Valerie Hall takes a grand tour of exhibitions and events at museums and galleries around the country
PERTH MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
Current exhibitions include: "The mud, muck and middens of medieval Perth: delving into the archaeology of the town" along with "and so begins the River Tay ..." (the history, art, archaeology and wildlife of the Tay as it flows from source to sea), which runs until January. Recently acquired additions to collections include: furniture, sculpture and long case clocks from the 16th-18th centuries; the history of provincial silversmithing and industrial and domestic glass production in the area; the natural history of Perth and Kinross (includes otters, ospreys, pond life, pearls, falcons and fossils); and "The time of our lives" (the lives of Perth people through 5,000 years). Tel: Barbara Hamilton, 01738 632488.
CARDIFF: NATIONAL MUSEUM AND GALLERY
The art collections of five Princes of Wales from Renaissance Henry (1594-1612) to present-day Charles are represented in "Princes as patrons" until November 8. It explores how "princely collecting, an expression of personality, has changed over time". Related events include Prinny's World a theatrical tour by Anterliwt of George IV's times. Also, October 10-January 3, "Kalighat Icons: paintings from 19th century Calcutta", many of which portray legends of Hindu gods and goddesses. During October 3-16 and November 10-13 pupils can join in Indian dancing, floor painting, storytelling and poetry writing. From December 12-April 18, "Animal magic" will combine works of art, specimens, workshops and interactive computer programmes to encourage pupils to explore the different ways scientists and artists have responded to animal form and function. Teachers' packs available soon.
Key stage 2 sessions are on offer on early peoples, Tudors and Stuarts and the Vikings. Tel: 01222 573240573278.
ST FAGANS: MUSEUM OF WELSH LIFE
"Between Two Worlds" until April traces this open-air museum's development from 1948 to the present. It includes sections on: the removal of vernacular buildings from all over Wales and their re-erection at the museum, sound recordings of Welsh oral traditions and dialects, archival photographic material and interactive video.
Other events include "Cwmdonkin Christmas with Dylan", a theatre performance by Anterliwt on how Dylan Thomas celebrated the festive season at home in Swansea's Uplands. Tel: 01222 573403573418.
CAERLEON: ROMAN LEGIONARY MUSEUM
A new hands-on area looks at a Roman kitchen, health and hygiene, a school and a ladies dressing table. A scale model of the fortress and a newly-painted archaeology room illustrate how the fortress might have looked nearly 2, 000 years ago. Tel: 01633 430567.
CARLISLE:TULLIE HOUSE MUSEUM
"Wildlife on the Solway", October 24-May 9, will take an interactive look at birds who stay on the Solway during the winter, or drop in for a rest on their migration route. Plus the traditional pursuits of wild-fowling, fishing and moss cutting and conservation issues involved in peat extraction and cockle fishing. During education weeks, November 9-13 and 16-20, sessions with explainers can be booked.
Also, "Living history for secondary schools", November 23-December 2, a performanceworkshop looking at social issues affecting Carlisle people at the turn of the century. On December 3-9, Gladstone Bartholomew, a "toyseller from late Victorian times", will demonstrate and tell stories about his toys. Tel: 01228 534781.
YORK: NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM
From whiskery travellers in bowler hats and the earliest days of steam, to women working on the railways and digging the Channel Tunnel, the "Worth a 1000 Words" photographic display spans 130 years. Activities include using a digital camera, build a loco magnetic game and explore photo-related sites on the Internet. Part of an Arts Council initiative Photo '98, the exhibition, which includes original cameras from old wooden boxes to modern models, runs until January 15. Tel: 01904 621261.
GRASMERE, CUMBRIA: WORDSWORTH MUSEUM
Wordsworth's preoccupation with the relationship between man and the natural world, as expressed in the final poem in Lyrical Ballads, "Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey", is the main focus of an exhibition ending on November 1. A mixture of literature, art and the history of ideas, it gathers together paintings and drawings of Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley executed by over 40 artists, including Turner. It marks the publication bicentenary of Lyrical Ballads. Tel: The Wordsworth Trust, 015394 35544.
SOUTH SHIELDS: ARBEIA ROMAN FORT
At "Time Quest", a new hands-on archaeology centre, children can work on a reconstructed excavation, identify Roman pottery, weave with a heddle and write on Roman wax tablets. 50p per head. Tel: Ian Blackwell, 0191 456 8740.
