Guest Post: Trudie Cole from Poole Museums on their secret garden

Our first foray into hosting a Museums at Night event was in 2008 when producers of the Wallace and Gromit series, Aardman had kindly consented for museums to screen The Wrong Trousers.

We advertised the event and were ready to go when at the eleventh hour disaster struck. We had overlooked the need for an events licence … and were warned that proceeding without one may result in a prison term!

I briefly considered the possibility of continuing my duties at Her Majesty’s pleasure, but concluded that it would probably adversely affect my CRB clearance.

This experience dampened my bold enthusiasm, but having obtained a full licence we have run other evening events since then – and felt it was time to try again and host a Museums at Night event in 2012.

A historic building with a carefully manicured garden on a sunny day

Scaplens Court will be inviting visitors to discover their secret garden after hours for Museums at Night. Image (c) Poole Museums

So on 19th May we will open the doors of Scaplen’s Court, one of Poole’s finest medieval buildings, and invite visitors to explore the building and its secret walled herb garden.

We will dress the garden with fairy lights and a musician will serenade visitors, who will also be able to relax with a glass of wine.

A pink glow-worm installation climbing up stone steps in a garden

The garden of Scaplen's Court has previously been lit up by a glow-worm installation (c) Poole Museums

We don’t have a dedicated events team, so it will be all hands on deck and we’ll make use of our army of volunteers to help steward the event.

We tend to rely on free advertising, so we’ll put details of the event on our website, use our mailing list and tweet about it too.

We decided to run the event on Saturday night rather than Friday night to make the most of the passing trade of tourists who are about on a Saturday.

We’re all really looking forward to being part of Museums at Night this year and hope the event will pave the way for even more evening events. Maybe one day we’ll even screen The Wrong Trousers!

A woman sitting at a deskTrudie Cole is the Learning and Access Manager for Poole Museum Service and a PhD Student looking into archaeological education at UCL. You can follow Poole Museum Service on Twitter @PooleMuseum


———————————————————————————————–———————— Thanks, Trudie! If you’d like to write a guest post or case study for this blog about any aspect of event planning or marketing in arts or heritage venues, please drop me a line at or call me on 01273 623336.

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