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Cabinet of Curiosities at Scarborough Art Galleries

A Cabinet of Curiosities at Scarborough Art Gallery including stuffed birds and festive items will provide a fascinating insight into the Scarborough Collections over the next few months.

The Scarborough Collections is the name given to all the museums objects held by Scarborough Museums Trust on behalf of the Borough. From 10 November until next spring, each month a member of the Trust’s Visitor Services team will choose a variety of objects around a theme of their choice to be displayed in the Gallery’s reception area.

The first Visitor Services Assistant to curate a mini exhibition is Jim Middleton, who will choose items from the Trust’s extensive collection of taxidermy, and has called his cabinet ‘What’s hit is history’: the rise and rise of the Victorian ‘bird stuffers’.

Jim says: “Why are there so few examples of taxidermy from before the 1820s? Why was the 1851 Great Exhibition so important to British taxidermy, and how could a small town like Scarborough support no fewer than five taxidermists in the 1890s?

“With a resurgence of interest in the art of taxidermy, this is an interesting look at the history of ‘bird stuffing’. It aims to explore what caused its growth, the factors contributing to its decline, and the professional naturalists and stuffers of late Victorian Scarborough.”

On 8 December, Jim’s cabinet will be replaced by objects chosen by Visitor Services Assistant Sarah Moore, who will present Christmas at Crescent Villa.

She says: “Scarborough Art Gallery was called ‘Crescent Villa’ when it was originally built as a family home in 1845. For the next 80 years or so, it remained a home for various occupants until it became a maternity hospital in the Second World War. I’ve always thought that Christmas at Crescent Villa would have been particularly special with the grand entrance hall and cosy fireplaces.

“I plan to display festive items and toys that may have been used throughout this 80-year-period – Victorian, Edwardian and later – including a Noah’s Ark scene, tinplate toys and confectionery tins. I hope to create a really festive welcome for visitors to the Gallery!”

'Restore the enchantment of childhood' at Scarborough Art Gallery's 13 Club

Two leading academics will speak at Scarborough Art Gallery later this month on the topic of fossils and folklore – and hope to ‘restore the enchantment of childhood’ for their audience.

Social psychologist Professor Stephen Sayers from Leeds Metropolitan University and paleontologist Dr Paul Taylor from the Natural History Museum will speak at the 13 Club  – a supper club at the Gallery inspired by the Victorian gentlemen’s club of the same name. Attendees can enjoy an informal supper while listening to two fascinating talks inspired by the current exhibition at the Art Gallery, Fears, Foes and Faeries (until 30 September). The 13 Club supper will take place from 7pm (doors open 6pm) on Friday 31 August, and the £15 fee includes supper – wine and soft drinks will also be available.

Stephen Sayers says: “One of my interests is in the psychology of folklore. ‘Folklore’ is shorthand for myths, legends, fairy stories, astrology, superstitions, tarot, runes and so on. My interest is not in debunking it, but in the very opposite: I’m interested in how these things work.

“For almost a year now I’ve been transcribing four volumes journals by William Clarke, the Scarborough naturalist whose collection of charms and amulets form the basis of Fears, Foes and Faeries. I’ll be talking about the collection – I want to know why certain objects were thought to be lucky, or able to protect you, or cure you. Why was this object thought to do it and not another one? I want to know too, what the psychological effects of belief in these amulets are: how does believing in their power change you? In what sense, if any, do they really help you?

“There are real mysteries to be found amongst these things; real mysteries that can be explored and understood and enjoyed. If I can do that, it might restore the enchantment of childhood to some people’s lives.”

Paul Taylor says: “My talk will explore the peculiar myths that developed around fossils in the pre-scientific era, some still believed by modern societies. I will show how most of these myths have their basis in the chance resemblance between these fossils and objects to which they bear no relationship.”

Advance booking is essential for the 13 Club – please call 01723 374753 or 353665.

David Hockney Exhibition 1st August – 24th August, Woodend, The Crescent

The centrepiece of ‘A Festival of Yorkshire – Scarborough’ is an exhibition by the world famous Bradford-born artist David Hockney, hosted by Woodend in association with Goldmark Gallery. The exhibition will include Hockney’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales collection. Hockney began working on etchings for Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the late 60s. He had made some experiemental prints inspired by ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ in 1961 and 1962 and now wanted to make a whole book. He loved the stories and had read all 220 of them over the years. He eventually chose 12 stories but only did engravings for six.

