The Past Comes to Life in Great Yarmouth

Yarmouth’s museums are gearing up for a celebration of the town’s past that will see volunteers don historical costumes as they re-enact key moments from Yarmouth’s history.

Called ‘Experience Days,’ these special events will let museum visitors get up close and personal with both famous historical figures and ordinary Yarmouth citizens, and organisers are confident that they will be a hugely enjoyable success.

Morris Jackman is a retired custodian of the Maritime Museum whose love of history and willingness to dress up has made him a favourite with visitors. He told the Evening News: “There are a great bunch of people at the museums and I really enjoy meeting the public and telling them a bit about the period that I’m representing. It makes it real for people.”

Textile museum curator Jo O’Donoghue said: “I want people coming to our museums to feel that sense of wonder and awe that you should feel when you visit a museum, the feeling that you’re seeing something really special.”

The experience days begin on February 8th with Undressing Queen Elizabeth at the textile museum, which focuses on the ornate clothing and fascinating emotional lives of our Tudor ancestors, and ends on March 14th with The Secrets of Watercolours, a celebration of Yarmouth’s long history as a subject for landscape painters.

Experience Days:

  • February 8: Undressing Queen Elizabeth – a fascinating look at Tudor England. Queen Elizabeth I will demonstrate the detail of period costume, peeling back the layers of her garments and revealing the history behind them. An academic expert will then lead participants through the sonnets and poetry that give an insight into love and lust in Tudor England.
  • February 15: Costumes and Creativity – wonderful costumes, textiles and accessories from the stored collections. Participants can create their own 1960s bag with a professional costume designer.
  • February 29: Inspiring Seascapes – exploring the paintings of the Norwich School including Victorian painter Joseph Cotman and more modern artists such as Maggie Hambling. Learn the techniques behind these dramatic artworks from artist-in-residence Philip Harvey and meet the conservation team to learn the basics of looking after artwork.
  • March 7: Hand Painted Glass – calling on the ornate collection of decorative glass at the historic Elizabethan House Museum to inspire students to create their own designs.
  • March 14: The Secrets of Watercolours – a behind-the-scenes tour of the museums’ collections with curator Jo O’Donoghue and Philip Harvey. Meet the conservation team and learn how the delicate watercolours are looked after and stored.

Tickets for the experience days cost £45 per person including lunch provided by the Silver Darlings Café at Time and Tide, plus refreshments throughout the day. For more information call 01493 743930.

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