Things to do: The Story Museum re-opens, and one of the season’s great charity fairs moves online

Keep your diary up-to-date with our selection of unmissable events and things to do in the next few weeks.

From October 24 — The Story Museum, Oxford

The Story Museum reopens after a two-year hiatus thanks to a £170,000 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, albeit six months later than planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Story Museum in Oxford. ©Diane Auckland / Story Museum

Highlights include the Whispering Wood and the Enchanted Library, featuring elements from books such as The Snowman, Noughts and Crosses and the Narnia and His Dark Materials series.

October 22 — Lyon & Turnbull’s Select Jewellery & Watch auction, online

Among the star lots in the auctioneer’s upcoming online sale is a Lalique bracelet, brooch and pair of ear studs, bought from the jeweller himself in Paris at the start of the 20th century by Mrs Florence Evelyn St George. The jewellery suite was originally a ‘collier de chien’ — a choker — before being converted and passed down in the family. It’s for sale for the first time, and can be viewed in person ahead of the auction at The Mall Galleries, London, by appointment from October 20th.

Until October 24 — ‘Jean Jones—Dartmoor’s Forgotten Painter’, The Brownston Gallery, Modbury, Devon

Paintings of the landscape by the late artist who was once proclaimed to be ‘the next Van Gogh’, but whose glittering career was impeded by the deterioration of her mental health.

One of the Jean Jones pictures at the Brownston Gallery

Until October 24 — ‘Looking Inland’, The Jerram Gallery, Sherborne, Dorset

Forty new paintings in different media by Carry Akroyd, focusing on different parts of England and ‘how field patterns change dramatically according to the geology’.

October 22–25 —The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Park, London SW11

Some 140 exhibitors offering paintings, jewellery, ceramics, glass and tableware, as well as a new personal shopping service and interactive virtual tour. Free admission, but tickets should be booked online for timed entry.

Until October 24 — ‘Stories Without Words’, Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Recent paintings by Nicola Slattery RBA, most of which are being shown for the first time and have no further explanation than an enigmatic title, inviting the viewer to create their own narrative.

Small World by Nicola Slattery. ©Nicola Slattery via Fosse Gallery

October 24–November 1 — Halloween Special, Audley End Miniature Railway, Saffron Walden, Essex

Immersive train ride involving witches, wizards, pumpkins, Herbert the talking house and a gift for every child. Tickets £15, booking essential, fancy dress encouraged.

October 24–November 29 — Westonbirt Virtual Shopping Fair, online

One of the largest charity fairs in the South-West has gone entirely digital for 2020 — browse the stalls of some 70 exhibitors for gifts, clothing and homeware from the comfort of your own house, with 10% of all sales going to local charities. Virtual entrance fees welcomed.

October 28–November 2 — Cluster Crafts Fair, Ugly Duck, Tanner Street, London SE1

‘London’s affordable craft fair’ features more than 100 works for sale from both emerging artists and celebrated designers, arranged across three floors ‘to represent the material interdependence of earth, soil and air’. Book free tickets online.

October 28–November 8 — ‘The Natural Eye 2020’, Mall Galleries, The Mall, London

More than 350 works are for sale at the Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition, many of which portray the birds whose songs we have all learnt to listen to once again in recent months. General entry £5.

John Foker’s Cuckoo calling is at the ‘The Natural Eye 2020’, Mall Galleries.

Until November 8 — ‘Moth’, Eames Fine Art Print Room, Bermondsey Street, London

Mezzotint works by Sarah Gillespie celebrating our inconspicuous yet diverse moth species, often overlooked in favour of the butterfly—particularly by artists.

October 13–January 31, 2021 — ‘Fabric of the North’, Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, North Yorkshire

The British Tapestry Group presents regular, three-dimensional and mixed-media tapestries by more than 30 weavers, all on the theme of our Northern heritage, plus weaving materials and equipment for sale. Free entry, booking recommended.

November 1 — The Lady of the Camellias, nationwide

A recorded live production from Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Ballet, with music by Chopin, will be screened at cinemas throughout the UK. See website for list of venues and to book.

Until November 1 — Ramster Garden Autumn Colour, Chiddingfold, Surrey

Discover the avenue of 100-year-old, russet-toned maples and the flaming leaves of the American red gum tree, plus exotics including eastern hemlock, Cryptomeria and grand fir (one of the tallest trees in the county), while strolling through these 20 acres. Wednesday–Sunday, 10am–4pm, dogs on leads welcome.

Booking until January 31, 2021 — The Great Gatsby, Immersive London, Davies Street, London W1

‘Lindy hop into the world of Jay Gatsby’ at this immersive theatre experience and dinner, which has been re-imagined as a 1920s Art Deco masquerade ball in order to comply with Covid guidelines. Tickets from £38.

November 13–22 — EFG London Jazz Festival, various venues and online

Combining live concerts at venues including the Barbican, EC2, and Cadogan Hall, SW1, with a digital stream available on the website, YouTube and Facebook.