Hockney loved the directness of the language of the Grimm Brothers and the elements of magic in the tales, and his illustrations to each of his chosen six focuss on his imaginative response to descriptions in the text rather than the more usual fashion of concentrating on the most important events in the narrative. For instance, he chose ‘Old Rinkrank’ because it starts with the words ‘A king built a glass mountain’, and he was fascinated by the problem of drawing a glass mountain. In one of the most disturbing stories, “The boy who left home to learn fear”, Hockney interprets the description of the sexton disguised as a ghost standing ‘still as a stone’ as a tall rock surrounded by stones, recalling Magritte’s paintings of ordinary objects mad out of stone.

The exhibition is free and we would urge you to take up this opportunity to  see some of Hockney’s work here in Scarborough.

Summer holiday days out and events in Yorkshire (English Heritage)

We may not have had much of a summer so far, but this summer holidays, English Heritage has a jam packed schedule full of summer fun for all the family.

Time Travellers Go…Royal – Clifford’s Tower
Become a King (or Queen!) for a day at Clifford’s Tower this summer as children get the opportunity to dress up in splendid costumes and hats – even a medieval crown! Step forward and discover medieval etiquette and sit on the throne – Parents bring your camera for this Time Traveller taster event every day during school holidays.

Dracula & Time Travellers Go…Myths and Legends – Whitby Abbey
Bram Stoker’s classic Victorian gothic tale is brought to life with a cast of 4 actors.  Our tale is told as a promenade performance within the ruins of Whitby Abbey, itself the author’s inspiration for the setting of this tale. These performances are suitable for children aged 8 and above, every weekend.  Plus there will be hands on activities throughout the day, every day until August 27, based on King Arthur, St George, Dracula and other myths & legends, with our Time Travellers Go.. Myths & Legends Big Top.

Warrior Weekend – Scarborough Castle
Could you make it as a medieval Knight or noble Lady?  Meet our costumed and armoured trio and discover the life of a Knight.  Junior knights can take part in sword practice and see hand-to-hand sword fighting every weekend until Monday August 27.

The Knight’s Tournament – Richmond Castle
Come and marvel at our Medieval Knights as they take part in the Tournament of Foote. Watch these four brave armoured Knights and their squires, representing the North South East and West as they compete in archery and the fantastic Crest Melee. In between the competitions enjoy a display of poleaxe combat and browse the authentic Living History Encampment. Listen to period music and laugh out loud at our own medieval Jester!

Events
Sundays: 29 July – 30 September (& August Bank Holiday Monday)
Sunday afternoon band concerts
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Time Travellers Go…Myths & Legends
Every day from Sat 21 July – Monday 27 August
Whitby Abbey

Dracula
Every weekend from Sat 21 July – Sun 19 August
Whitby Abbey

Warrior Weekend
Every weekend from Sat 21 July – Mon 27 August
Scaborough Castle

Time Traveller Go…Royal
Every day from Sat 21 July – Sun 2 September
Clifford’s Tower

Robin Hood
Sat 28 & Sun 29 July
Conisbrough Castle

The Knight’s Tournament
Sat 4 – Sun 5 Aug
Richmond Castle

The Medieval Year – Lammas
Sat 11 & Sun 12 Aug
Rievaulx Abbey

Medieval Castle Clash
Sat 18 & Sun 19 Aug
Conisbrough Castle

Myths & Legends Weekend
Sat 25 – Mon 27 Aug
Whitby Abbey

The Medieval Year – Michaelmas
Sat 29 & Sun 30 Sep
Rievaulx Abbey

Summer Family Events at the Gallery & Rotunda

Witches & Wizards Academy

24-28 July, 11am-4pm

Drop in throughout the day to swot up on the essential skills to becoming a witch or wizard; from broomstick making, owl care, spell writing to herbology – we’ve got it all covered.

Haus of Faeries

31 July-4 Aug, 11am-4pm

Each of these daily drop in events will have a different faery tale theme from Red Riding Hood to The Iron Man, join in with a daily mix of craft and story telling.

Friday Late: Witchfinder General
31 July-4 Aug, 11am-4pm

Each of these daily drop in events will have a different faery tale theme from Red Riding Hood to The Iron Man, join in with a daily mix of craft and story telling.


