Guest post: Katherine Biggs presents Kew Bridge Steam Museum’s candlelight Museums at Night debut

Our latest guest post comes from Katherine Biggs, Education Officer at Kew Bridge Steam Museum in London.

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Saturday 19th May will mark Kew Bridge Steam Museum’s first foray into Museums at Night. This isn’t say to that we haven’t had dark and spooky night-time tours before, but there is something different about organising an evening as part of a much wider series of events.

The feeling of partnership with other museums throwing their doors open for night-time exploration, and the excitement at what some other sites are doing has really inspired us to create something extra special.

A corridor illuminated with red light

Corridor leading into the atmospheric interior of the museum after hours (c) Kew Bridge Steam Museum

The question was how best to show off our towering steam engines.  What would inspire visitors to come and have a peek inside the museum after hours?

Candles, was our answer. Lots of candles. We’ll have the steam engines up and running as visitors explore, which will cast some pretty spectacular shadows from the candlelight. And we’re running torchlight trails for our younger visitors, which should add to the eerie lighting effects.

An industrial wheel lit up behind bars

Engines illuminated at night (c) Kew Bridge Steam Museum

The event is hugely reliant on our expert volunteers who will run the machines and guide the visitors. Luckily their passion for the museum is second to none, so they will be dragging people from the street into the museum if needs be!

Two men looking at en engine

Volunteers with one of the museum’s mighty engines (c) Sukkin Pang

Our limited budget means that marketing is heavily dependent on spreading the word through the local community (oh, the joys of flyering in the rain!)

Overall we have tried to create a family-friendly event, Steam Engines by Candlelight, that we would all really want to go to. Now we have to sit back and hope that others agree come Saturday night…

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portrait shot of woman

Kath Biggs

Katherine Biggs is the Education Officer at Kew Bridge Steam Museum, and also works as a freelance educator at other sites including the British Museum and SeaCity Museum, Southampton. www.kathbiggs.com

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Thanks, Kath – best of luck to you and your team this weekend!

If you’d like to write a guest post about any aspect of event planning or marketing for arts and heritage venues, please contact me on 01273 623336 or email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

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