Deputy mayor Councillor David Stevens cutting the ribbon to open the gallery.

The completely remodelled ground floor gallery of Reading Museum has been officially launched. Following a brief introduction from museum manager, Matthew Williams, the deputy mayor, councillor David Stevens, cut the red ribbon with a sharp pair of Reading museum scissors and declared the gallery open.

This was the deputy mayor’s first official engagement since he was elected on 22 May. The entourage for the opening included leader of Reading Borough Council, Jason Brock, as well as costumed interpreters.

The ground floor space of the Museum incorporates the Story of Reading Gallery and a Welcome Gallery. In advance of the re-opening of the Abbey Ruins, the story of Reading Abbey had been told up to the English Civil War in the seventeenth century. New displays now cover the whole town and bring everything right up to date.

The Welcome Gallery has a diverting curation of Reading curiosities and items from the collection which celebrate Reading’s global links called World in Reading.

Deputy mayor Councillor David Stevens (centre) with Councillor Jason Brock, Empress Matilda and other costumed interpreters

Lead councillor for culture, heritage and recreation Karen Rowland said:

This opening is also part of the wider exciting investment and transformation that has been taking place within the town hall, with more major improvements still to come which will enhance the facilities this venue has to offer, including the much anticipated Pantry Café and Kitchen opening soon. We envisage the town hall and museum acting as a ‘gateway’ information point for visitors to the quarter and to the wider town.

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