A member’s report on our Reading Study Day, 25th March 2015, by Lauren Ephithite
We started the day at Reading Museum. We learnt of their current HLF funded project ‘Reading’s Abbey Revealed’ to redevelop and interpret the Abbey quarter and Reading’s heritage throughout the town. Matthew Williams, Reading Museum Manager was kind enough to give us a tour of Reading, pointing out the key sites. This concluded rather excitingly with entry to the abbey ruins, currently closed to the public and involved us wearing hard hats!
We then had a lovely lunch with lots of networking and museum chatter and a chance to explore the museum. It’s lovely by the way, well worth a visit. I really liked the ‘adopt an object’ scheme run through their Friends Organisation and the colourful displays.
Next we headed to the Museum of English Rural Life. The museum is part of the University of Reading and out of the town centre. We met Isabel Hughes, Curator of Collections and Engagement who gave us a wonderful talk about the museum’s current HLF funded redevelopment project. She shared with us plans and designs for the new displays and spoke frankly about what needed to change. We were then very lucky to receive a true behind the scenes tour of the galleries being redeveloped.
Another great federation day, study meeting other museum professionals and hearing about two exciting projects. Thankyou very much to all involved, especially Matthew and Isabel.