MANCHESTER: MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
New exhibition, "Futures", looks at the history and future of leading-edge technologies. Housed in the "world's oldest railway warehouse", built in 1830, it encompasses rail travel, the telephone and the computer. "The Baby", the first stored program computer from 1948 is the centrepiece. Visitors can listen to 1880s' telephone conversations, record their visions of the future and try out a virtual reality system which trains surgeons in keyhole surgery techniques.
Also, "Devious Devices", October 3-January 3, a touring exhibition of 18 new automata inspired by significant objects of the 20th century, selected by film director Terry Gilliam, ranging from the rocket to the test tube baby. Tel: 0161 833 0027.
LEEDS: ROYAL ARMOURIES
"The world's largest Science of Sport exhibition", October 16-April 11, will exercise the minds and bodies of all ages. Visitors can calculate their fitness, test their eyesight, check their pulse rate, compare their diet with that of sports men and women, be a virtual bobsleigher and snowboarder, play virtual volleyball and discover how science has revolutionised sports clothing and equipment design. Admission: Pounds 3.50 per pupil.
Also, November 20-January 3, "In the camps", a photographic record of European prisoner of war camps taken by Eric Hartmann, an escapee from Nazi persecution, on his return to Europe as a GI. Tel: 0113 220 1888.
WARRINGTON MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
Rich textiles and costumes from Pakistan are featured in "The draped and the shaped" until November 7. This free display reflects the vibrant influence of tradition on contemporary dress and includes mixed media composite pieces by Nikki Parmenter, exploring visual and symbolic imagery from India and other cultures. Workshops with the artist will be held, October 27-28, for Pounds 2, Pounds 1 concessions. Details: Katy Cunliffe, 01925 442392.
ST ALBANS MUSEUM
The first edition of the Herts Advertiser, Ballito stockings and a Salvation Army trombone are among items on display at "My St Albans" until November 1. Marking the museum's centenary, it features 100 local people, industries and organisations from the past 100 years including Mrs Violet Wedge, who ran a ships' chandlers' shop, Bruno Liebich who came to the town as a prisoner of war and the late Alf Gentle, whose slides of the town can be viewed on computer. Free admission. Tel: 01727 819340.
CHICHESTER DISTRICT MUSEUM
"Roll out the barrel", an exhibition on local breweries and pubs, runs until January 9. Worksheets and quizzes are available. "Youth culture from the 1940s to the present" runs from February 6-June 25 with related events for schools. Tel: Elizabeth Payce, 01243 784683.
Two-hour sessions based on the museum's full-size Victorian replica of the Bayeux Tapestry (Exploring Anglo Saxons key stage 1-3) and its "Roman Town at Silchester" exhibition (Roman everyday life (KS2-3)) are available plus Victorian washdays for KS1-3. Pounds 2 per pupil. Tel: Catherine Flexon, 0118 9399800.
BRIGHTON MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
"Henry Moore in perspective", October 31-January 10, marking the artist's centenary, presents his more intimate, small-scale work. It includes sketch models for some early reclining figures, maquettes which place the figure in an urban setting and seven larger free-standing bronze works. Gallery talks and taught sessions for all key stages are available.
Additionally, there is a new exhibition of shoes and boots from the 18th century to the present and "Sculpture and the seafront", October 10-January 10, about two public art sculptures on the seafront (Charles Hadcock's "Passacaglia" and Hamish Black's "Afloat"). An accompanying education pack is free to local schools. Tel: 01273 290900.
MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE, SOUTH BANK, SE1
Cross the drawbridge into a "world of medieval pageantry where Merlin steps out of the shadows, dragons breathe oceans of fire and the damsels are always in distress" at "Quest for Camelot" until November 18. Exhibits include a magnificent round table, movie props and extracts from films. There is also a children's trail. Tel: 0171 401 2636.
RAF MUSEUM, HENDON, NW9
"Berlin Airlift", until December, marks the 50th anniversary of the rescue of Berlin by the RAF, USAF and civilians when blockaded by Russian forces for 15 months. It tells the story of how tons of food and fuel were flown in to Berlin and more than 131,000 people were airlifted out. There is also a new fun 'n' flight gallery where children can try out lots of interactive experiments. Tel: 0891 600563.