We love robots!: Love Middlesbrough Lasses on Tour

Claire 🐘

When we saw that a collection of robots, cyborgs and androids was coming to Kirkleatham Museum, we couldn’t plan a Love Middlesbrough Lasses on tour visit fast enough. I mean, ROBOTS!

Running until 10th September, the exhibition includes a variety of robots from movies including Judge Dredd®, Lost in Space®, RoboCop®, iRobot® and my personal favourite, Mars Attacks!® Oh and did we mention a dalek and a certain blue police box…? Yep, you read that right, you can get up close and personal with a dalek, and (oh joy of joys!) you can even take a selfie with it!

Yes we totally did.

No we’re not at all ashamed #geek for life

Housed in the exhibition space across the way from the main museum, Robots is quite honestly brilliant. You can wander around in any direction that takes your fancy and because the exhibits are not roped off or hidden behind barriers, you can really see all the amazing details of the robots – so cool! 😎 And you’re allowed to take photographs so you can basically turn it into your best afternoon ever on Insta Stories or Snapchat 😂

It’s hard to pick which ones were my favourites as there were so many options, but I definitely think Mars Attacks! and The Terminator ones were up there as top choice!

To pick your own favourite you’ll have to go and see for yourself. It’s a safe bet to say that we would highly recommend it! The exhibition costs £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for children, and a family ticket (2 adults + up to 3 children) is £8.50. The museum is open from Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm, and the last admission is 15 minutes before closing time.

Handing over to Love Middlesbrough Lass Rach now to go all heart eyes emoji over the museum, grounds and Sophellies cheesecake, though I deffo second the love in my eyes for that cheesecake – SO GOOD!

Rach 🐱

I’m reliably informed by Redcar and Cleveland council’s website that Kirkleatham Museum lives in a 1710 Queen Anne building, but really that doesn’t go any way to describing how beautiful it is.


😍😍😍

It was originally built as a Free School in the 18th century by Cholmley Turner, who was some kind of politician. I’ve tried to find some interesting information about him, but there doesn’t seem to be any, unless you’re interested in politics in the 1700s! Instead, let’s just marvel at the building again…

As if this beauty wasn’t enough, there’s also the absolute coolest fountain ever right in front of the entrance to the museum. If I could dedicate an entire instagram account just to photographing this fountain, I think I legitimately would!

The grounds are magical too; there’s cobbled paths and trees as far as the eye can see. I felt like a little Victorian child wandering around and exploring, but that’s probably (definitely) just me.

Plus there’s loads of nature…

… and white peacocks! White peacocks! I never knew I fangirled over them but apparently I do!


Apologies for the rubbish photo, I was trying to take it through a glass door without scaring them away!

It wouldn’t be a Lasses post without some mention of food and oh-em-gee, this was particularly amazing food – I’d like to just live at Sophellies forever if that’s at all possible! I don’t know how else to describe it, but it was like eating a light, fluffy piece of heaven. And in such gorgeous surroundings too; perfect for unwinding on a Friday afternoon!

Between the exhibition (I took like 3 selfies with the dalek!), the food and the surroundings, this was the best afternoon out I’ve had in a long time!

P.S. I was very much geeking out over the fact that they were playing Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds in the exhibition. I had to resist the urge to sing as I was looking around, especially when The Spirit of Man came on; it’s my fave 😍

d-FORMED: A Personal Journey by Kev Howard

d-FORMED is the startling autobiographical exhibition of Kev Howard. It is an incredibly hard hitting yet at the same time sensitive photographic record of the physical challenges and the constant surgical procedures Kev has faced over the years.

kev-howardKev Howard is an instantly recognisable figure, often to be seen clicking away with his camera at local gigs and events. He is surely the only expert didgeridoo player on Teesside and often performs live with his array of instruments. Both skills he has mastered with his mechanical hand. But I had absolutely no idea about the medical history, the painful decisions and indeed pain he has endured to get to this point. To say that the exhibition has been an eye opener would be a gross understatement. But also it underlines once again what a wonderful photographer and a great artist Kev undoubtedly is.

The exhibition starts as we confront a representation of the mask that Kev would have worn as he was anaesthetised before going down to surgery as a young lad. The emotions of fear were gradually superseded as he grew older and more experienced. But it is still a very stark gateway for us to the photo representations of the operations and outcomes as his growing body was realigned.

kev-my-left-footIt isn’t something I have ever really thought about before the decisions as to whether to increase function or even sacrifice a limb. I guess I have a tiny insight in that I was born with an extra digit and have been left with a thumb that only half works but that is absolutely nothing whatsoever compared to Kev growing facing so many physical challenges. These are challenges he still has to live and cope with throughout his life.

I found there was real beauty in the photography. When Kev replaces his limbs with coloured sculptured forms he forces us to think about why we often see beauty as skin deep or not.

kev-howard-formsThe final blood spattered image confronts the present system of appeals people must now leap through for disability benefits and all the trauma people are being put through. After Kev’s exhibition we are better placed to realise the back history and the physical and emotional ordeals some being reassessed for benefits have been through already.

kev-howard-bloodThis is such a brave exhibition for Kev to undertake. He has put his body on the line for surgery and now once again through his lens. It is a powerful statement brilliantly presented. For the viewer you will go on a real journey and I think be much enriched and rewarded for taking it.

D-Formed is displayed until 23 April at Dorman Museum that is open Tuesday to Sunday every week.