Press Releases

Summer Spectacular at the Museum of English Rural Life – University of Reading

Release Date : 23 July 2007

Despite the lack of summer weather so far, the University of Reading's Museum of English Rural Life is holding a Summer Spectacular next month.

MERL, in Redlands Road, Reading, is determined to bring a bit of summer fun to the town and the free family event ties in with the current theme of sustainability inspired by MERL's major new exhibition Going Green: Sustainability Past and Present.

Adults and children will be able to pick up some new ideas for recycling by taking part in drop-in workshops with a number of local artists and craftspeople including Julie Roberts, MERL's artist in residence, who will be weaving with plastic bags and Victoria Spearing, who will be making musical instruments from recycled rubbish.

Will Phillips, Museum Officer at MERL, said: "This is the first major event to take place in MERL's new garden. Visitors will be able to see craft demonstrations, listen to talks, take part in workshops and learn more about current issues such as climate change, food miles and recycling and what they can do to help the environment."

The Summer Spectacular will be held on Saturday August 4, between 10am and 4pm.

There will be opportunities to learn more about sustainable issues, with talks about sustainable transport, the RISC roof garden and Reading Borough Council's green initiatives. There will also be talks and demonstrations by sustainable furniture makers Chris Cattle, who 'grows' furniture, and Philip Koomen, who will be unveiling his Pond Life bench, commissioned by the Museum for the new garden. Other demonstrations will include pedal generators and rag rug making.

Visitors will be able to visit information stalls to find out more about Thames Valley Farmers markets, The True Food Coop, RISC and Reading Borough Council, as well as try local food for lunch.

There will also be face painting and entertainment by the Aldbrickham clog and step dancers. A full programme of times of workshops and talks is available on the MERL website at the MERL website.

The Going Green exhibition is open now and runs from until October 28.


For more information, please contact Alison Hilton, marketing officer, on 0118 378 8660

Notes for editors:

1. More information about the Museum of English Rural Life

The Museum of English Rural Life, in London Road, Reading, was founded by the University of Reading in 1951 to reflect and record the changing face of farming and the countryside. It houses designated collections of national importance that span the full range of objects, archives, photographs, film and books. Today, it forms part of the University's Museums and Collections Service. The Museum operates as a major resource and research centre for the history of food, farming and the countryside with links into the School of History and other academic departments at the University.

2. More information About the University of Reading

The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise.


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