News from the Museums of Tuxford

by | 8 February 2023 | Community facility, Heritage, Sherwood

As we look forward to February, thoughts turn to love prompted by a fascinating book in Tuxford’s Walks of Life Museum: Mrs Beeton’s book on how to write letters including love letters. Have you ever written to those your love? Or shared your love of things, be it the countryside, animals, birds or a hobby? Talk with others and spread a little happiness and hope for the future in the winter gloom.

The Walks of Life Museum will have taken part in the big bird watch in January and is looking forward to arrival of new lambs .Embracing the love of creativity, the Museum will be holding its first craft fair in the barn on Saturday 4th March ,and a general auction sale on the last Saturday in March where you can dispose of you unwanted household items, tools, furniture etc .Contact Diane for details on 01777 872776 or

At the Museum of the Horse discover the true story of love and tragedy behind two pictures in the museum. Elisabeth Empress of Austria was a very beautiful woman known to her friends as Sisi. She was one of the most important royal ladies in Europe but she didn’t enjoy court life; she loved horses and being a very fine rider. England was considered one of the finest hunting countries in the world and so she came to England to hunt.

In the 19th century a lady would have hunted side saddle, and it was customary for a gentleman to pilot her across country to keep her safe. Bay Middleton was asked to pilot her; he was known as a ladies’ man. He refused, saying he wasn’t going to ruin a day’s hunting to escort a woman, but eventually agreed. Impressed by her riding ability and the fact she had probably never been told what to do resulted in them spending two seasons hunting in England and one and a half in Ireland. On the second trip to Ireland she travelled light, only taking 20 tons of luggage.

During the second season she was recalled to Austria due to political problems. She wasn’t able to return and Bay married someone else and was killed in a race riding accident. Tragedy struck again with the Mayerling affair in 1889. Her son, the Crown Prince, took his lover to Mayerling where they were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide pact, resulting in there being no direct heir. His cousin, the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, become Emperor. His assassination in 1914 led to WWI. More tragedy followed in 1897 when his sister burned to death. In 1898 the Empress visited Geneva where a Italian anarchist plunged a sharpened file into her chest piecing her heart. Eighty two sovereigns followed her coffin.