Special events 2014

London Road War Memorial clock towerWW1 events programme

From March, 2014

The first event in our World War 1 programme takes place on Wednesday 19th March. Bring along your WW1-related artefacts, photographs, documents and stories and show them to experts of First World War history.

For full details of this and the rest of the programme, visit WW1 Events Programme






Vintage shoesMuseums at Night: 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, we will be turning back the clock to 1951, the year that the museum first began, and holding a fabulous 1950s vintage night.

Dig out your petticoats and winklepickers and come to MERL for an evening of live music, jiving, cocktails & vintage stalls alongside a fascinating display of some of the museum's first acquisitions.

For full details, go to 1951 Vintage Night


Fete printingMERL 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...

For details, go to MERL Village Fete 2014

*All ticket proceeds will support the MERL Redevelopment Appeal



WST logoWhiteknight'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.


Uni Wk 14 logoUniversities 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
  • Free
  • 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
  • Free
  • 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 logo 14Adult 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.


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