Current Exhibitions

Food and Drink

Food and drink is about more than survival.

We share with friends and family.

We express our personality and cultural identity.
We invent new ways to make food faster or more convenient.


What do these objects say about us?

Exhibition curated by students from Reading University, with thanks to Dr Rhiannon Smith and the Museum of English Rural Life.

Project summary

We gave MA students on the Museums Studies Course at Reading University the following brief:
To design and install an exhibition at the Langley Academy using objects from MERL on the theme of Food. The exhibition should be aimed at academy students from 11 to 18 years old and should support interdisciplinary and cross-curricular teaching techniques. The exhibition should explore different ways of interpreting objects and should give scope for student feedback.

It should:

  • Engage the audience (11-18) with suitable tone, approach and content
  • Meet The Langley Academy design standards
  • Creatively explore the topic of Food
  • Give interpretive options for the students to choose the best approach
  • Invite feedback


How do you think they did?

A taste of history

Try this recipe on the blancmange mould:

Corn Flour Blanc-Mange, Brown and Polson’s

  • 2 ½ oz Corn Flour “Patent Quality”
  • 2 Pints good sweet milk
  • Mix Corn Flour well with a little of the milk
  • Heat the rest of the milk to boiling point
  • Pour Corn Flour into the heated milk, stirring well
  • Add ½ teaspoon of butter
  • Boil and stir well for 10 minutes (by the clock)
  • Sugar and Flavour if desired, but served with jam or marmalade is better
  • Pour into this mould and cool
  • Re-heat gently, in mould if desired, before the fire or in oven
  • Then turn out and serve, cold or hot.


More about Brown and Polson’s Cornflour

“Pioneer, explorer and discoverer” John Polson experimented with maize to invent cornflour in 1854. Find out more here:


Here is a photograph of the rather grand cornflour factory in Paisley, taken in 1928.