Conservation Diary 2: Repairing the damaged and dry

As promised, I am back with some more exciting and fresh updates. Good progress has been made! The first week flew by in the setting up of and preliminary preparations for the conservation project of the first 1951 wall hanging. In the second week I felt myself drifting off far away, swayed by the humming […]

Weekly what's on: 26th to 31st August

You can find details of all our forthcoming events at on our What’s On pages, but here’s what’s happening at MERL this week… Events Summer holiday family fun! For details of all our events and activities for families this summer, download our new MERL families guide or visit the Family events page. As well as the ‘Make and takes’ and workshops […]

Conservation Diary: Week 1 on our 1951 Wall Hanging

My name is Nitisha Ramrekha-Heeramun and over the next few weeks  I will be blogging about the conservation of two large and colourful resist-dyed textile wall hangings produced by the renowned artist, Michael O’Connell, for the Festival of Britain in 1951. I started volunteering at the Museum of English Rural Life in August 2013 under […]

Weekly what's on: 18 to 24th August

You can find details of all our forthcoming events at on our What’s On pages, but here’s what’s happening at MERL this week… Events Summer holiday family fun! For details of all our events and activities for families this summer, download our new MERL families guide or visit the Family events page. As well as the ‘Make and takes’ and workshops […]

A Day in the Life of a MERL-man…

Written by Tom Hewitt, MERL Intern. My name is Tom Hewitt and I’m currently working as an intern at MERL. The title of my post may be somewhat misleading, as I’ve actually been here for 40 days (and 40 nights!) already and have just been set the scary task of writing my first ever blog […]

Tremendous trees & the science of surveying

Earlier in the year, Project Archivist, Nancy Fulford went on a training event organised by RE:LEAF in London, a partnership campaign led by the Mayor to protect the capital’s trees and encourage individual Londoners, businesses and organisations to plant more trees. Nancy discovered that there are several national and local initiatives to survey trees. Inspired by her […]

Volunteers' Voice #14: Volunteers and Our Country Lives

Written by Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator. As you will know, we have recently been awarded a significant grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund for our redevelopment project Our Country Lives. I do not exaggerate when I say that volunteers made an enormous contribution to this success and they will play a very important role in […]

Weekly what's on: 11 to 17 August

You can find details of all our forthcoming events at on our What’s On pages, but here’s what’s happening at MERL this week… Events Summer holiday family fun! For details of all our events and activities for families this summer, download our new MERL families guide or visit the Family events page. As well as the ‘Make and takes’ and workshops […]

Coopering in the MERL collections

Since May I’ve been working on the Reading Engaged project to research content for the new galleries which will form part of MERL’s redevelopment project, Our Country Lives. True to my passions as ever, I’ve been taking the opportunity to focus on researching craft, as we’re hoping to dedicate a large part of one of […]

4 years of Rural Reads

Our July meeting marked the fourth anniversary of the Rural Reads book club.  For four years we have been reading books with a rural theme or setting that have spanned countries and historic periods, covering farming practices, rural lives and countryside themes. The rural theme has not been at all restrictive and the books we have […]

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    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

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    Reading

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