Ripon Museums will open for the 2019 season on Saturday 9th February and they’ve got a lot planned including plenty of family-friendly activities running during the school holidays!
Spring Half Term Family Fun
25th Feb – 1st March
It’s spring cleaning time at the Workhouse! Bring your little helpers to the Workhouse for a taste of Victorian work! Workhouse children were well-scrubbed – have a go at making your own soap then try out our carbolic soap in the Laundry. Some workhouse boys were trained to be boot black boys so that they could earn a living when they left – make some boot polish to a Victorian recipe and you will always have shiny shoes. Then, as a treat (and Workhouse children did get the occasional treat), go through to our kitchen and bake some Laundry day biscuits to Victorian recipe. Follow our Soap Suds Trail around the Museum and out to the garden.
Family activities included in normal admission prices.
Secrets in the Cellar
4th March – 12th May
Come along and see the Secrets in the Cellar exhibition at the Prison & Police Museum.
Deep underground below Ripon Town Hall, Ripon Museum staff and volunteers work to catalogue, pack and research the museum’s objects and stories. Secrets in the Cellar reveals what happens behind the scenes at the museum and how we care for and preserve centuries of law and order history.
Entry to the exhibition is included in normal admission prices.
Victorian Easter Family Fun
Mon 15th April – Fri 19th April
Mon 22nd April – Fri 26th April
Marble your Easter Eggs and trim your bonnets! We’re celebrating Easter Victorian style at the Workhouse. Make marbled eggs and weave a willow nest to put them in and find out about how Victorian children celebrated Easter. What did the Workhouse children do at Easter? Come and find out following our treasure hunt trail. In the Workhouse Kitchen, we’re baking Easter cakes – join us baking and take one home!
Family activities included in usual admission prices.
By artist and musician Paul Rooney – a new artwork commissioned by Ripon Museums and Arts and Heritage.
9th February – 31st May 2019
Artist and musician Paul Rooney has installed a surround sound artwork in the historic Ripon courthouse space, now the Courthouse Museum. It will focus on the ‘voice’ of a former defendant accused of shoplifting in 1853, 14 year old Ann Lupton.
The work’s spoken and sung words and sounds are created using a variety of quoted sources, ‘stolen’ sources if you will, including: the childhood memories of Ripon Museums’ volunteers Moira Smith and Kath Beeken, the chords of the Taylor Swift song ‘I Did Something Bad’, the Jean Genet novel ‘The Thief’s Journal’, a York Herald court report, and a Victorian children’s hymn from the period, ‘Do No Sinful Action’, that Ann may have sung herself.
It is as if Ann’s hymn singing, shoplifting spirit has returned to us, but on the way has picked up a liking for the idea of thieving as liberation, and for the lyrical honesty of contemporary pop music. Her voice, sung by a local girl, provides the focal point for a sound composition that invokes the shouts of the courtroom public gallery (with voices provided by more of the Museum volunteers), contemporary pop diva phrasing, and Victorian church singing (Highside Singers), and which builds to a rowdy evocation of some liberatory mischief involving choir practice and a malfunctioning bellows organ.