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Strictly farmyard as Len Goodman comes to University museum – University of Reading

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Strictly farmyard as Len Goodman comes to University museum

Release Date 21 August 2013

Len Goodman with Jen Woodhams, MERL Volunteering Assistant

More than 500 visitors - including Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman - enjoyed a day of ‘Farmyard Fun' at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) last week.

Petting zoo Miller's Ark brought their sheep, goats, pigs, geese, rare-breed chickens and ducks in their own paddling pool to the beautiful gardens of the Redlands Road museum on 16 July - one of a series of summer activities.

Len - who described the museum as ‘strictly fab!' - came along to spring a pleasant surprise on members of the Ichthyosis Support Group (ISG) who were visiting the museum.

The charity has received a National Lottery Award, and the children and adults were being filmed for a BBC programme, to be aired in September.

Guy Baxter, University Archivist for MERL and the University's Special Collections Service, said staff were delighted to welcome the group. They were among hundreds of other families who took advantage of the fun day out - one of many family activities taking place at the museum over the summer.

"It has been our great pleasure to be able to host the group, and we hope that they enjoyed their day out," he said.

"We can't promise a celebrity on every visit, though..."


For more information contact Pete Castle at the University of Reading press office on 0118 378 7391 or

Notes to editors:

The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) houses the most comprehensive national collection of objects, books and archives relating to the history of food, farming and the countryside.

As a University Museum and as the founder member of the Rural Museums Network, MERL has built up a reputation as the leading authority in its field and as a centre of excellence in teaching and learning.

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