The museums strike back - 9 great collections and exhibitions to visit this autumn
PUBLISHED: 11:15 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:42 15 October 2020
Looking for fun things to do this autumn? A number of museums around the area have reopened, and some have special events and exhibits, ranging from Star Wars to a famous Turner painting.
It’s essential to take a face covering and all the museums will have various Covid-safe procedures in place, with some requiring booking.
Due to the current situation with coronavirus, it’s advisable to call ahead or check museums’ social media feeds, as requirements and opening hours can change at short notice.
East Anglia Transport Museum, Carlton Colville
The museum reopened in August and guests can once again enjoy socially distanced tram, trolleybus and train rides and also look around the displays and collections of historic vehicles.
The museum is opening every Thursday and Sunday from 12 to 4.30pm (last admission 3.30pm) until further notice. Although it is not requiring pre-booking, numbers are limited because of social distancing. For more information, visit www.eatransportmuseum.co.uk
Ipswich Transport Museum
Located in the town’s former trolleybus depot, this is another great place to visit for lovers of old vehicles.
Exhibits include buses and bicycles, prams, a police car,lorries, fire engines and a funeral hearse. The Ipswich Engineering Collection features cranes, fork lift trucks, lawn-mowers and intricate models.
The museum has reopened for the autumn season and is operating on Sundays from 11am to 4pm and Wednesdays from 1 to 4pm. Numbers are limited so you may need to queue. For more details, visit www.ipswichtransportmuseum.co.uk
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Time & Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
For any Star Wars fans, the “May the Toys be with You” exhibition is a must. The good news is that it will now be on show until March 7, 2021, after its run was extended following lockdown.
The exhibition includes more than 300 Star Wars toys, original cinema posters and memorabilia, from X-Wing Fighters to lightsabers,
There are also many other exhibits to admire about the history of Great Yarmouth. The museum is open all week from 10am to 4pm and you will need to book online in advance.
If you can’t get to the museum at the moment, it has also launched several online exhibitions. For details, visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/time-tide
Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds
There’s even more Star Wars excitement in store at this Suffolk museum, which is holding its The Museum Strikes Back exhibition from October 24 to December 20.
The museum’s 12th annual sci-fi and action exhibition will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, with a display of props and memorabilia. There will also be many more sci-fi exhibits, including the chance to meet a “real” Dalek and Gremlin.
The museum is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (last admission 4pm) and from 12pm to 4pm on Sundays (last admission 3pm). Numbers are restricted. For more details, visit www.moyseshall.org
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Several special events and attractions are available to see at the reopened museum this autumn. Art lovers can admire the Turner masterpiece Walton Bridges, saved for the nation by a consortium of art lovers.
Joseph Mallord William Turner created this famous artwork in 1806, portraying a scene close to his home on the River Thames. The painting will be on show at Colchester until March 28 next year, before going to other locations in the region.
The castle is also one of the museums taking part in the Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search, which will run until November 1, with activity sheets for youngsters.
It’s open from 10am-5pm from Monday to Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday (last admission 4pm). It is essential to book a timed ticket before visiting. Call the booking line on 01206 282939. For more details, visit colchester.cimuseums.org.uk
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham
The museum and farm are open daily until November 1, with the chance to meet rare breed farm animals, enjoy 60 acres of outdoor space and wander through the museum and village row.
Gressenhall boasts the largest collection of workhouse objects, images and archives in the UK, giving a vivid insight into the lives of inmates.
Special family activities are planned during October half term, including animal trails and woodland games, which are included in general admission. Gressenhall cafe is open but the adventure playground is currently closed.
The museum is open from 10am to 4pm daily and you must book online in advance. Visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall-farm-and-workhouse
Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich
If you haven’t seen the acclaimed Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition yet, there’s still time, because the event has been extended until November 8. It portraits by renowned artist Colin Davidson, photography by Mark Surridge and personal items portraying the journey from Ed’s school life in Suffolk to international stardom.
The mansion also has a wide range of displays from musical instruments and toys to intricate glassware ceramics, and a collection of paintings by artists including Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. Admission is free but booking is required. Opening times are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm and Sunday, 11am to 5pm until the end of October, with closing time moving to 4pm from November to March. For more details and to book, visit ipswich.cimuseums.org.uk/visit/christchurch-mansion/
Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Bungay
Aviation enthusiasts can discover a varied collection of aircraft and artefacts at this popular museum.
The museum reopened in September, after putting a range of measures in place, including limits on numbers visiting each building.
It is opening on October 10-11, 17-18, 25, 28 and 31 and November 1, from 10am to 4pm, with more dates to be announced. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. For details, visit www.aviationmuseum.net
Captain Fawcett’s Marvellous Barbershop Museum, King’s Lynn
One of the most unusual museums in the area has reopened. The museum, based at the company’s Gentleman’s Emporium on Friesian Way, displays a “tonsorial treasure trove”, with an extensive archive of barber shop memorabilia and antique pieces dating back to the 17th century.
You can also ‘walk’ through the captain’s HQ and museum virtually thanks to 3D mapping technology. You will need to book your visit in advance by calling 01553 833001 or emailing email@example.com
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