Press Releases

Halloween at the Museum of English Rural Life – University of Reading

Release Date : 22 October 2007

The Museum of English Rural Life, which is owned and managed by the University of Reading, is opening its doors after hours for spooky torchlight tours and scary stories on October 31st.

Families are invited to bring a torch and join Museum staff for a spooky torchlight tour of the Museum gallery. It's a creepy place after dark with wagons looming overhead and a cage full of gruesome traps, not to mention the invisible horse and iron spiders! If that's not enough to fire your imagination, local storyteller, Fionnaghal, will also be there to thrill you with scary stories of wandering spirits. Children (and adults!) can add to the atmosphere by dressing up if they wish!

Bekky Moran, Learning Manager at MERL, said: "This event will literally let people see the MERL collections in a completely different light! If you're looking for an alternative to trick or treating, we're offering a Halloween event with a difference!"

The first storytelling session runs from 4pm to 5pm and is suitable for adults and children aged eight and over. It is followed by a tour at 5.30pm. There is also a tour from 7.30pm to 8pm, followed by a storytelling session from 8pm to 9pm, suitable for adults and children aged 12 and over.

Booking is required as places are limited. For more information or to book, anyone interested in attending should call the Museum of English Rural Life on 0118 378 8660 or email


Note for media: Media are welcome to attend. If you wish to come along, 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 Redlands 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.The Museum of English Rural Life is part of the Thames Valley Museums (TVM) Family Friendly campaign – a scheme which brings together 30 museums across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to promote their popular appeal to the whole family. The Family Friendly logo provides an instantly recognisable guarantee of quality family friendly facilities at member museums. The TVM Family Friendly Initiative is part of the Tourism South East Family Fun campaign and is funded in part by Renaissance in the Regions – the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council's (MLA) groundbreaking programme to transform England's regional museums and galleries.

3. 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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