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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Discovery Museum to Launch New Virtual Tour on Armed Forces Day.

Our 3 boys love all kinds of vehicles, but have a special interest in military vehicles. They love spotting them, out and about on the roads, so the opportunity to get up close to a couple of them at Discovery Museum in Newcastle, is one they won't want to miss!

On 26 June, Armed Forces Day, Newcastle’s Discovery Museum will have two armoured ‘Jackal’ reconnaissance vehicles on display outside, from 11am – 4pm, to celebrate the launch of a new online 360-degree interactive virtual tour of Charge! The Story of England’s Northern Cavalry gallery.

With serving members of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry and The Light Dragoons also on the plaza to meet visitors, it’s also the first day of a new exhibition in the Charge! gallery, In Times of Emergency, which looks at how The Light Dragoons have responded to national emergencies. Visitors can meet military experts in the gallery and find out more about what’s on display.

The creation of the virtual tour was made possible with the support of The Light Dragoons, the contemporary incarnation of the regiments brought to life in the gallery space.

Colonel of the Regiment, The Light Dragoons, Brigadier Angus Watson MBE said:

“When Charge! The Story of England’s Northern Cavalry Gallery opened in 2017, we were intent on ensuring that it remained fresh and exciting. The opportunity to create this virtual tour meets that aspiration both through including some new material and expanding the reach of the gallery.

“It has been achieved through an excellent partnership with Discovery Museum and Heritage Interactive, and I congratulate all involved. The Light Dragoons is a regiment which has always been at the leading edge, and the successful delivery of this innovative project demonstrates this characteristic once again.”

Manager of Discovery Museum, Carolyn Ball said:

“We are very grateful to The Light Dragoons for supporting Discovery Museum to create this virtual tour, allowing us to bring this important gallery to people online.

“The virtual tour not only allows people to explore the stories of the gallery from any location, it also acts as a companion piece to the gallery, with expert insight and authentic voices bringing the emotive themes to life.”

Uniquely, the virtual tour was filmed with the gallery’s assistant curator, Roberta Goldwater and serving members of the Light Dragoons in uniform standing in the gallery space so when people navigate the gallery they will ‘pass’ members of the current regiment.

In one film, Roberta Goldwater highlights a small case connected to one of the most well-known stories of the First World War featuring the Northumberland Hussars - the unofficial Christmas Day truce in 1914, when soldiers on both sides declared a break in the fighting: playing football, exchanging gifts and burying their dead.

Another film features actively serving WO2 (RQMS) Anthony Richardson as he guides the viewer through the modern-day army uniforms on display.

The Charge! Gallery illustrates the 300-year-old history of England’s Northern Cavalry and its antecedent regiments through fascinating historic artefacts, displays, and compelling visual interactive media.

Heritage Interactive, who produced the new virtual tour, also contributed to the original permanent gallery as the creative force behind the three large screens which feature footage of a recreated 19th century cavalry charge and the contemporary Light Dragoons in their Jackal vehicles.

The Light Dragoons is the only cavalry regiment in the British Army today which exclusively recruits from the North of England. The day before the new virtual tour launches (25 June) soldiers of The Light Dragoons are to be awarded with medals for serving as part of the current United Nations mission in Mali. The Light Dragoons are the first unit to receive their medals for this mission.

Other pivotal moments in the colourful history of these regiments, from the capture of Napoleon’s carriage at the Battle of Waterloo (1815), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) and D-Day, World War Two (1944) are explored through to more recent reconnaissance missions in Bosnia (1993), Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2009).

Discovery Museum is open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm and at weekends 11am – 4pm, with free entry, with donations welcome. Booking ahead is advised, although not essential.

We protect and preserve 1.1 million items in the collection. Now more than ever we believe art, culture and heritage sit firmly at the heart of the North East - help us keep it there. Donate today.


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