The St Neots Museum has launched its third Escape Room season with a new storyline and clues in a new location at the museum.
Teams will find themselves accidentally locked inside the museum by the assistant curator who has forgotten about a scheduled tour and gone home. Once locked inside, participants have one hour to escape from a series of rooms using a variety of clues with only the caretaker and an inexperienced volunteer in the building.
Teams are usually made up of between six and eight people and most sessions are held at the weekend.
This storyline plays on the popular belief that museum curators are unworldly academics totally absorbed in obscure research, but what does the current curator do all day? A large part of the curator's time is taken up with putting on exhibitions, planning events, marketing the museum and working with the volunteers who help with everything from cataloguing the collections to running the reception area. There are hundreds of fascinating exhibits on display in the areas where the escape room experience is held, from Stone Age tools to WW2 gas masks. One of the curators favourite objects on display is a small Victorian child's shoe found hidden in a chimney, perhaps placed there to protect against witchcraft. The curator also works closely with the Learning and Development Officer who plans and manages all our family activities and school sessions.
Although the current museum only opened in 1995 there was an earlier Victorian museum in the town, which opened in 1887. It was known as the Victoria Museum because it opened on June 21, 1887, the day of the celebrations marking Queen Victoria's 50 years on the throne. The museum was based in rooms in the old Corn Exchange building (with a decorative tower) on the corner of High Street and South Street. From 1914 this building became the town cinema until it was demolished in the early 1960s, and rebuilt as modern shops and offices.
The scenario for the third season is... the date is 1996. St Neots is celebrating the recent opening of a new museum, and you and your friends are excited about the prospect of visiting. You have a booked a private viewing with the assistant curator, but on arrival the helpful – but slightly brusque - caretaker has taken you to a remote part of the museum to wait for your tour to begin. Unfortunately, there are a number of teething errors and diary oversights and the deputy curator has gone home, unaware of your booking. You and your friends have been left alone in the museum. You find you are trapped and face spending the night there unless you can escape. You soon realise that the only way to break out...is to break in!
This game does not require any strength or physical force, all the information you need to escape is already provided, as long as you use eyes, ears and your brain and are able to work together as a team.
A record will be kept of all completed times, and the leading team(s) will get a prize at the end of the season.
There is more information about the Escape Room, details of the sessions available and tickets, at: www.stneotsmuseum.org.uk.