Today I have achieved a hat-trick. No, I haven't been signed as Newcastle United's much-needed new striker, but after previously blogging about two artistic and cultural wedding venues in Newcastle I've written a third - this time about the Discovery Museum.
Although I haven't actually conducted a wedding here, I was involved behind the scenes in arranging quite a famous one. Discovery museum's very first wedding, was featured in the BBC programme Don’t tell the Bride, in November 2011.
Discovery Museum started life in 1934 as the Municipal Museum of Science and Industry. The collections were housed in a temporary pavilion built for the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition in Exhibition Park, Newcastle. This was the first UK science museum outside London.
After forty years, as the collections and displays grew, the temporary pavilion could no longer meet the Museum's needs. In 1978, the Museum was re-located to the former Co-operative Wholesale Society Headquarters for the Northern Region, Blandford House. This magnificent red-brick 1899 building had been the distribution centre for over 100 Co-Op stores across the region, and contained extensive warehouse space and offices, perfect for the growing collections.
The Museum was re-launched as Discovery Museum in 1993. Ongoing refurbishment has brought many new displays in recent years. This includes the spectacular transfer of Turbinia, in 1994, from her old home in Exhibition Park through the streets of Newcastle to the new entrance hall at Discovery.
In 2004 the £13 million redevelopment of the Museum was complete and the following year the venue attracted 450,000 visitors.
Discovery Museum displays many exhibits of local history, including Turbinia, the 34 metre long ship built by Charles Algernon Parsons to test the advantages of using the steam turbine to power ships. It also features examples of Joseph Swan's early lightbulbs which were invented on Tyneside.
It houses the regimental museum for the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars and the Northumberland Hussars, exploring the human side of 200 years of life in the army.
Discovery is a "hands-on" museum designed to interest both children and adults.
Discovery Museum has four rooms licensed for civil ceremonies: The Great Hall, Turbinia Gallery, Science Maze and Café.
The Great Hall is a magnificent wood panelled and tiled room with wonderful decorative metal arches. With a capacity for up to 380 guests it provides a stunning location for ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and evening receptions.
Turbinia Gallery houses the stunning 34m long ship which was once the fastest in the world. Guests can dine alongside it or perhaps gather here for drinks and photographs before a wedding breakfast in the Great Hall.
The Museum café overlooks the Story of the Tyne Gallery and can be hired for more intimate wedding breakfasts, drinks receptions and evening receptions as well as smaller wedding ceremonies. It can accommodate guest lists of up to 100.
The Science Maze gallery hosted Discovery’s very first wedding, which was the one featured in Don’t tell the Bride. It is a versatile space, which offers guests the unique opportunity to explore its interactive science displays. It is suitable for parties of up to 100 guests.
Of course, your access to certain rooms and collections is dependant upon the date and time of your wedding, and how much of the museum you have booked.
Discovery Museum wedding photography would be an exciting prospect for many photographers. It's a truly unique venue, is quite light with some soaring glass ceilings, and the building itself is full of character. The intricate metal arches are exposed in the Great Hall, for example. Add in the collections, such as Turbina, for backdrops and you would be sure to end up with some portfolio worthy images. The building is so large that you could shoot your group photographs inside if you had to. Alternatively, Summerhill Square is just around the corner if you want some greenery.
- A unique wedding venue, particularly for those interested in the science and industry of the region
- Building and collections would make for stunning photographs
- City Centre location, very handy public transport links
No accommodation on site, so you would need to arrange an overnight stay elsewhere in the city
Discovery Museum can cater for any sized wedding ceremony, from the more intimate to the much larger scale. The building is spectacular; a mix of wood panelling, soaring metal arches and glazed tiles, and the collections only add to the character. Your wedding photographs would surely reflect this opulence.
Telephone: 0844 856 1074
Write: Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4JA