Owls, henna + stars

8 Feb 2018

Hello, I’m Elle (the one on the left)

I’m one of the Collections and Learning Curators at Ipswich Museums. I love the variety my job involves – from teaching groups of toddlers about fossils to photographing collections of 1950s toys, packing taxidermied birds to researching English folklore.

Managing events at Ipswich Museums is one of the best parts of my job. I enjoy surprising people, supporting them to see our collections in different ways and encouraging them to visit Ipswich Museum, often for the first time in years.

On Thursday 1 February, Ipswich Museum welcomed over 200 visitors for our School of Magick event. The galleries twinkled with fairy lights, the team were in costumes and star confetti had been scattered well… everywhere. (I have a feeling I’ll be finding those stars for months…)



We started planning this event in spring last year by brainstorming all the different activities that our visitors might enjoy, which complement the collections we have on display and fit our magical theme. Among other activities, we organised henna tattooing, live owls, chocolate crafting, potion making, palmistry and a cocktail bar.



Over the following months we planned and planned and planned – decorating the Museum, rotas, costumes for the team. Soon it was the big day. As the clock counted down to 6.30pm, I could hear the crowds outside start to gather.

There’s no feeling like swinging the Museum’s doors open to see a queue stretching up the road of people who can’t wait to come in and explore. The planning paid off – as I wondered around the Museum I could see happy faces and hear the buzz of chatter in the galleries.

My role during the event was to see that everything ran to plan, stay in contact with the team to ensure their wellbeing and (my favourite) act as the stern quiz master.

The hours flew by and we were saying ‘thank you and goodnight’ before we knew it. As the team packed up the decorations and hoovered the confetti stars, my mind was already on the next event. If you have a good idea of what you’d like to see in Ipswich Museums let me know in the comments – bigger the better!


Where will your adventure start?