A Season for Treasures

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collected treasure stones

Family events for the Hoards exhibition

As the Hoards exhibition unrolls its treasures in the Museum, we are unfolding our own series of Hoarding events to accompany it

Using a set of questions to shape our plans, events respond to the challenges

 

Where would you hide your hoard? (Tricky Treasure Maps, 18th April)

What would guard your hoard? (Here be Dragons 25th April, Giants, Dragons and Terrible Traps, 26th May)

What treasures would your Hoard hold? (A Golden Day 21st April, Curious Coins 30th May)

What will hold your Hoard? (Treasure Chests 5th May, Silk Purses and Sow’s Ears 15th May, 2nd June; Pottery Piggies 9th June)

 

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll get entries on all of these on this blog (a couple are already linked in the list above)

Meanwhile, keep an eye on these pages and on the Creeping Toad blog and facebook page for details

thumbnail1. TRICKY TREASURE MAPS

Date: Thursday 18th April

Time: 10am – 12 noon

Place: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

 

Where would you hide your hoard?

What clues would you offer to the lost treasures of Grin Low, the buried wonders of Pavilion Gardens, or the Terrible Treasures of Skellybob Wood?

 

10 paces, 2 paces. 

A hop, a skip and a jump. 

Head north and east 

Or west and south. 

Turn around and sing….under  the bridge and over the river, 

Behind the rock, 

Behind the rocks,

Behind the last hope of any help…..

 

Join artist Sarah Males for a morning of wild invention: draw your own treasure map. Add as many wonderful things and terrible obstacles as can fit on a crumpled sheet of paper

 

No ideas? No problem! Just take a wander through the Wonders of the Peaks gallery, or even better, loiter in the Hoards exhibition…

  • Materials provided
  • Free
  • No booking needed: just drop by and join in
  • Last entry 11.30
Low Golden stones 16
collected treasure stones

2. A GOLDEN DAY

Date: Sunday 21st April

Time: 12 – 3.30

Place: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

What will we find in your hoard?

An afternoon starting your own hoard: make your own treasure. There will be the broken shells of golden eggs hatching golden fish perhaps, or beautiful birds. Maybe your own golden brooch or badge.

A curling golden dragon armlet,

A shining golden ring,

Who knows what treasures

A spring afternoon may bring?

 

Collect a golden stone to share some golden moments among the High Peak Rocks.

Meet the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and find out more about Nature’s own gold-keepers and hoard-makers

  • Materials provided
  • Free
  • No booking needed: just drop by and join in
  • Last entry 3.00

Gryphon 5 copy 33. HERE BE DRAGONS

Date: Thursday 25th April

Time: 10am – 12 noon

Place: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

What will guard your hoard?

Or whose hoard are you setting out to steal? Will you slide a golden coin from under the fiery belly and watchful gaze of Smaug the Dragon? Will the Wyrm of Wormhill find its treasure plundered? Or will l there be a dragon under your bed who will wrap herself up in dressing gowns and gold and keep your treasure quite, quite safe?

Then, we should remember that Gryphons are the Hereditary Guardians of Treasure so maybe you would like an eagle-headed, lion-bodied, wide-winged friend nesting in the shrub at the bottom of your garden. Or maybe we just need a fluffy kitten to distract people…..

On this morning, we’ll be making dragons….just little ones but as friendly or as ferocious as you like

  • Materials provided
  • Free
  • No booking needed: just drop by and join in
  • Last entry 11.30

 

These are Creeping Toad events for Buxton Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Hoards Event Programme

Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain

A British Museum and Salisbury Museum Partnership Exhibition

This exhibition runs from Saturday 13th April to Sunday 16th June, 2019 in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Bumblebee close up
some treasures grow and enrich everyone

 

 

 

 

 

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A mermaid on the strandline

Mermaids and sea monsters

Mermaid swimming
a beautiful mermaid swims….

The tide washed in at two events in the last week at Buxton Museum. A deep water, wild sea tide that swept into the museum the most surprising array of wonders….

Lionfish

  • A dolphin,
  • A turtle,
  • A cuttlefish with tentacles,
  • A clawfish with poisonous spines,
  • Beautiful mermaids with hair glossy black or gleaming green

 

I like my undersea creacher because it has stripes like my little sister

There was a mermaid…

She has gorgeous hair and a lovely tail and beautiful tanned skin! What mo’r would you want!
There was

  • Squid the cuttlefish
  • An ancient, toothless Spinosaurus stealing teeth from the sharks,
  • Water crab Spheal, ice water fighting, triple powered undersea superhero
  • Miguel, the sea monster from Brazil with his 4 eyes and lots of legs
  • A tiny pink jellyfish whoe stole a girl’s shades when she was swimming because he was sure that shades would make him look cool. They didn’t.