Dinosaur Coast Fossil Hunts

Mon 23 July, 2-4pm – Filey Devils   Meet on the Cobble Landing slipway
Tue 24 July, 2-4pm - Plesiosaur Hunt Meet outside the supermarket within Reighton Sands Holiday Park
Wed 25 July, 1-3pm - Boggle Hole Belemnites Meet opposite the Youth Hostel at Boggle Hole
Thur 26 July, 2-4pm - Sandsend Sea Monsters Meet on the slipway to the beach, near the boat yard car park, at Sandsend
Fri 27 July, 3-5pm - Runswick Prey Meet at the bottom of the slipway to Runswick Bay

Witches and wizards at Scarborough Art Gallery

Young witches, wizards and warlocks can brush up on their magical skills at Scarborough Art Gallery this summer.

The Witches and Wizards Academy, a drop-in workshop for youngsters aged five and over, will be held at the gallery throughout the school holidays. Each day, would-be Harrys and Hermiones can take part in broom-making workshops, learn how to pot up medicinal herbs, and many other essential skills.

And on Saturday 11 August, there’ll be some very special guests when owls from the Falconry UK Birds of Prey Centre at Kirby Wiske, near Thirsk, pay a visit.

The Witches and Wizards Academy will be at Scarborough Art Gallery from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 July, Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 August, and Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 August. The daily programme includes:

11-12.30: Essentials (including making broomsticks and hats)
12.30-2pm: Pets at home (looking at some of the museum’s collection of stuffed animals, and making owl and cat masks)
2-3pm: Wicked Words (spell-writing, inspired by Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes)
3-4pm Hypnotic Herbs (Herbology; learning about and planting medicinal herbs)

On alternate weeks, the Gallery is hosting the Haus of Faeries workshop, which proved a big hit with youngsters during the Easter holidays (11am to 4pm on Tuesday 31 July to Saturday 4 August, Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 August, Tuesday 28 August to Saturday 1 September).

Summer events on the Dinosaur Coast

Fossil fans and geologists of all ages are invited to join Scarborough Museums Trust’s team of geology experts on a series of outdoor events along the Dinosaur Coast this summer.

The Trust’s Head of Public Programmes, geologist Will Watts, said: “This is an opportunity to find out about the amazing geology of this area, with local experts including John Hudson, Roger Sutcliffe and Byron Blessed.”

The events are:

Filey Devils Fossil Hunt (Mondays) – 1pm, 23 July; 1.30pm, 6 August; 12 noon, 20 August (meet on the Coble Landing at Filey)

Plesiosaur Hunt (Tuesdays) – 2pm, 24 July; 1.30pm, 7 August; 1pm, 21 August (meet outside the supermarket within Reighton Sands Holiday Park)

Boggle Hole Belemnites (Wednesdays) – 1pm, 25 July; 2pm, 8 August; 1pm, 22 August (meet opposite the Youth Hostel at Boggle Hole)

Sandsend Sea Monsters (Thursdays) – 2pm, 26 July; 2.30pm, 9 August; 1.30pm, 23 August (meet on the slipway to the beach, near the boatyard car park, at Sandsend)

Runswick Prey (Fridays) – 3pm, 27 July; 3.30pm, 10 August; 2.30pm, 24 August (meet at the bottom of the slipway to Runswick Bay).

And keen geologists will also enjoy the current exhibition at Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum. Scarborough’s Lost Dinosaurs can be seen until September 2013, when it will end with a week of geology and fossil events. It aims to answer a question which has baffled geologists for years: why, when so many ‘trace’ fossils – mainly dinosaur footprints – have been found in the Scarborough area, have so few dinosaur bones been found?

Crown Spa Hotel celebrates success in the RoSPA Awards 2012

Crown Spa Hotel of Scarborough, has had its approach to the prevention of accidents and ill health recognised in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012.

It has won a Silver award in the annual scheme, which dates back to 1956 and is the largest and longest-running awards programme of its kind in the UK.

The RoSPA Awards scheme recognises commitment to accident and ill health prevention and is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. It does not just look at accident records, but also entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including important practices such as strong leadership and workforce involvement.

David Rawlins, awards manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), a safety charity with a 95-year history, said: “The RoSPA Awards programme provides well-deserved recognition for the winners and spurs on other organisations to raise their standards of accident and ill health prevention. We congratulate Crown Spa Hotel on its success and encourage it, and all our other winners, to remain committed to safety and health, an approach that is well recognised to be good for workers and the bottom line.”

