The sixth in our series of guest posts comes from Culture24 staff writer Ed Sexton.
For Museums at Night 2009 I was given the challenge of covering the wealth of events taking place across Bath. Not content with providing an evening of festivities, events kicked off from 3 in the afternoon with jiving and things to make and do in Queens Square.
Despite the Mayor receiving a bit of a shock when a roaming stag do decided to bust a few moves in a jive lesson, everything seemed to go off without a hitch and the good people of Bath really got involved with the event.
As I dashed from museum to museum, it was clear that many people were as determined as I was to join the culture crawl around the city’s museums and make the most of this truly unique event.
After a jam-packed day and night running around the streets of Bath it was wonderful to end the day in the serene setting of the Roman Baths. I was allowed a glimpse behind the scenes before the public arrived and thought I would go and chat to some of the re-enactors before they had to slip into character for the visiting public.
I quickly learnt that re-enacting is not a career to be taken lightly as not one of the characters was prepared to join me in the 21st century at any point. I had some genuinely baffling but massively entertaining conversations. The Romans were all happy to pose for pictures despite having never come across a camera before – even reapplying their freshly mixed Roman makeup.
The Baths were also the site of my favourite interview of the day. Suzanna Mead and Fay Swaffield had abandoned their families for an uninterrupted day of culture and chaos. Like so many other visitors they had a genuine enthusiasm for the event, throwing themselves into all of the activities with complete abandon and felt that they had really taken something away from the day.
After carrying out my final interviews I kicked back with a glass of wine and some tasty Roman food – my evening could only have been topped if I had been allowed to soak my aching feet in the Baths!
See what the people of Bath had to say about their experiences of Museums at Night 2009 in this video.