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There is a friendly lobster who lives in a castle make of sand with all his family: his Mum, his Dad, his wife and their 6 baby lobsterlets. He runs fast, swims faster and eats seaworms and nips people’s toes when they come paddling too close to that castle built of sand.

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He’s wiggly and colourful and big and has scales and is very cool

There were fish that shimmered like rain in sunshine. There were creeping creatures and flapping rays. There were sharks with smiles wide enough to fit a whole child in. There was an octopus who quietly tentacled away before we could photograph him.

Lobster

 

With many thanks to all our artists young and not-so-young for their laughter and cheerfulness and being ready to have a go….our underwater wildlife films will follow

Making mermaids, mermen and monsters

Jenny Greenteeth’s Mother

Make a mermaid, model a monster,

shape a serpent

or simply love your water-people

February events the tide is washing in

Mermaids
one of our wilder Merfolk

Seapeople inspire us, it would seem….or water-people do, generally. Our Peak District “mermaids” are not saltwater folk but frolic in our cold spring-fed pools and stone-sprung, moss-spawned rivers. And looking wider, we meet Peg Powler and Jenny Greenteeth in their rivers, from Scotland come kelpies and water horses. There are spirits in streams and ladies in wells, hoary old river gods under bridges and strange monsters in lochs and lakes, tarns and llyns.

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a sea full of cheerful puppets, 21st Feb event

And then we get our feet wet as we go paddling and there are sea serpents and krakens, tritons and sirens. There are selkies and roane, fin men in their boats and the strong, sad, remorseless Blue Men of the Minch. There Shony in the western seas expecting his tribute to guide fish into the fishers’ nets. Just out from Liverpool, on the Irish Sea, we might meet Manannan mac Lyr riding in his chariot of seaweed pulled by horses made from the white foams of the largest waves. Or we might yet see the ghosts of the Children of Lyr who spent years living as swans on that same cold, wild sea.

Gordon MacLellan at Doxey Pool
Doxey Pool, the site of recent water-people stories

mermaid, buxton, faceAnd then there is Buxton Museum with our Victorian “mermaid” in her lonely splendour. She has a suitor, you know, a gentlemen (we think, with merfolk it can be hard to tell, and what does it matter anyway?) who spends most of his time in the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill in London. So if you are down that way, you might pop in and blow him a kiss from his northern lass…..

 

As part of BM125, we are exploring mermaids and our artist Rob Young is creating mermaid films and stories. You could have a look on this blog at some of his lovely posts about mermaids at the Museum, out in the Peaks and out of his own imagination

 

And still there is us at Buxton museum and we just enjoy our water-people….so we will have various watery moments over the next few months

 

Firstly, we have two events in February

low squid
Thursday: mermaids or maybe giant squid

Thursday February 21st: mermaids and monsters: 10.30 – 12.30, join us to make quick watery people. You might make a mermaid or a fish or a lobster or some dreadful creature no-one has ever seen before: the choice is up to you. This is a quick and cheerful activity making beautiful shimmery puppets

 

 

lower mermaids 3
Finfolk and merpeople….

Saturday 23rd, Wilder mermaids: and then we’d like to invite you to join us for an activity with a bit of fiddling, a bit of care, thinking and planning and building as we go to make fiercer, stranger, maybe more beautiful water-people….1 – 4pm

  • Details are still developing so times or event titles might change a little. Keep an eye on this blog, on the Creeping Toad facebook page or the museum events page on the BMAG website
  • Both events are free and materials are provided
  • No booking needed, just drop by and join in
  • Children under 7 need to bring a grown-up with them and these events are often busy so older children might well appreciate having their own adult nearby, too

 

Other BM125 events are coming for March and April, so watch out for more announcements – there should be minerals, sabre-tooth cats and some golden treasures. We are hoping that a mermaid tide will come in again in May!

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing My Sister’s Scarf (working title)

If you had to leave your home at a moment’s notice and could only take one possession with you, what would you choose? For this blog, Richard and Amanda Johnson from Kidology Arts describe their current ‘work in progress’.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s collection is made up of objects that have been chosen. Someone, at some point in time, has deemed them to be special and worth keeping. One of those objects is the Hopton hand axe. Around 350,000 years ago it was lost by its owner – probably a migrant hunter-gatherer following herds of deer north having crossed the land bridge that then connected what is now Britain to continental Europe. The axe would have been essential to its owner; its loss would have been serious.

