Undersea Fun with the Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy

craft-academy-dorset-county-museumLooking for something to do with the kids this this half term?  Come and join us for a morning of messy fun at Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy on Wednesday 15 February 10.30am – 12.30pm

Taking inspiration from our current spotlight exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the book by Wolfgang Grulke in the Victorian Hall children will have a chance to learn and create creatures that live in the sea and their environment.

We’ll provide the materials and the inspiration – you’ll create a wonderful piece to take home with you. Even better, it’s absolutely FREE thanks to sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

Each time you create a masterpiece at one of our sessions, we will stamp your Craft Academy passport. If you collect three stamps we’ll give you a special certificate.

The next Craft Academy sessions for 2017:

  • Wednesday 12 April

  • Wednesday 19 April

  • Wednesday 31 May

  • Wednesday 2nd August

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An Evening with the Curator Speed to the West: A Railway Journey in Art

‘Speed to the West:  A Nostalgic Journey’ by Paul Atterbury and Richard Furness

‘Speed to the West: A Nostalgic Journey’ by Paul Atterbury and Richard Furness

This Thursday, 24th March at 7.00pm at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, Richard Furness will talk about the development of the humble railway poster, and give a tour of the West Country using a series of stunning railway posters to coincide with the Museum’s extensive poster exhibition which runs until January 2017.

The talk will cover the historical development of railway posters over 130 years from the early Victorian lithographs through to modern digital images.  It will be based on the five south-western counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, which will be used to illustrate the enormous change in styles before we tour the region with some of the finest pieces of commercial art ever produced in the UK.

The talk is a stunningly visual introduction to the extensive poster exhibition being hosted by Dorset County Museum, which the BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Paul Atterbury and the Speaker have jointly curated.

Available to buy on the evening at £9.99 will be the brand new book ‘Speed to the West:  A Nostalgic Journey’ by Paul Atterbury and Richard Furness.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Half Term Fun with Craft Academy

Craft Academy at Dorset County MuseumLooking for something to do with the kids? Come and join us for a morning of messy fun at Dorset County Museum’s brand new Craft Academy on Wednesday 17th February in half term from 10.30am to 12.30pm

Using the Victorian Gallery displays as inspiration, can you help us create an online collection of fabulous things?

We’ll provide the materials and the inspiration – you’ll create a wonderful piece to take home with you. Even better, it’s absolutely FREE thanks to sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

Each time you create a masterpiece, we will stamp your Craft Academy passport. If you collect three stamps we’ll give you a special certificate. If you’re able to collect all five this year we’ll give you a prize!!

Two children admitted with each accompanying adult, suggested age range 5 – 11 years.

The next Craft Academy sessions for 2016:

  • Wednesday 30th March
  • Wednedsday 6th April
  • Wednesday 1st June
  • Wednesday 3rd August

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Museum launches a new exhibition of stunning railway advertising posters of the 20th Century

Nothing is more evocative of the golden age of travel than the railway poster, and Dorset County Museum is thrilled to be staging an exhibition featuring over 50 famous examples that opens on 19th March. These beautiful works of art were created between 1916 and the 1970s with one aim in mind: to encourage holiday makers to escape the humdrum of every day life and travel by train to the resorts, towns, countryside and special places of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

A truly classic railyway poster advertising the trip to come: GWR poster from 1938 by Charles H. J. Mayo

A truly classic railyway poster advertising the trip to come: GWR poster from 1938 by Charles H. J. Mayo

The posters conjure up a bygone age of steam engines and old fashioned bathing suits, sunny beaches and the gentle clinking of boats in harbours. There are stunning and iconic landscapes too, immediately recognisable, painted in wonderful colours and promising days out filled with sunshine and relaxation. Town and city views are populated with elegant people, a streamlined locomotive heads a Pullman train – these images bring together the excitement, spectacle and nostalgia of the age.

On display alongside the wide range of posters are some 21st century items that use classic poster design principles, locomotive nameplates, old station totem signs and diverse railway publicity materials and ephemera celebrating the great holiday routes in the West of England. Together they will, without doubt, provoke many nostalgic travel memories.

Speed to the West has been curated by Antiques Roadshow expert and writer Paul Atterbury and Richard Furness, collector, writer and publisher of the Poster to Poster series that have become the definitive books on the subject, supported by the staff of Dorset County Museum.

Paul Atterbury said “During the interwar years the ‘Big Four’ railway companies found that art sold tickets, and between them commissioned an astonishing range of posters from the leading artists and designers of the day. This tradition was maintained, even expanded, in the 1950s and 1960s by the newly nationalised British Railways, whose legacy is a second golden age of posters. This is a wonderful collection that is well worth coming to see, and I’m very pleased to be involved with this exhibition.”

