Children Takeover Reading Museum

Reading Museum Takeover Day 2018

CHILDREN from St John’s Primary School in east Reading celebrated the culmination of a ‘Takeover’ project at Reading Museum this month.

Reading Museum has been working with the school’s year six children over the last 6 months, helping them to find out more about local history as part of the Reading Abbey Revealed project and to create a ‘virtual tour’.  This is the second year that St John’s pupils have successfully taken over the museum.

Friday’s Takeover Day 2018 was the culmination of the project and the children presented their leaflets, drawings, posters, tour scripts and animations as part of their ‘virtual tour’ to the Mayor of Reading, Debs Edwards; Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, and other dignitaries on Friday 23rd November at Reading Museum.

During the project the children visited the museum on three occasions and had the chance to look at the Abbey Ruins, Abbey Gateway and Story of Reading display in detail.

The children had talks by various members of staff including volunteer tour guides and costumed interpreters, who showed them how they prepare for tours and talking to the public. Staff from Reading Museum also visited the school to work with the children.

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to run this popular project again, following the success of Takeover Day 2017. This project has really engaged the children’s imaginations and highlighted the significance of the Abbey and of Reading. We hope it has ignited their curiosity and that they will continue to learn about the history of their town.”

The takeover event is part the activity programme of Reading Borough Council’s ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ to develop the Abbey Quarter.

The children’s work will in on display in the Visitor’s Gallery on the second floor of the Museum until February 2019.


Notes to editor

Photos from the day available on request or downloadable from Flickr

November 23rd 2018 was national Takeover Day, a celebration of children and young people’s contributions to museums, galleries, arts organisations, archives and heritage sites. It is a day on which they are given meaningful roles, working alongside staff and volunteers to participate in the life of the museum.

The local takeover event is part the activity programme of Reading Borough Council’s ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ to develop the Abbey Quarter.

To find out more about National Takeover Day visit: or follow @takeovermuseums #TakeoverDay

Reading Abbey Revealed

The Abbey Quarter in central Reading brings together nationally important heritage within the former grounds of Reading Abbey, once one of Europe’s largest royal monasteries.  The conservation of the Grade I listed, scheduled Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gateway were central to Reading Council’s vision to transform the Abbey Quarter into a unique historical destination.

Reading Abbey Revealed is a major project, made possible through £1.77 million funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and match funding of £1.38million from Reading Borough Council.

Reading Council appointed CRL Restoration as the main contractor responsible for implementing the conservation side of the Reading Abbey Revealed project in January 2017.

The ambitious scope of the project has conserved the remains of Reading Abbey and the Abbey Gateway, and has provided opportunities through events, volunteering and education. Site-wide interpretation of the Abbey Quarter has included the opening of the new Abbey gallery at Reading Museum and installing new information points across the town. The accompanying activity programme will continue until the end of 2020.

The Abbey Gateway completed in April 2018 and the Abbey ruins re-opened to the public on 16th June 2018.

Find out more by visiting the Abbey Quarter’s website 

Facebook Page  or by following them on twitter @RdgAbbey

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.


Victoria Nickless

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