Inspiring Journeys October Blog
It’s October and the garden is full of autumnal colour! Behind the green screen in the garden, work continues in the stable yard. The roof tiles that were broken on the eighteenth century stable roof have been removed and replaced by the tiles on parts of the roof that cannot be seen. Meaning that as you look up at the roof all the tiles are originals! Inside the stables, Laura Jarman, one of our amazing architects posted a image of the detail of the walls; showing the amazing history of the stables, which are to become our new café. Built and used by Gilbert White during the eighteenth century, Gilbert refers to them in his diaries one memorable use for them were to house chickens after he’d rescued them from the brew-house (also part of the renovation project). We can’t wait to be able to really appreciate these spaces when the building work finishes in the new year.
Here’s a picture of some of the team made up of museum staff and architects, discussing artefact storage. As an accredited museum this is of paramount importance and Josh our collections and participation manager looks like he’s got the team thinking hard about what’s best for our collections!
October is also the last month of the old Frank Oates Gallery, in November it will close as we prepare for the new exhibition. The plans for the gallery will lead you through Frank Oates’ life, starting at his home in Leeds, with his interest in natural science and his unfortunate ill health, travelling with Oates on his first expeditions to the Americas and exploring the wildlife of Central America, and then on to his final expedition to Victoria Falls. The gallery will be full of sights and sounds, with things to do and experience! We can’t wait!
This month we also got a preview of what the new introductory interpretation will be! The old Tea Parlour will become a space where you will be introduced to the three explorers we celebrate and these sample boards were shown to us so that we could see what the gallery might look like. You can see these boards too as they are currently in the Gilbert White Room.
Now that the opening of our new galleries and the stable yard is in sight (April 2018) we’ve got to start sharing it with the world! Asides from social media and these blogs, we’ve been meeting people to tell them about our new developments. On the 12th we visited the Group Leisure Show to tell group organisers how the changes to the museum will improve group visits in the future and on the 13th and 14th we were in Winchester, letting as many people as we could know about all the great things that are happening!
But what about now? If you’re planning on visiting in October or November, what can you expect from us mid project? Until November the Museum is not much affected, the Tea Parlour has moved to Bells Library and is serving great homemade cakes and sandwiches. In November the Frank Oates gallery will close, which will affect the route around the house, you’ll still be able to see our great Antarctic gallery and Gilbert White rooms, as well as full access to the gardens. Once you buy your ticket it is valid for a year, so keep it safe and make sure you bring it with you after April!