Talks and tours at the museums in autumn 2023

Talks and tours take place across the museums throughout the year on a variety of topics – from costume and archaeology to literature and ghost stories!

Here’s a roundup of talks taking place in autumn 2023 at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, The Commandery, and Museums Worcestershire’s Collections Centre in Hartlebury.

At Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum

Peter Collins F1 talks at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

Tuesday 12 September,  2 – 2.30pm.

This Bite-size Talk from the World Cultures Curator looks ahead towards a new exhibition that will be at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum in 2024.

Be introduced to the land of snowy mountains, yawning fjords, deserted, wild coastlines and fiery volcanoes in Aotearoa – Māori Myths and Legends of New Zealand. The exhibition will explore the people, the land, the natural environment and impact of colonialism.

Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum is committed to working with the Indigenous cultures that are represented in its collections and will be working with the tangata whenua of New Zealand in the production of this 2024 exhibition.

£4; book via the link below.

Tuesday 10 October,  2 – 2.30pm.

Worcester Paint Festival brings street, mural and graffiti artists to the city showcasing renowned names in the UK scene, supported by emerging artists to create a vibrant outdoor art gallery with artwork that stays in place for at least twelve months or more.

Kate Cox, Director of Worcester Paint Festival and Curator of Paint the Streets, will introduce the exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

Hear about her experiences of working with the wonderful Paint Festival artists over the last three years.

£4; book via the link below.

Tuesday 14 November,  1 – 1.30 and 2 – 2.30pm.

A tribute to Worcestershire motor-racing hero Peter Collins, competing for the Formula One World Championship in motorsport’s most glamourous and dangerous era.

Learn how a Kidderminster-born motor enthusiast became the rising star in the Ferrari Formula One team and won the admiration of Enzo Ferrari.

Discover the real Peter from personal accounts of those that knew him on and off the track, and of a life cut tragically short in the fearless pursuit of racing glory.

See Peter Collins, F1 Hero – Mustow Green to Nürburgring from Saturday 10 June 2023 until January 2024.

£4; book via the link below.

At The Commandery

Dr Lucy Arnold - talk at The Commandery in October 2023.

After-dark tours are back at The Commandery for 2023!

Explore one of the oldest buildings in Worcester by torchlight this October…

The Commandery is once again opening its gates on autumn nights for you to discover its ghostly secrets.

Hear about strange sightings and mysterious rumours as you uncover the history of the building in a guided tour with a Halloween twist.

Keep your eyes peeled and make up your own mind about the paranormal activities said to have taken place over the years – if you’re brave enough!

Tuesday 17 October6.30pm8pm
Thursday 19 October6.30pm8pm
Tuesday 24 October6.30pm8pm
Thursday 26 October6.30pm 8pm
Tuesday 31 October6.30pm8pm 9.30pm
Thursday 2 November (extra date!)6.30pm8pm

£14; please book via the link below. Ages 14+

Wednesday 25 October, doors open 6pm; talk from 6.30 – 7.30pm.

Enjoy a talk by Dr Lucy Arnold in The Commandery’s atmospheric medieval Great Hall on an October evening.

The spirit medium, most powerfully associated in Britain with darkened Victorian and inter-war parlours, is a figure which seems incongruous with a contemporary, largely secular society, and largely incompatible with ‘a culture ruled by hypervisibility.’

However, in recent decades, the figure of the clairvoyant, and the situation of the séance in particular, have become increasingly prevalent within literary and visual culture.

In this talk, Dr Lucy Arnold explores a range of fictional mediums and the messages they convey, seeking to establish what they might communicate about our relationship with the dead, grief and mourning, with modern technology and our intimate entanglements with it, and the figure of the author themselves as a conduit through which the dead might speak.

Dr Lucy Arnold is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature (Contemporary) in the Department of English, Media and Culture at the University of Worcester, UK.

Refreshments are available.

£7 per person; please book online via the link below.

Sunday 5 November, 1 – 2pm 

On the anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot on 5 November 1605, Professor Darren Oldridge returns to The Commandery to explore the moment in history known today as Bonfire Night.

The seventeenth century was a time of intense religious conflict and intolerance.

Lecturer at the University of Worcester, Professor Darren Oldridge, reveals the importance of anti-Catholicism in this period, and the major part it played in the English Civil War.

Participants will have the opportunity to hold and read early printed books that illustrate the prevalence and significance of “anti-popery” from the Gunpowder Plot, the Civil War and beyond.

Please note that this talk repeats a presentation given at The Commandery in November 2022.

If you’d like to explore the rest of The Commandery, you can purchase half-price day admission (£4.25, usually £8.50) from the shop on the day of the talk.

£7. Limited spaces; please book via the link below.

At Museums Worcestershire’s Collections Centre in Hartlebury

Collections Centre Tours.

Tuesday 3 October, 1pm

It is only possible to display a small amount of the collections at any one time in our museums and galleries, so what happens to the other items not on display?

Collections Centre tours allow you to get behind the scenes of the museum collections and see more of the historic collections of Worcestershire County Museum and Worcester City Museums.

The centre is where the museum staff and volunteers undertake research, conservation, prepare items for exhibitions and preserve museum objects so that they can be made accessible for future generations. You can find out more about it on the Collections Centre homepage.

On the tour…

On arrival, you will be met by one of the expert curatorial team who will give you a tour of the Collections Centre.

During your visit, you can view the Archaeology and Textiles collections as well as Decorative Arts and Furniture, World Cultures and Social History items that preserve the lives, skills, and memories of countless Worcestershire people.

Bring along your questions! This is a fantastic opportunity to explore history and museums in a small group with one of Museums Worcestershire’s curators.

Booking info

Tours last approximately 1 hour and are £8.75 per person.

To book, please email museum@worcestershire.gov.uk or call 01299 250416.

The Collections Centre is near Hartlebury; location details will be provided upon booking.