Special events 2014
Performing Protest: Riots Against Technological Change in the 19th Century
Saturday 22nd March
- 11.30am to 12.30pm & repeated 2.30pm to 3.30pm
- Ticket required. How to book
Join us at MERL for an immersive theatrical performance to find out what happened during the Swing Riots in 1831.
Visit the Performing Protest page for further details
Stargazing: exploring the universe from the comfort of Reading
Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March
- 6pm onwards
- Free, suitable for all
Fun for all the family, regardless of the weather. With the help of the local astronomical society, there will be the chance to look through some powerful telescopes, hear talks and have a go at activities.
MERL After Hours: 1951 Vintage Night
Saturday 17th May
- 8pm til late
- £5/£3 concessions (in advance) and £6/£4 concessions (on the door)
For Museums at Night 2014, the Museum of English Rural Life will be turning back the clock to 1951, the year that the museum first began, and holding a fabulous 1950s vintage night. It will be a chance for visitors to dig out their petticoats and their winklepickers and come to MERL for an evening of live music, jiving, cocktails, vintage crafts alongside a fascinating display of some of the museum's first acquisitions and against the backdrop of some fabulous 1950s film from the museum's archive.
MERL Village Fete
Saturday 31st May
- 10am to 4.30pm
Tickets £2.50 in advance or £3 on the door* / children free
MERL's annual Village Fete will be on the theme of food this year, so come along and join in the fun! With cooking demonstrations, Morris dancing and Stave dancing, local food growers and producers, cream teas, hog roast, live music, arts and crafts, traditional games and much more...
*All ticket proceeds will support the MERL Redevelopment Appeal
Whiteknight's Trail Studio Trail 2014
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June
- 11am to 6pm
Free (refreshments available)
A walking tour of artists' studios in the University of Reading area and MERL will host a number of artists during the weekend. MERL is one of the few venues serving refreshments, so come along for tea and cake or bring a picnic to enjoy in our beautiful garden.
Universities Week 2014
Research in Action: Sensory Objects showcase
- Monday 9th June
- Day time taster sessions followed by twilight seminar
- Suitable for adults, students, SEN learners and educators
- Contact us for further details
The Sensory Objects project, a collaboration between the Department of Art and the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading and the University of East London, has been working with students from Reading College LLD/D (Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities) department to create interactive sensory objects in response to their experiences at the Museum of English Rural Life.
This event will allow a range of audiences to experience some of the project’s workshop activities. Taster sessions will include creating simple electronic circuits using and creating sound effects for MERL archive silent farming films.
Research showcase: the creative industries
- Wednesday 11th June
- Suitable for the general public, sixth form students and their teachers
- Contact us for further details
This event will showcase how the University of Reading’s world-leading research feeds into the UK’s creative economy, with emphasis on theatre and film. A small exhibition of key items from the University’s collections that support creative industries research – including the iconic manuscript for Samuel Beckett’s first novel; and a film showing of a creative response to the University’s Evacuee Archive. Other events throughout the day (for the public and schools) will highlight research by PhD students working in the Film, Theatre and Television Department fits with creative industries.
Adult Learners Week
Wednesday 18th June
- 2pm to 4pm
- £1 including refreshments
Booking required. How to book
A behind the scenes event for anyone interested in finding out what it is really like working in a museum and archive. From collection management to public engagement, access all areas during this unique event and learn about MERL's lifelong learning opportunities.