Richard Furness said “Dorset is a beautiful county whose coastline is the subject for some wonderful artwork. Having been studying, collecting and writing about railway art for many years, I am delighted to be playing a part in bringing this unique collection to Dorchester. This exhibition brings together posters spanning a century, and is rounded off with the latest GWR poster which demonstrates that the slogan ‘Speed to the West’ is still actively in use today. Visitors should have a lot to see and reminisce over. Do come and see us!”

Dr Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum said “I’m really excited about this exhibition. The posters and railway memorabilia we’re exhibiting are within living memory for many people, forming a direct link to the past. Added to that, the posters are, of course, things of beauty in their own right and it’s great that they will be here in Dorset for people to see all year.”

A book, illustrating in colour the posters in the exhibition plus others that enrich the story, will be on sale throughout the exhibition priced at £9.95.

  • The exhibition ‘Speed to the West’ A Nostalgic Journey opens at Dorset County Museum on Saturday 19th March 2016 to Saturday 7th January 2017

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Mini Maiden Castle Free Family Activity Morning

Maiden Castle, Dorchester, DorsetOn Wednesday 29th July at the Dorset County Museum children are being invited to come along to this fun event and find out all about the history of Maiden Castle. They will be able to enjoy a craft session and make their very own mini Maiden Castle to take home!

This activity takes place between 10.30am – 12.30pm. There’s no need to book as this activity is FREE thanks to generous sponsorship from Battens Solicitors. Up to two accompanied children aged 4 -12 will be admitted per adult.

For further information about this Family Activity contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Tripadvisor “Certificate Of Excellence 2015” awarded to Museum

Volunteer, Nicole Englehardt and Front of House Manager, Alison Goff with the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

Volunteer, Nicole Englehardt and Front of House Manager, Alison Goff with the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

Recognised as a top performing Museum as reviewed by travellers on the World’s largest travel site, Dorset County Museum is thrilled to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for the third year in a row.

Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in tourist attractions and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period, as well as each attraction’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, an attraction must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Dorset County Museum, and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Dr Jon Murden, Director of the Dorset County Museum. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by your customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence in the Museum and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travellers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on hospitality businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

Become an Archaeologist at Dorset County Museum!

Become-an-ArchaeologistsOn Wednesday 27th May at the Dorset County Museum children are being invited to bring along their own back garden finds and learn all about them from archaeology experts.

At this fun event they will find out all about the fascinating world of archaeology, get hands on in an excavation pit and enjoy a craft session.

This activity takes place between 10.30am – 12.30pm. There’s no need to book as this activity is FREE thanks to generous sponsorship from Battens Solicitors. Up to two accompanied children aged 4 -12 will be admitted per adult.

For further information about this Family Activity contact the Museum on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

Winner of Dorset County Museum’s Christmas Quiz

Fundraising Team Leader, David Taylor holds the Christmas Quiz Prizes

Fundraising Team Leader, David Taylor holds the Christmas Quiz Prizes

We are pleased to announce the winner of our Christmas Quiz is Sarah Bolton from Dorchester. She was delighted that her entry had all the questions correctly answered. All the proceeds from the Christmas Quiz have helped the Dorset County Museum’s Collection Discovery Centre Fundraising Appeal, which has so far raised £16,000.

An exciting programme of fundraising events has been planned including a Dinosaur Egg Trail family quiz over the Easter Holidays. The trail will be available from the Museum reception.

For further information about the museum and the development appeal please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

TripAdvisor® ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for Dorset Museum

Dorset County Museum awarded 'Certificate of Excellence' Recognised as a Top Performing Attraction as Reviewed by Visitors on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Dorset County Museum awarded ‘Certificate of Excellence’ Recognised as a Top Performing Attraction as Reviewed by Visitors on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, Dorset, is delighted to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award – for the second year running. This prestigious award, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to the top-performing 10% of establishments – those which consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

Certificate of Excellence winners are selected using reviews ratings from its visitors – qualifying organisations must maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five. Other factors include the volume and recency of reviews, the length of time a property has been listed, and a property’s popularity ranking.

“We are very grateful to our visitors for the positive reviews and high ratings they give us on TripAdvisor” said Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum. “We are always working hard to improve the museum and one of the best ways to do this is to pay close attention to the independent feedback we receive from our visitors.”

Dorset County MuseumThe Museum is currently enjoying an increase in visitor numbers – in 2013 nearly 50,000 people visited the Museum including local residents, holidaymakers, researchers, educational groups and people coming to the many family activities, lectures and music events. The Dorset museum is also moving ahead with a major development project which will transform public access to its collections. Architects Carmody Groarke are assisting with an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund which will be made by the end of the year.

Fundraising activities continue to support the work required in advance of the application. For further information see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/risetothechallenge