Press Releases

Half Term Fun at the Museum of English Rural Life – University of Reading

Release Date : 18 October 2007

The Museum of English Rural Life, which is owned and managed by the University of Reading, is holding Fun Events for Families at Half term.

This holiday's events at MERL give visitors the chance to make decorations to brighten up homes as Autumn sets in.

On Tuesday October 23, families will be able to join MERL artist in residence, Julie Roberts to design and make magical paper lanterns. This bookable event, is suitable for adults and children aged seven to 11. Sessions start at 2pm and 3pm.

The second event takes its inspiration from MERL's current 'Going Green' exhibition. Bekky Moran, MERL Learning Manager, will be helping families create magical mobiles from recycled objects and natural materials from the MERL garden. This event takes place on Wednesday October 24 from 2 to 4pm. It is suitable for children aged seven to 15 and adults, and places should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

On Thursday October 25, families can drop in between 2pm and 4pm to transform pumpkins into grizzly ghouls and crazy creatures ready for Halloween. This event is suitable for adults and children aged 6+.

Bekky Moran, Learning Manager at MERL, said: "We hope that these events will encourage families to come and enjoy fun and interesting activities together, and at the same time learn a little bit more about the fascinating collections in the museum and archives."

As well as these special events, there are activities that families can do in the museum at any time, including the Ways of Seeing activity bags, the Rat Trail, brass rubbing, drawing, and now also the new Garden Trail. There are also the Magic Carpet activities such as farm animal puppets and jigsaws for younger children. The Museum is open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm and at weekends from 2pm top 4.30pm

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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