Special events 2014

Tremendous trees in the MERL gardenTremendous trees!

  • 16th August
  • 1-5pm
  • Free | Drop-in (Book a tree-surveying session (1.30pm & 3.30pm) on arrival)
  • Suitable for all

A special event celebrating our love of trees. Learn the science of identifying and surveying trees, have a go using the trees in the MERL garden and use your new-found skills to identify the trees in your local area.

Have a go at a leaf-rubbing craft activity and see a display of artefacts relating to forestry and tree-related items from the MERL archives and library.

To find out more about tree surveys and the background to this event, read our latest blog post.


Cooper from the Farmers Weekly collection, MERLAn introduction to cooperage

  • 23 August
  • 3 – 4pm - talk
  • 4 - 4.15pm - visit the coopering section in the museum with the speaker
  • Free | Booking advisable but not essential

What is a Cooper and Cooperage? This talk by Marshall Scheetz, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, USA will introduce the historical importance of the cooperage industry in rural and urban England. Historian and Journeyman Cooper, Marshall Scheetz will make reference to tools and cooperage in the MERL collections along with images from his own research to describe the construction of a cask, the uses of cooperage and the training of a cooper from Apprentice through to Journeyman and Master.

Following the talk, join Marshall in the coopering section of the Museum to see the tools relating to the craft and watch a short video showing the process of making a cask.


2.15-2.55pm - You are invited to join a free guided tour of the museum, focussing on the craft collections.

See some examples of the projects Marshall works on day to day on his Instagram account  at http://instagram.com/marshallscheetz


Heritage Open Days Tours

Thursday 11th and Friday 12th September, Sunday 14th September 

  • 11.00am-12pm
  • 3.00pm-4.00pm (Sunday) 
  • Free, book

As part of the national Heritage Open Days event, we are offering behind the scenes tours of our Victorian home, including a visit to the archive and rare book store (Thurs & Fri only) to see some of the hidden treasures.

To book please contact merlevents@reading.ac.uk 0118 378 8660 


Heritage Open Days Family Tour

Saturday 13th September 

  • 3.00pm-4.00pm  
  • Free, book

Join us for a special behind the scenes tour of the Museum of English Rural Life and Special Collection's Victorian home. Suitable for families with children aged 4+ 

To book please contact merlevents@reading.ac.uk 0118 378 8660 


MERL at The Royal County of Berkshire Show

Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September

  • 8.00am-6.00pm  

Come along and join us at the University of Reading's stand! For details of tickets click here


Our Country Lives logoOur Country Lives events programme 

Thanks to a recent £1.8m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the Museum of English Rural Life is embarking on a redevelopment project. To allow work to take place, the Museum will close in the Autumn for up to a year.

The Museum will be holding a series of events related to the project throughout the closure period to keep visitors involved and up to date. See Our Country Lives programme for details of events.

Further details regarding the project are available at www.reading.ac.uk/merl/ourcountrylives



Things to do now

Contact us

Page navigation

See also


Search Form

A-Z lists