Fun-filled 175th birthday celebration for Torquay Museum

Isabella and the Story Bicycle II

Isabella and the Story Bicycle II - Credit: Submitted

A Day of Celebration has been organised by Torquay Museum this month to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

The event on Wednesday, June 12, will feature craft workshops, amazing creations made by community groups, schools and local artists, with performances by Elfic the Jester and Isabella and the Story Bicycle.

Entry into the museum will be free of charge, as are all of the workshops, but tickets must be booked in advance. Visit the museum’s website to reserve to book.

The Day of Celebration is part of a project to mark the founding of Torquay Museum in 1845, which includes a special Secret Museum exhibition featuring 175 fascinating objects from its unique collections.

The exhibition will be open on June 12 and will run until September 4.

Children from Cockington Primary School have been having fun making animal sculptures for the Day of Celebration.

Event organiser Heather Adams, of Torquay Museum, said: “We have worked closely with the teachers, helping the children to express themselves through art and feel part of the community, which is much needed for their wellbeing after the disruption caused by Covid and school closures.”

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Devon-based artist and sculptor Victoria Westaway has been working with the local Young Carers to produce bee and shell effigies in a lantern style, and is helping the Torbay Dangerous Dads, which runs regular activities for fathers and male carers with children of all ages, to make willow shell lanterns with their children.

The lanterns will be on display at the museum during the Day of Celebration.

Visitors can make their own willow bee lanterns at one of two workshops during the day – at 1pm and 2pm. Workshops are free of charge, but booking is essential as places are limited. Contact the museum to book your ticket.

Artist Shelley Castle has been running local community online drop-in workshops during lockdown to coordinate the making of three beautiful banners and silk flags for the Day of Celebration, which will highlight some of the endangered animals of Torbay, and the work of Amelia Griffiths, the Seaweed Queen.

There will be three spell-binding performances at Torquay Museum by Isabella the bicycling botanist, who will share with visitors stories from her incredible journeys around the world and the fascinating people she meets along the way.

Performances are at 11am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Booking is essential.

There will also be two hour-long workshops at the museum in which children and parents can make their own treasure chests. The workshops are at 10am and 11am – again, booking essential.

“We’re so excited about sharing this Day of Celebration with the people of Torbay,” said organiser Heather Adams, of Torquay Museum.

“Originally we had planned to have a pageant through the streets of Torquay, but unfortunately Covid has scuppered our plans. However, I think our Day of Celebration will be just as much fun, providing a fantastic, colourful and joyful celebration of 175 years of Torquay Museum.

“So come and join us - and bring the kids. We're even opening longer than usual - 9.30am - 5.30pm, last admission 4.15pm.

"You can book your free museum entry tickets on the museum’s website, or by calling the museum on 01803 293975. Call the same number to reserve your free craft workshop tickets.”

The Day of Celebration has been funded by Arts Council England.

Willow making with Victoria Westaway

Willow making with Victoria Westaway - Credit: Submitted

Elfic the Jester

Elfic the Jester - Credit: harryduns@yahoo.com

Cockington School's fox banner

Cockington School's fox banner - Credit: Submitted

Bee and seashell lanterns

Bee and seashell lanterns - Credit: Submitted