Visiting the Museum and Finding the Exhibition Hall

Our exhibition will be located in Special Exhibition Hall 3 of the Great North Museum: Hancock from 30th March 2024 to 1st September 2024. 

For information about visiting the Great North Museum: Hancock, look at their dedicated pages: These pages include information about the opening times, the availability of facilities, public transport routes, parking, and some specific information about the different permanent exhibitions throughout the museum. There is also extensive information about the accessibility of the museum. This includes information about non-step access, accessible parking, a virtual tour, a "visual story" booklet including what to expext, and more!

For our specific exhibition room, you will find us in Special Exhibition Hall 3, which is on the first floor (up one) and at the very back right-hand side of the building (as viewed from the front). You can find a map of the museum below. If you need support, the reception staff will be very happy to help you. 

Taking the stairs? After entering the reception area, take a right and go to the large stair case at the end of the building. Then walk straight to the very back of the building, through all of the permanent exhibits, and out into the back corridor (1st floor galleria). The door for the exhibition hall is by the windows on the right-hand side. 

Taking the lift/elevator? Make your way to the very back of the ground floor. You can go along either the left or the right side of the ground floor of the building to access the back corridor. Half way along this back corridor you will find the lift. Press the button for the first floor. When you exit the lift, take a left along the corridor (called the 1st floor galleria). The door for the exhibition hall is by the windows at the end. 

An inside map of the ground floor and first floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock

What to Expect in our Exhibition

Our exhibition consists of information posters/panels, artefacts, interactive stations and a central "star gazing area". The information presented in the exhibition can also be found on this website (see below), and it should be suitable for screen-readers on a mobile device. 

Orientating the Exhibition Space

When you enter the main exhibition space you will have a false wall in front of you. At this point you will meet Lyra and hear her voice. She will tell you some of the information written on this page about orientating the space of the exhibition. She encourages you to walk around the room anti-clockwise. That means going straight forward, just to the left of the false wall, before walking forwards. Then proceeding around the square room. 

The exhibition is organised such that you walk around a path along the four sides of the square room to reach all of the main parts of the exhibition. A corridor has been created with information/activities on both the left and right hand side as you walk around the four sides of the room. 

Along the first side of the room you will find three information stations on your right, like all of the information stations, each of these is indicated with a tactile mat on the floor. On the left hand side are two interactive stations, again indicated with a tactile mat. More information about accessing all of the information stations and interactive stations is provided below. 

Along the second side of the room you will find three information stations on your right and one information stations on your left. In the far corner of this wall on the right hand side, there is a QR code about 1 meter off the floor under a long thing poster. This is about the Newall Telescope and Robert Newall. Hanging from the ceiling along the full length of this wall is a life-sized model of this telescope! It is roughly a 9.5 long x 1 metre wide cylinder. 

Along the third side of the room, you will find two interactive stations on your left. On the right hand side there is an information station, followed by a place you can hear audio recording from current people working with telescopes and astronomy. 

On the right side of the fourth side of the room is the final information station (in the very corner). In front of this is a small telescope which can be looked to.

Along this wall there is a drawing/evaluation station with tables and chairs, followed by a green screen area, where visitors can stand in front of a camera and see themselves next to telescopes and sites of the North East. Opposite this walk (i.e., on left side of the fourth side of the square), you can enter the "star viewing" area. This is an open space with some seating, where you can relax, filling the very centre of the room. Images and videos related to the night sky and telescopes are projected on the ceiling above this space. 

We will include a map once one becomes available.

What about sound and noises?

The hall is quite echoey, so during busy times (weekends and school holiday) it might appear fairly noisy. There are three parts of the exhibition that produce sound:

a. When you first enter, there is a voice playing on loop (the voice of Lyra) to explain something about the accessibility of the space and how to orientate it. This is coming through a speaker at the entrance wall.

b. The second interactive station (see below), plays some music when the participants connect the laser beam correctly. It is not very loud. It will be random when it is playing (it depends on if it is being used).

c. The third side of the room contains two small speakers which are playing the audio from a video on loop. This video contains interviews with various scientists. 

What about lighting?

There are no flashing or moving lights in the room. The lighting is, therefore, fairly stable. There is just a projection on the ceiling in the centre, which is showing some videos about space. The lighting is at a moderate level, but visitors with limited vision may expect to make use of a guide or their cane if applicable to them. 

Accessing Information Stations

The text that is on the exhibition's information posters and information panels, and photographs of related artefacts, can all be found on this website under the Virtual Adventure pages. This information can also be accessed via QR codes that are located throughout the exhibition. 

At each information station, when you stand on a tactile mat, there will be a tilted information board in front of you. On the bottom right of this information board you will find a QR code (feel for the square). If you scan this QR code you will be directed to the relevant part of this website, containing the related text and images. This should be compatible with mobile device screen readers. Where possible, we have also included related photographs and photographs of the artefacts shown at this station. 

Large print versions of the text are also available in the museum. These are located in trays on the right had side of the information stations, just to the right of the QR codes. 

Interactive Stations

There are six interactive stations throughout the exhibition. These can be interacted with using a mixture of vision, touch and sound - depending on exactly which interactive station you are at. There is information on this website (links below) about each interactive station on this website. On these pages you will find some basic introduction to the topic, some simple instructions on how to interact with the station, and some detailed instructions on how to interact with the station. This information can also be accessed via QR codes that are located on the interactive stations within the exhibition itself.