ENJOY A DAY AT THE MUSEUM
One of Chiltern’s most loved museums reopens for the summer on Saturday and is inviting people to come along to a one-off ‘by donation’ day. Tom Herbert finds out more about the exciting events it has planned
MEDIEVAL jousting, Roman gladiators, riflemen from Wellington’s army... no, we haven’t stepped back in time – and you haven’t picked up the wrong paper. The Chiltern Open Air museum re-opens on Saturday and it has a list of events that run until Christmas, both historic and otherwise, for everyone in the community to get involved in.
The charity-run museum is hosting a special ‘By-Donation’ day when it does re-open on Saturday where museum admission is not set. Instead it is inviting visitors to come along and explore its historic buildings, ranging from an iron age round house up to a 1940s pre-fab, in return for a donation.
During the opening event on Saturday there will be historic bread baking demonstrations in 18th century Leagrave Cottage by local volunteer and Tudor cook Jenny Thompson.
Speaking about Saturday’s event, Sian Hammerton-Fraser, visitor experience manager at the museum, said: “It’s usually really busy and it’s a fantastic start to the season.”
Sunday will see a Chiltern Warrior Run, designed to raise funds to continue the work of the museum which costs over £900 a day to run. Over Easter Bank Holiday Weekend visitors are encouraged to join in with some historical cooking and discover the origins of Easter traditions, and during spring and summer events include a wedding open morning, meeting new born lambs and discovering what life was like in 15th century England.
Events are planned right up until December 6 when the season finishes with a Halloween spectacular and a traditional Chilterns Christmas.
Mrs Hammerton-Fraser said: “We’re incredibly excited about our events programme this year.
“We always work really hard to make sure we have got an exciting programme planned for our visitors, ranging from fantastic historical reenactments to unique nighttime events such as Museums at Night, which is part of a normal programme which aims to get people engaging with museums in different ways.”
She also said the museum is expecting a visit from a “real live unicorn” as part of the Enchanted Museum night and a “wonderful halloween spectacular which last year attracted over two thousand visitors”.
She added: “We think it’s really important that local communities come and visit our museum so we do try and make the museum as accessible as possible.”
She added: “This is a really special time for us at Chiltern Open Air Musuem and we can’t wait to open up our gates to visitors again.”