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He slept three in a bed, his family meals of beef, pottage and pies lasted at least two hours, and he wrote with a swan feather quill on cow skin in brown ink made from mashed oak apples.
These are just three of the fascinating facts about playwright William Shakespeare the 10 and 11-year-old guides from Bridgetown Primary School told special celebrity guests and dignitaries on a tour of Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon, to mark the launch of Takeover Day 2015.
Takeover Day is the annual day on which museums, archives, galleries, historic sites and arts organisations are taken over by children who are given meaningful, powerful and decision-making roles.
Takeover Day 2015 will take place on Friday 20 November, with over 5000 kids throughout England doing the jobs grown-ups usually do in museums and beyond. Takeover Day is run by Kids in Museums, a charity working with museums to make them more welcoming of children, young people and families – in particular those who haven’t visited before.
Kids in Museums Patron, the bestselling children’s author Damian Dibben said,
‘Takeover Day is the day that kids take over our amazing galleries and museums, and run them for themselves. Everything I feel passionate about today – art, science, music, the great endeavours of humankind – began with a trip to a museum or gallery when I was young. The children who guided us at Shakespeare’s Birthplace have been fantastically engaging and perfect ambassadors for the events to come in 2015.’
Jacqueline Green, Head of Learning at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said,
“We’ve been delighted to be part of Takeover Day for the past three years. Seeing local children showing their enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s heritage and sharing that with our visitors is a joy. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is committed to take the spirit and practice of Takeover Day – welcoming young people to Shakespeare’s home all year round.”
The Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon, Councillor Tessa Bates, said,
‘I’m amazed how confident and astonishingly good the children are at doing everything. I was brought up thinking museums were stuffy places you only went to as a punishment. It’s so good that’s all changed. These kids are so enthusiastic about Takeover Day and everything they do on it and beyond.’
Ten-year-old museum guide Charlie said,
‘Being a guide yourself makes you see things from a different angle, like from back stage. You get to learn loads of things and get a feel of what the adults do. It makes a museum come to life.’
Find out more about Takeover Day 2015 and how your museum, school and arts organisation can take part at www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/takeoverday
Follow Takeover Day in Museums on Twitter @takeovermuseums and see
For enquiries, interviews and pictures email [email protected] or call 020 3096 7707.
Takeover Day in Museums works with the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge across all organisations, to better involve and empower young people.