 

Big Night Out at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre

A ‘Big Night Out’ featuring a galaxy of stars from The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice is being brought to Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre this summer.

The line-up includes Amelia Lily and The Risk from The X Factor 2011; Loveable Rogues, The Mend and Scarborough-born Dalek impersonator Martyn Crofts from this year’s Britain’s Got Talent Contest; and Jaz Ellington and Max Milner from The Voice UK 2012.

The show on Saturday 18th August will also feature one of the most recognisable voiceover artists in the UK – Peter Dickson who is the voice of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

‘Big Night Out’ tickets go on sale at 9am this Saturday (30 June) at a special early bird reduced rate of £20 tickets bought in July, rising to the full price of £24 in August, with 2,500 tickets for the best seats available locally in Scarborough.

Under-14s who want to buy tickets from the Escape to the Sands offices, must be accompanied by an adult.

Janet Deacon, Area Director for Welcome to Yorkshire which is supporting the Open Air Theatre, said: “it’s fantastic to see some of the most recognisable television talent contestants in the country brought together for his one-off show – we think this caliabre contempory modern acts will appeal to a huge varitey of people, including families who just a few months ago may have sat together to watch these acts on TV.

David Archer, Strategic Director for Scarborough Borough Council, added: “We have been working extremely hard to put on quality acts at the Open Air Theatre this summer which will appeal to a wide audience.

“It was amazing to have an icon like Dionne Warwick perform in the theatre; John Barrowman was a great success; there’ll be a full house for Olly Murs on 15 July; Russell Watson on 4 August is going to be an incredible show; and we’re closing the season on 25 August with JLS who are possibly the biggest boyband in the world right now.

“It’s great we have been able to add even more talented acts to this summer’s line-up from some of the most watched television shows in the last 12 months and who, if past experience is anything to go by, could very well follow in the footsteps of Olly Murs and JLS.”

Free entertainment at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Free afternoon entertainment will be staged at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre throughout the summer holidays, it has been announced.

In what is being billed as family-orientated music and variety, NAP Music Productions will present Sunshine Showtime with James Aconley and Friends – an afternoon show of music, song and dance on Mondays and Thursdays from 23 July until 30 August; with all-round entertainer Gary T Davies taking the limelight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the same period with his show, Family Funtime With Gary T, which will also feature the Hatton School of Performing Arts. All the shows will begin at 2pm and no admission will be charged.

Scarborough Borough Council Strategic Director, David Archer, said: “This is another example of this council’s commitment to entertainment at the Open Air Theatre and gives residents and visitors an extra reason to enjoy Scarborough.

“We have said for some time that we wanted to see the Open Air Theatre used more in the summer months and I’m delighted we have been able to bring James and Gary on board. “This is also a great opportunity for local singers and dancers to get involved and enjoy some big-stage experience which could lead to other opportunities for them in the future.”

Gary, who will perform a routine of character-based comedy, song and impressions, learned his trade in holiday centres. He worked his way up to become a highly respected performer and entertainment manager for Haven Holidays before returning to the cabaret world.

His characterisations of  Elvis Presley, Shrek, Bob the Builder, The Blues Brothers, Ali G, Lady Gone GaGa, Jedward and Freddie Mercury have been dubbed “a side splitting laughter experience which few acts can achieve and is sure to have any audience talking about The Gary T Davies Experience long after the final curtain”.

He said: “It will be a buzz to perform at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre. It’s a venue with a proud history of variety and summer shows and I’m delighted to be involved.”

James, who has sung in theatres across the region and has his own cabaret show which he performs in hotels and restaurants, will be singing – along with his cast – songs from Glee, High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Dreamboats and Petticoats, Michael Buble, Take That, One Direction and Olly Murs, with numbers from British pop legends and children’s music also included. The show will feature a selection from community and youth groups and will be backed up by dancers from the Scarborough Dance Centre.

James says he is particularly looking forward to the relaxed format, where visitors can “just walk into the open air theatre at any time” to watch the shows. “I’m particularly excited about the community element of the show and the opportunity that’s available to local groups to perform in a venue of this size,” he added. “We will be using local performers and we are also planning a segment in the middle of the show where the very best talent from local schools and dance groups will be able to perform. Local schools who would like to put forward their best singers and dancers for consideration can email me at james@aconley.net.”