Countryside Forum: gathering stories

In her latest Activity Plan update, Phillippa Heath (Audience Development Project Manager), describes the fascinating conversations the team have been having (and are set to have) with farmers and individuals with different connections to the countryside, across the UK. One of our ambitions for the Museum of English Rural Life’s redevelopment is to draw out […]

Community projects: how to get involved

An update on some of the exciting projects and plans we’re working as part of our redevelopment project – and details of how you can get involved, by Phillippa Heath, Audience Development Manager. In addition to the Museum’s physical redevelopment we have also been developing our work with our diverse audiences. As well as our existing visitors, we are […]

Object handling with Addington School

A little while ago we welcomed students from The Addington School who came to find out what it’s like to work in a museum. Assistant Volunteer Coordinator Rhiannon really enjoyed introducing them to the world of museums, our collections and the role of the curator… Last term the museum welcomed a group of Further Education (FE) […]

An interview with: Rob Davies

Our volunteer Whitney has been exploring museum roles lately and spent a few minutes chatting to Volunteer Co-ordinator Rob Davies… 1. What is your job? I have two roles. The first is to look after the volunteers and my other role is to work on the activity plan which involves engaging with different communities around […]

Community in focus: Katesgrove

As part of the Our Country Lives Activity Plan, we have been working with local Reading audiences to establish links with our neighbours and develop long and sustainable relationships. A ward we’ve spent a lot of time working with this year is Katesgrove. We’ve been working with the excellent organisation Katesgrove Community Association (KCA), a […]

Volunteers' Voice: 2015 round-up

Volunteer Coordinator Rob Davies looks back at a year of volunteering at MERL and the Special Collections. Another year, another year of fabulous volunteer projects; 2015 saw a whole host of new volunteer projects and successes. We also benefitted from the new post of Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, Rhiannon Watkinson, who has worked tirelessly with the volunteers. […]

Students take over!

This update from our Activity Plan team is written by Rachael Rogers, who has been a member of the MERL Student Panel since September. Over the last year, members have been advising us and getting involved in many aspects of the museum’s redevelopment. Rachael writes about the current project which the panel has been managing: the design […]

Rural Reads Review

This October we read Common Ground by Rob Cowen; it was different from our usual rural reads and offered a fresh perspective. Common Ground  is a fusion of biopic and nature writing, expertly woven together to take the reader through a piece of land that we all have experience and knowledge of; those edge lands […]

Volunteers' Voice: day trippers

One of the ways we recognise the efforts of our volunteers each year is to organise a special day out. A couple of weeks ago the team went on a trip to Wales (unsurprisingly, since our Welsh colleagues, Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator and Rhiannon Watkinson, will never miss an opportunity to head down the M4!) This […]

Using history to help patients reminisce at Royal Berkshire Hospital

Written by Phillippa Heath, Audience Development Project Manager One important aspect of the Our Country Lives Activity Plan is the strengthening of links with our close neighbours the Royal Berkshire Hospital. As  our Audience Development Project Manager, I’ve been involved in one particular aspect of this partnership: an innovative reminiscence project using the MERL collections as […]

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    Visit Us

    The Museum reopened in October 2016, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Free Admission

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road


    RG1 5EX

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