picnic

A Picnic at Pemberley – Recreating the Regency Period.

The Regency Period – a great artistic era or a bad royal joke?

The Regency Period was a  period of nine years, starting in 1811 when a bill was passed declaring that King George III was too unfit to rule, naming his 48-year-old son, the future King George IV, as Prince Regent. While the actual regency only lasted until the death of the King in 1820, the entire Regency Era is generally thought to be from the 1780’s until George IV’s death in 1830. However, the bill was made with reluctance as the Prince Regent was extremely unpopular. He was discouraged from making decisions regarding official governing business and war, so he instead spent all the money from the treasury on things such as balls, fashion, food, and pageants!  People did not view him as the ‘Great King’ they originally had hoped he would be, and by the time of his official coronation in 1821, he had become a symbol for senseless extravagance and a national joke.

A great period of change

But although the Prince Regent was a disliked person …

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Abbey Museum Joust

Horsing Around – a great Joust

One of the favourite activities at the Medieval Festival is the jousting tournament. What is not to love about knights in armour, galloping steeds dressed in the colours of their riders, lances and cheering crowds? If you cannot get enough of this spectacle, or you are a volunteer and cannot get to see it at the festival itself, fear not! For the first time this year a Friday afternoon joust will take place at the festival jousting arena commencing at 1.30pm.

You will be able to see all ten jousters participating in this premier event of the festival – taking approximately one hour. We plan to show off eight Australian jousters and two internationals (including a French Knight). Limited seating is available and tickets must be pre-purchased online; no tickets will be available for purchase on that day or at the event.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the afternoon. Book online now!

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Abbey Museum Stained Glass

An Impressive Achievement

The Abbey Church is a very special place, not least because its beautiful stained glass windows. The windows are a large and significant collection dating from the 14th to the 20th century. Some of the most famous are those consisting of fragments originally from Winchester Cathedral’s Lady Chapel.

One of the problems associated with items of such a venerable age is the need for conservation and repair. In 2004 leading glass conservators Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn of Eumundi examined the stained glass collection and compiled an inventory of the conservation requirements and the cost involved. This amounted to a substantial sum and Museum staff set about finding means of raising the necessary funds.

Fundraising for stained glass conservation

Conservation of individual windows was undertaken as funds become available; through donations and various fundraising efforts. The Abbey Museum Friends undertook the task of raising the funds required specifically for the Winchester Windows. From 2009 to 2012 we held “Walk for Winchester” where participants were sponsored to complete a ‘pilgrimage’ from Sylvan Beach on Bribie Island to the …

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Caddles light up a night of Trivia at the Abbey

Trivia at the Abbey

It was a dark and stormy night with lightning flashing, thunder grumbling and rain pelting down, but …it was the advertised night for the famous event Trivia at the Abbey and not even the wrath of mother nature could stop the show.

Trivia Question: who stole the Light??

Come preparation time we discovered there was no power anywhere around the Abbey – Museum, Church, Hall or Community. Ever resourceful, our Museum CEO suggested using the candles and candelabra from the annual medieval banquets – hooray, lights for each table. Five teams of intrepid trivia buffs had to search even harder to find answers to questions covering a wide range of topics; this was made more difficult by the loudness of the rain pelting on the roof and the softness of the questioner’s voice.

It was encouraging to have some new faces join the fun; hopefully they were not put off by the medieval style and will return for our next 21st century style event. Despite all the obstacles everyone enjoyed the night and we made another addition to the fund …

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Abbey Viking boat race

Abbey Vikings Charge!

Saturday 14th March was a very busy day for some of the Abbey Museum’s intrepid members. A team of 15 Abbey Vikings took part in the Our Village Community Challenge at the Queensland State Equestrian Centre, Caboolture.

From the initial parade, where we had to impress the judges with our team spirit, to the 11 specific challenges we competed valiantly and did the Museum proud in building up points for the overall point score. Our fantastic dragon boat, built from scratch on the day, won that challenge, as did our trivia team and our engineers in the Build it Up challenge. We also won the Team Costume (thank you sewing ladies, up to your usual high standard) and came second in the parade presentation.

We were competitive in most of the other challenges (Science, Photo Scavenger Hunt, Human Snakes and Ladders, Abbey Archery, Find a Word, Mathematics Cross Country, Mechanical Bull Ride, Flagged Treasure and Boat Race) to …

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stained glass fragments featuring a scourger in the Abbey Museum collection

Stained Glass Funding Success

The Abbey Museum staff are having a “pom-pom” moment!! What is that you may ask? Well, it is the way we celebrate when great things happen, those unexpected successes or some very good news. And we have just received some VERY GOOD NEWS. Late last year we applied to the Copland Foundation for funding for the conservation of nine of our medieval stained glass windows from our collection. Last week we received notification that our application was successful!!! Definitely a “pom-pom” moment!!

Why are we so very excited? Well it is because when we started fundraising for the conservation of the medieval and Victorian stained glass collection, over ten years ago, we had to raise a massive $165,000. For our small and predominately volunteer organisation that seemed a daunting task. However, through the generous donation of many wonderful individual donors who have funded the conservation of specific windows and through the fundraising efforts of the Abbey Museum Friends, who with the assistance of a grant from the Regional Arts Development …

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Help raise money for us – it’s easy

The Abbey Museum has partnered with ‘Our Village’,  and as one of their ‘101 Causes’ we will generate much needed funds for the Museum!

YOU CAN HAVE FUN AND SUPPORT THE MUSEUM AT THE SAME TIME!!

Sign up to help at the upcoming Redcliffe Festival and the Abbey Museum will receive $10 (YES – $10!!!) for every hour you help!!

Just you:   3 X 4 hour shifts = $120!!    Or 4 friends:  4 @ 3 x 4 hour shifts = $480!!  Straight to the Abbey Museum!!  Oh WOW!!

The plan is that Abbey Museum Volunteers will be rostered at the same stall so you can have lots of fun together!!

AND YES THE ROLES ARE EASY … AND FUN!!  (Volunteers at the Redcliffe Festival will also get first hand information on volunteering opportunities at the upcoming Jousting Spectacular being held in November).

ROLES STILL AVAILABLE:

Front line/ Customer service / Order taking:

Service to customers / Order taking / Accurate money handling / Filling drinks order / Keeping stall clean and tidy / Restocking

Back line/ Preparation

Preparing items for sale / Food …

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Restoring the Glory – Stained Glass Restoration

I love stained glass windows… the colour, the details, the vibrancy of the stories are simply inspiring. The stained glass windows in the Abbey Museum collection are some of my favourite objects. That is why I was so excited to take a group of our staff and volunteers to the studio of leading conservators Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn near Eumundi who are currently undertaking conservation of three of our windows which are usually housed in the Abbey Church.

What an amazing opportunity to see and hear not only how these ancient windows are conserved, but also the traditional method of manufacture, especially in the Middle Ages.

On welcoming us to their studio, which is like an Aladdin’s cave of coloured glass, paints, brushes and colouring pencils, Gerry talked about the difference between leadlight windows and stained glass. They are currently creating an amazing leadlight window to be installed in the large Baptistry in St Monica’s Cathedral in Cairns. Leadlight windows, I learnt, are made of pieces of coloured glass which are joined together with lead strips …

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