Reading Museum Appeals for Volunteer Historical Characters

Volunteers in historical costume
Volunteers in historical costume

READING Museum is looking for outgoing volunteers interested in taking on the role of costumed historical characters in the Abbey Quarter over the summer.

Examples of the characters needed include key figures from Reading’s history, including Jane Austen, Queen Elizabeth and King Henry I. Other roles include medieval monks, a laundress and a Tudor woman.

The role of ‘costumed interpreter’ would involve interacting with visitors to the Abbey Quarter, to help bring the rich history of the area alive.

By role playing the characters, volunteers will help people understand and empathise with the lives of the people who lived, visited or worked in the Abbey Quarter.

Volunteers will be given replica period costumes to wear, as well advice on how to carry out research into their character and learn fact-based historical information to share with the public.

No experience of drama is necessary, although the role is suited to enthusiastic, outgoing and friendly people, who like working as a team, are happy to wear a costume, stay in character and interact positively with members of the public.

The role would involve a commitment over some Saturdays and on the occasional weekday.

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to get involved in the Abbey project and really help us bring history to life. If you think you could share your love of history with our visitors, this volunteer opportunity has the potential to offer loads of fun and a great experience.”

Since 2011, Reading Museum has proudly held an Investing in Volunteers accreditation (IiV). The museum greatly values its volunteer team and uses best practice to support its volunteers in their roles including providing inductions, support and training as needed.

To find out more contact  or visit



Reading Museum is offering costumed interpretation as part of its exciting programme of events and new volunteer opportunities for the Reading Abbey Revealed project.

Funded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Reading Borough Council, the project started in 2017 with the conservation works to protect the Reading Abbey Ruins and bring the Abbey Gateway back into use.

Costumed interpretation will help the museum team share Reading’s history to residents and visitors alongside other project work to display more historical information around the Abbey Quarter and town centre. The museum may also extend the costumed interpretation into costumed tours in the near future.

Find out more about volunteering at Reading Museum and the museum’s IiV accreditation:

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email or call 0118 937 3957