian Green!
The King’s Room will be closed on Friday to put up the tables and other items and by Saturday morning it will be all systems go. Be met at the gate by a certain bearded figure (no, not Father Christmas or Henry VIII) and see the reindeer. Then come in to Reception where the servants will welcome you. Walk the corridors, enjoying the decorations, and come up to the feasting room where musicians, falcons, story tellers and servants will be entertaining, and about to carve the boar’s head.
I only hope the falcons don’t think the food is real!
If you have been in to the museum recently you will have seen it beginning to be transformed, forward in time to Christmas, and back to Tudor times.
Volunteers are in the museum each morning, before opening time, to start putting the decorations up. Sophia Sample and Sally Brown have been paramount in creating the green swags, table and window decorations. Mary Crane and an enormous team of stitchers have produced Tudor Roses which now find their moment, as you can see…
On Monday (25 November) I was delighted to be able to attend a ‘Collections in Focus’ talk given by Simon Cleggett, Project Manager at Wessex Archaeology.
Entitled ’Echoes of the Voices from WW1: The Larkhill 300’, this concerned the exciting and varied discoveries made at Larkhill, Bulford and Tidworth for the Army Basing Programme, whereby some 30,000 troops and their families will need to be accommodated following their return to the UK. The archaeological investigation has entailed stripping some 33 hectares of land back to the bare chalk, revealing artefacts dating from the Early Neolithic to modern ‘conflict archaeology’ pertaining to World War 1.
Click here to read more about Wessex Archaeology’s excavations
Among the early Neolithic finds was a causewayed enclosure which is, in fact, the closest causewayed enclosure to Stonehenge yet found, and dates to about 900 years pre-Stonehenge Phase 1. Thus it’s not too fanciful to consider that the people involved in its construction may have been involved in the conceptualisation of the future Stonehenge. There are just over 80 causewayed enclosures in the UK and they are thus fairly rare.
As a scientist (albeit a chemist, but I did once study ‘A’Level zoology) I was intrigued to learn that (being Caprinae) sheep and goats are anatomically uncannily very similar – almost identical. Hence distinguishing between the two requires outstanding observational skills and extensive practice. This has been quite problematic archaeologically, and archaeologists refer to such skeletons as sheep-goats. (This reminded me of how embarrassed I once was when having a lift home from work with a colleague. Noticing a large number of animals in a field, I exclaimed, “Blimey, look at all those goats!” He fell about laughing and said, ”Those are not goats, they’re sheep that have recently been shorn”!). I now don’t feel quite so foolish.
In terms of ‘Conflict
Archaeology’, Larkhill turns out to be the largest WW1 practice battlefield
ever excavated. It was very poignant that, occurring during 2016-2017, the
excavations occurred during the centenary of WW1 itself. This did not go
unnoticed by the archaeologists on site. The excavations revealed WW1 practice
trenches and tunnels, the entrances of which had graphitic graffiti of soldiers
(rank, name and number) who were training there, and whose families may
therefore be traceable. There were 400 pieces of graffiti pertaining to 300
names, this inspiring the title of Simon’s talk.
It is anticipated that the many artefacts found during these excavations will eventually be housed in Salisbury Museum.
On Monday 25 November, from 1.30 – 4pm, you are invited to help us by coming along to a taster workshop in the Lecture Hall at the museum, testing out a range of arts and craft courses which we hope to make available as part of the Well-City project later. All we ask is that you spare some time at the end to feed back on your experience.
No experience necessary. Refreshments provided. Contact Sarah Gregson at the museum.
It’s Good to Talk!
On the first Monday of each month, from 10.30 – noon, all sorts of people gather in the Lecture Hall at the museum……for conversation.
It is said to be a lost art, but not here!
Each month objects are taken from the museum collections and displayed as starting points for conversation and the sharing of memories and ideas.
These are sessions that include refreshments and everyone is welcome.
Are you interested, or do you know someone who might be? Do come along and see what happens.
Spring dates: 6 January; 3 February; 2 March; 6 April.