Time for Tea at St Albans Museum + Gallery (©Stephanie Belton)

Museum Moves 12 – 18 May 2023

Image: Time for Tea at St Albans Museum + Gallery (©Stephanie Belton)

The weekly feature rounds up the latest updates in museum appointments, openings, funding and new exhibitions from across the UK.


An archaeologist who led excavations underground during the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project is returning to Bath to fulfil the new role of curator at the Museum of Bath Stone. Neville Redvers-Higgins will take up the part-time role at the former interpretation centre as it undergoes transformation into a museum commemorating the city’s relationship with stone.

The London Library has appointed Simon Godwin as its new Chair of Trustees. The appointment will be formally confirmed by members at the next Annual General Meeting in November 2023. Sir Howard Davies will step down at the end of his second four-year term as Chair. Godwin has been a Library member for 14 years and has a career in financial services.

Sir Alok Sharma is the latest person to be awarded a Fellowship of the Science Museum Group, in recognition of his work as the President of COP26. Elected as an MP in 2010, he has served in a range of ministerial positions and was appointed President Designate of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2020, alongside his role as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In 2021, he took on the COP26 role full-time.


Handel Hendrix House reopens today following its £3m ‘Hallelujah Project’ refurbishment. The location, which allows visitors to explore the connected former London homes of musicians George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix, closed for the works to take place in September 2021.


The ‘Meat the Future’ exhibition, formerly displayed at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, comes to the Food Museum this summer. Through the Food Museum’s collection, the exhibition explores the cultural history of meat-eating and farming. Runs 22 June 2023 – June 2024.

The Bowes Museum’s exhibition Catwalking: Fashion Through the Lens of Chris Moore, which features more than 200 images taken by the fashion photographer, is to go on tour and is due to open at Barnsley’s Cannon Hall Museum. Runs 20 May – 10 September 2023.

‘Time for Tea’ opens at St Albans Museum + Gallery in Hertfordshire this weekend. The exhibition will explore the journey of tea from leaf to cup and the international significance of the beverage, with complementary, immersive activities. Runs in the Weston Gallery, 19 May – 5 November 2023.

An invitation to a party for time travellers that Stephen Hawking hosted is among objects on display in the new Science and Industry Museum exhibition ‘Stephen Hawking at Work’. Featuring significant objects from his office, the display will also include details of how Hawking’s work connects to Manchester scientists’ work.

The Manchester Women’s Social and Political Union banner (WSPU) of 1908 is to go on display at People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester, 115 years after it was unfurled to the public for the first time during an event that took place in Manchester’s Stevenson Square alongside Emmeline Pankhurst to whom the banner is dedicated. The banner will be on display from 21 June 2023 to 7 January 2024 to mark the banner’s birthday and will then go into store before being part of the programme to mark the centenary of all women getting the vote in 2028.

Artefacts including letters posted from Nazi concentration camps have inspired a temporary exhibition in Huddersfield. ‘Memorial Gestures’ sees three artists take up residency at the Holocaust Centre North archive and visitors’ centre for six months. Working alongside the Centre’s small team, Holocaust survivors and their families, the resulting art is hoped to help to keep survivors’ stories alive. The museum will be recruiting three new artists in September to continue the project. Runs 18 May ​​– 27 July 2023.

A new permanent exhibition opened to the public yesterday at Brooklands Museum in Weybridge. ‘Inventing the Future: The Innovations of Sir Barnes Wallis’ coincides with the 80th anniversary of the ‘Dambusters’ raid on the primary targets in the Ruhr Valley, Germany. The exhibition explores the broader story of Sir Wallis and his inventions, including geodetic aircraft and the Stratosphere Chamber.

Also marking the 80th anniversary of the ‘Dambusters’ raid is a new permanent exhibition, ‘Strike Hard, Strike Sure: Bomber Command 1939–1945’ at the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands. The exhibition features a newly restored Vickers Wellington bomber, and will tell the story of the RAF’s Bomber Command, crew, technology and raids with interactive displays.

A selection of vehicles from 1959 to modern day will form part of a new exhibition considering the future of transport at Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum. ‘Motopia? Past Future Visions’ will explore 130 years of design in automobility and how each generation has created different visions for motor vehicles and how they are powered. Runs 20 May 2023 – April 2024.


The National Archives has launched its 2023-24 grant funding programmes for archives, which includes grants for collections at risk, resilience, cataloguing, skills, innovation and engagement. Grants have been launched in seven categories, with more information on each available via its website.

The Museums and Galleries Network for Exhibition Touring (MAGNET), which brings together 12 partners across England and the Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG), are to co-develop new exhibitions which will tour between partner venues. A £336,000 Touring Projects grant from Arts Council England will enable MAGNET to develop and tour three new exhibitions, all of which will open at their first venues in summer 2025.


Nine UK arts organisations are each to receive £20,000 from Imperial War Museums’ (IWM) art commissioning programme to create works inspired by the heritage of conflict. The capital comes from the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, created after IWM and First World War centenary arts programme 14-18 NOW worked together to co-commission the 2018 Peter Jackson film They Shall Not Grow Old.