November 21 — re:connect: Night, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra presents Eleanor Alberga’s Nightscape for 13 musicians, conducted by the composer, followed by Mozart’s Serenade No 10 or Gran Partita. Performances from 5pm and 7.30pm, tickets £25. Audiences will be socially distanced and it will be streamed online on November 26.

From October 14–December 12 — The Welcome Back Season, Theatre Royal Bath, Somerset

Live performances return with three classic plays: Betrayal by Harold Pinter (October 14–31), Copenhagen by Michael Frayn (November 4–21) and Oleanna by David Mamet (November 25–December 12). Tickets from £10.

From September 30 — Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Spotlight Series 1, Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, London

The RPO returns home for a programme of lunchtime concerts, the first of which focuses on the brilliance of the brass and percussion sections. This will be followed by a showcase of the wind section (October 14) and finally the strings (November 11). From 1.15pm, tickets from £15.

October 3-December 15 — Geedon Gallery Autumn Exhibition, Fingringhoe, Essex

Works from three East Anglian artists: watercolours, mural studies and illustrations by Graham Rust (pictured); driftwood bird sculptures by Guy Taplin; and ceramics by Robina Jack. There will also be work by other artists. Open from October 3–17, then by appointment until December 15.

The Geedon Autumn Exhibition features Graham Rust’s Sunflower. ©Graham Rust

From November 4 — Bedroom Book Club, various venues

If you’re craving a getaway but are still nervous about being out and about, this could be the answer — stay at one of MGallery’s boutique hotels, order the signature cocktail and curl up with the non-fiction book that has been selected to reflect the history of your hotel, plus a special podcast from the author. Prices vary.

September 30–December 16 — Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Autumn Season 2020, nationwide

The BSO returns with a series of 12 symphonic live-streamed concerts, from Viennese Masters (October 21) to Beethoven 250 (November 11) and A Baroque Christmas (December 16). From 7.30pm, digital tickets £6 with subscription packages also available.


October 1–November 18 — The Atlantic Salmon Trust’s Annual Auction, online

An eclectic collection of 70 lots goes under the hammer in aid of the trust. Highlights include a Kenyan safari, a stay on Mustique and a four-ball on the 2010 Ryder Cup course. All lots available to view from Thursday.

October 22-25 — The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Park, London

The first major art and design fair to take place in the UK since March opens in a giant marquee in Battersea Park.  Around 140 exhibitors will be taking part, offering a spectacular variety of decorative and fine antiques, 20th century design; vintage jewellery, handbags and watches; textiles, ceramics, glass and tableware dating from the 1700s to the 1970s, and works of art including paintings, prints, maps, posters, sculpture and statuary of all periods to the contemporary.

November 6-21 — ‘Landscapes and Memories’, Jerram Gallery, Sherborne, Dorset

Dorset-based painter Nicholas Hely Hutchinson has had many shows in London and abroad but this is his first exhibition in his own county, with over 30 works going on show. Tuesdays to Saturday, 9.30-5pm, with the artist himself at the gallery on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th.

Nicholas Hely Hutchinson’s From Mupe Bay to St Aldhelm’s Head.

Until December 31 —Hogarth: London Voices, London Lives, Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Mattock Lane, London

Starring Hogarth’s eight-painting morality tale ‘A Rake’s Progress’, which returns to Pitzhanger for the first time in 200 years. Adult tickets £7, including access to Pitzhanger Manor. Pre-booking essential.

Until January 9, 2021 — ‘The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year’, St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Hampshire

Artworks from the past 100 years portraying the changing seasons and associated landscapes, plants, wildlife, weather, customs and folklore. Featured artists include John Nash, Eric Ravilious, Graham Sutherland, Charles Tunnicliffe, Carry Akroyd and Annie Ovenden.

C. F. Tunnicliffe’s ‘Wild Rose, Briar Rose and Elderflower on a stone wall’ is on display in Hampshire’s St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery.

Until autumn 2021 — ‘Love, Art, Loss: The Wives of Stanley Spencer’, Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, Berkshire

Exploration of the love triangle between the artist and his two wives, Hilda Carline and Patricia Preece, and the raw portrayal of these relationships in his paintings and studies. Adult admission £6.

October 17–November 1 — Gruffalo Adventures, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London TW9

Specially curated journey through the arboretum in autumn, meeting characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book along the way. Included with general admission, timed slots available online.

From December 4 — Buckingham Palace’s masterpieces, The Queen’s Gallery, London SW1

For the first time, 65 paintings that normally hang in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace are to go on public display, at The Queen’s Gallery. ‘Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace’ opens on December 4 and will include works from artists including Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Canaletto and explore, among other themes, their use of paint. The exhibition will be accompanied by a display charting the evolution of the Picture Gallery following the acquisition of Buckingham Palace by George III and Queen Charlotte, in 1762.

Canaletto’s The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day, c.1733, is part of the Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace show. Credit: Royal Collection Trust/ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II