Hopton Handaxe
The Hopton hand axe displayed in the Wonders of the Peak gallery at Buxton Museum

We want to make an artwork that draws parallels between the story of the people who first migrated to Britain and migrants who have come here recently. We hope to point out that migration is not something that has only happened in the UK in the last 50 years, but something that has been essential to its growth for millennia.

To enable us to hear first hand accounts of the journeys that migrants take and the choices they have to make we have recently begun a series of engagement workshops at Derby Refugee and Asylum Centre.

To make the artwork we will collaborate with choreographer Kevin Turner and emerging dance artist Maddie Shimwell from Company Chameleon in Manchester. The work will be inspired by real stories of recent migrants and will result in a 20 minute dance piece devised by Kevin and performed by Maddie, accompanied by Amanda on violin, performing a new piece of music she has written especially for the project. During the performance Maddie will interact with a piece of visual art made by Richard that, at this stage, we envisage will take the form of a large square of printed or painted material. As Maddie dances, she will manipulate the material into different forms: she might hide beneath it, wrap herself in it or bundle it up to cradle it like a baby.

The performance will be filmed and will appear on Buxton Museum’s web app, the Wonders of the Peak.

Funded by Arts Council England, this commission is a creative collaboration between Kidology Arts and Company Chameleon in celebration of Buxton Museum’s 125th year.

 

 

 

In proud remembrance: Lt Douglas Marshall Rigby in the First World War

A few weeks ago, I promised to write more about Douglas Marshall Rigby, the talented amateur artist brought up in Buxton, whose artwork we have been delighted to display at the museum over recent months. My previous blog explored Douglas’ family life and growing up in Buxton where, at a remarkably young age, he produced many of his surviving sketches and watercolours. Now I want to talk about his life as a soldier, as we move towards remembrance Sunday and the close of our exhibition.

Douglas in uniform_1915
Douglas in uniform, 1915

The 1911 census records solicitor Marshall Rigby and his wife Grace still living at White Knowle, Buxton with their children. Honor (aged 22) has her occupation listed as gymnastics teacher and Douglas (19) as clerk to a iron merchant. Later that year the family moved from Buxton to the market town of Knutsford in Cheshire. When the First World War broke out in 1914, Douglas soon enlisted in the Cheshire Yeomanry, a cavalry brigade formed of men of every class from the county. Several months later he took a commission in the Cheshire Regiment, which would eventually take him to the front.

Like many young men of his age, Douglas had enlisted quickly and he was apparently frustrated by the subsequent delays that kept him from the front line. Once he had disembarked for France, in the summer of 1915 and a year into the war, his letters and postcards home reveal a cheery disposition and a fascination with the world around him that seems undiminished by the conflict. As a first lieutenant, he was responsible for the welfare, accommodation and entertainment of the men under his command, and his surviving correspondence is rich in observations of the landscape and an obvious concern for the comfort of his men.

Douglas with parents_1918
Douglas with his parents Grace and Marshall Rigby, Knutsford, 1918

Douglas was first wounded by debris from a mine explosion at Fricourt in June 1916. This ‘Blighty wound’ led to a short period of recuperation in Lincoln General Hospital, after which Douglas rejoined his regiment at Oswestry in Shropshire. Here Douglas was a Bombing Officer, training others to throw grenades into enemy trenches.  Very early into this role, a man dropped his missile on Douglas’s foot leading to 18 months of painful operations and physiotherapy. After this protracted and frustrating convalescence, Douglas returned to the front in August 1918, rejoining his regiment at Ypres in Belgium. Two weeks later, on 4 September 1918, he was shot dead by a sniper while leading his company in the advance which contributed to ending the war.

Military museum medals
Douglas’s medals, recently on display in Cheshire Military Museum

Douglas’s family received news of his death in a War Office telegram on 10th September, almost a week after the event. In the correspondence they received from those he had known and served with, Douglas was universally acclaimed as a splendid chap and a fine officer. His mother Grace wrote this dedication in her journal: “In glad thanksgiving for his life, in proud remembrance of his death.”

image00062
Rigby family items displayed in Chester Military Museum.

Thanks to the generosity and hard work of Douglas’s surviving family members, we have been privileged to share Douglas’s story and artistic output with our visitors this autumn. You can enjoy the display of Douglas’s artworks and a small selection of personal items during our normal opening hours, until Saturday 10 November 2018. A companion book and DVD produced by Douglas’s great nephew, Richard Elsner, are available for purchase from the museum shop. Additional artworks and other items kindly loaned by Douglas’s family can be seen at Knutsford Heritage Centre until 22 December.