The River & Rowing Museum are celebrating their 21st anniversary this year and are looking to the future to ensure their sustainability and offering going forward. They have some exciting programme of events and exhibitions planned for rest of year and into next.
With this in mind, from the 15 July, the Museum will introduce a new one-day ticket in addition to the annual passes it currently offers.
Museum Director, Dr Sarah Posey said, “After a conducting a survey and feedback from visitors in the foyer, we have decided to implement this change. The annual ticket did put some visitors off who were visiting from afar. We have also done some extensive bench marking with other museums and attractions in the area and we think the new ticketing prices we have decided on offers excellent value for money particularly for the offering we have planned coming up. We think this will open up the museum to a lot more people.”
The current cost of the annual ticket is £12.50 for adults and £9 for children (up to 18). The new one-day ticket will cost £9 for adults and £6 for children. The new annual pass will cost £24 (adult) and £16 (children). Those who renew their annual passes will be offered a 20% discount (£19.20 adult and £12.80 child) and there will be a 3 month grace period to take advantage of this. Children under 4 are FREE unlike many other museums who charge from 2 years. Visitors can also upgrade from a day ticket to an annual pass on the day of their visit for just £15 for an adult or £7 for a child. The annual pass allows access to all permanent and temporary exhibitions, free family events and of course there’s also free car parking!
On Saturday (13 July) the new family summer Bears! exhibition opens. Take your own bear hunt through the bears’ glade, curl up with your favourite story in the bear cave and enjoy dressing up as your favourite characters. Original artwork and manuscripts featured in the exhibition will include Hugless Douglas, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. There will also be a display of beloved teddies belonging to the museum staff. Sarah’s own ‘Teddy’ will be part of this. Sarah said, “Teddy has always been there. I don’t remember who gave him to me or when I got him. Most people love and have bears in their life – they’re a constant and represent security for many. The exhibition is for all ages with beautiful original illustrations, interactive displays and lots of story books all about bears. We’re also delighted to have worked with Joan Bland from Henley’s own teddy bear shop, Asquiths of Henley which will have a special area.”
For the first time the museum will have a festive Christmas programme this year. They have joined up with Penguin Random House to bring The Snowman and The Snowdog to the museum with screenings of the animated short film, original illustrations and interactive displays plus special visits from The Snowman himself! Bookings for the screenings will open shortly on the website.
For adults, the Museum has been working with the Ashmolean Museum on two new exhibitions for next year which have never been shown in the Oxford before. The first is the Art of the Wild (Feb-May 2020) showcasing the work of Gertrude Hermes, an innovative wood engraver and print maker whose love of nature and water inspires her work. The exhibition will feature Gertrude’s original notebooks, tools and work. The second exhibition Skyscape which will open in October 2020 celebrates 500 years of artists’ fascination with the sky and will include work by Rembrandt, Constable and Turner. Sarah commented, “The sky is beautiful and concerns about air pollution affecting it is an important issue – we are hoping to partner with Henley in Transition on the work they are doing on air pollution for this exhibition.”
Looking ahead already to next summer and continuing the children’s illustrators theme that is now synonymous with the museum, the museum has booked the lovable Elmer and Friends exhibition celebrating 30 years of David McKee’s timeless stories about the patchwork elephant in a colourful and exciting exhibition. The exhibition will also include David’s other big popular character from the 70s, Mr Benn. Sarah said, “We’re delighted to be bringing another top illustrator/author. I recently read a quote from a teacher which said, that children who carry on reading through the summer have good foundations for the future and those who don’t can slip behind. I’d love our summer exhibitions to help encourage young people to enjoy reading.”
“Involving the local community is really valuable to us – residents, partnerships with organisations and schools,” added Sarah. The Museum has been on our doorstep for 21 years. Don’t take it for granted – there’s something for everyone and it’s a wonderful asset of our town to support.
For full details of what’s on at the Museum go to www.rrm.co.uk/