Thousands of people were wowed at a night of ‘Wisdom, Wonders and Widgets’ hosted jointly by Oxford Brookes and the Ashmolean Museum.

On Friday March 14, more than 5,600 visitors met students, staff and alumni from Brookes running research showcases around the museum or giving musical performances.

Queues for the fun and awe-inspiring research showcases reflected the tremendous popularity of the night. The event was part of the museum’s series of Live Fridays and marked the announcement of the start of the University’s 150th anniversary.

There were more than 20 research showcases and musical performances held around the museum during the evening event.

Visitors of all ages had a chance to meet Artie the Robothespian robot, try their hand at drawing, learn about the University’s rich history, turn their smartphone into a microscope, have their gait analysed and learn how to save life as well as explore many more showcases manned by University researchers.

Bands formed by students, staff and former students played in the Basement Café while solo musicians performed throughout the museum.

Hundreds of tweets sent to the #LiveFriday hashtag revealed how the people of Oxford were swept up in the fantastic atmosphere – impressed by the world-class expertise on display and the huge amount of friendly Brookes volunteers:

The Ashmolean Museum (‏@AshmoleanMuseum) tweeted afterwards: “What an amazing #LiveFriday! Thanks to everyone at @Oxford_Brookes & to everyone who came along and joined in. See you at the next one!”

June Girvin, Pro Vice-chancellor and Dean of Faculty (Health and Life Sciences), said of the night: “The 150th anniversary launched with a tremendously successful and very special event at the Ashmolean. We are extremely proud of our roots in the city of Oxford.

“There was a real ‘buzz’ to the evening and a wide range of further celebrations will build on this success, starting in September with many public events taking place at our impressive new John Henry Brookes building in Headington.

“Last week’s Live Friday together with the opening of the John Henry Brookes Building in February, marks the beginning of an exciting new phase for the University.”

Photo: Toliesel, comprised of former students, play the Basement Cafe in the Ashmolean Museum during Live Friday.