MUSEUMS at Night, the annual night-time festival of arts, heritage and culture, takes place this week.
Hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will open up late between Thursday, May 15 and Saturday, May 17 to put on a dazzling array of special night-time events including literary talks in castles and star gazing in historic houses.
Some of the Museums at Night highlights in Hampshire include:
Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson, Fareham: Firings at Fort Nelson. A unique opportunity to witness guns and artillery from this national collection in action - in safety, of course!
A highlight of the evening will be a special firing of the 32-pounder Victorian gun, as featured on the BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys’ series last year. A WW2 Sexton field gun will also be fired, and other presentations and talks will be held in the museum's galleries.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: Sleepover at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: Design your own Royal Navy poster, play the giant battleship game and laser quest, catch a movie in the cinema and then sleep over in the historic building of Action Stations which is over 150 years old!
The Diving Museum, Gosport: Secrets of Divers at War: The No.2 Battery (1860) housing the Diving Museum will come dramatically alive at night with visually exciting enactments of WW2 Royal Navy divers rendering safe mines and bombs.
Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport: The Conservation Story of HMS Alliance: Bob Mealings, Curator at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum will explain how the conservation of HMS Alliance has been a once in a lifetime opportunity to study the A-Class submarine.
Gosport Discovery Centre, Gosport: Discover Ghosts: Would-be ghost hunters will have an exclusive chance to investigate this historic building. Take part in experiments and use equipment featured on various TV shows guided by a team of paranormal experts and Mediums.
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant: Ghostly Goings On at the Spring: Come along in your pyjamas and bring a sleeping bag for a unique family experience with scary stories, live music from FB Pocket Orchestra, crafts, ghost walks and much more. Award-winning children's author Vanessa Curtis will read spine-tingling extracts from her book The Haunting of Tabitha Grey.
Flora Twort Gallery, Petersfield: Stanley Spencer, At War and In Peace: Chrissy Rosenthal, a gallery custodian from the Stanley Spencer Gallery will discuss the life and work of Stanley Spencer and explain the significance of the artist’s home village of Cookham and his 1921 visit to Hampshire afte rthe upheaval of the First World War.
Petersfield Museum, Petersfield: Museums at Night: Enjoy a glass of wine during this rare opportunity to view film from the archive showing Petersfield and East Hampshire from 1912 onwards. Museum staff will be on-hand for any questions about the archive.
Find out more online at museumsatnight.org.uk.