Public donations enable Hayle Heritage Centre to buy rare item

Generous public donations have enabled Hayle Heritage Centre to buy a Victorian Officers full dress tunic belonging to Lieutenant Colonel Harvey of the 2nd battalion DCLI. Lieutenant Colonel Harvey was one of the world renowned Harvey’s of Hayle. The Harvey family built up a foundry and engineering empire in the town that was known and respected around the world, including the biggest steam engines ever built.

Laura Walton of Hayle Heritage Centre stated

“We have very few personal items relating to the Harvey family, and named clothes are extremely  rare. This item is not only beautiful but it has full provenance that proves it belonged by Lieutenant Colonel Harvey. Due to generous public donations in the centre last year we were able to buy the tunic when it came up for auction.”

Lieutenant Colonel Harvey was born in 1858 and served with the DCLI.  He served on an Egyptian expedition in 1882 and in the South African War 1899-1902, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1901. (A DSO is awarded for officers showing exemplary conduct in combat.) The uniform does need some conservation work but will be on display in the heritage centre at Harveys Foundry Trust when it re-opens to the public on the 12th of April (11-4). The centre has had a re-hang over winter with lots more artefacts on display and new exhibitions.

The Centre is celebrating their new look with a coffee and cake morning on the 12th of April and a family friendly craft workshop in the afternoon. They are also going to be open on Saturday the 15th of April with free craft activities for children and an Easter Egg hunt from 11-3.

For more information about Hayle Heritage Centre please visit their website, and you can also follow them on Facebook  and Twitter. Alternatively you can call them on 01736 757683.

MA Launches next phase of Museums Change Lives

The Museums Association (MA) has launched the next phase of Museums Change Lives, campaigning for museums to develop their role as socially purposeful organisations and highlighting evidence that museums are working with their communities and delivering positive social impact.

Launch events across the UK will highlight the work that museums are doing to enhance health and well-being, create better places to live and work, and inspire engagement, debate and reflection. The events will be supported by the publication of an advocacy pamphlet detailing how museums are changing lives. The pamphlet is designed to show museums that they can embrace this kind of work whatever their size, location, collection or funding; and for funders, politicians and sector bodies to advocate for what museums can do and the difference that they can make if they are given support.

For more information please click here to read the full article by MA.

Call for Fun Palaces Makers – 7 & 8 October 2017

Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist

In the early 1960s, Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price conceived the Fun Palace as a ‘laboratory of fun’ and ‘a university of the streets’. It was to be a temporary and movable home to the arts and sciences, open and welcoming to all. For many reasons, it wasn’t possible in 1961 and the Fun Palace never came to fruition as a building. The idea however, of a space welcoming and open to all, bringing arts and sciences together, where everyone is an artist and everyone a scientist, remained a GREAT idea.

Fun Palaces is both an ongoing campaign for culture by, for and with all, and also an annual weekend of events, where arts and sciences are a vital catalyst for community engagement and full participation for everyone, from the grassroots up.

Over the first weekends in October 2014 and October 2015 there were 280 Fun Palaces, made by 5262 Fun Palaces Makers, across 11 nations, with 90,000 people taking part. In 2016 there were 292 Fun Palaces, led by 4800 local people, with 124,000 people taking part. 2016 film

Cornwall Museums Partnership and FEAST are delighted to be part of the Fun Palaces Ambassadors Programme that is running in five areas around the UK from October 2016 to October 2019.  With funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and partnering with Wellcome.

If you are interesting in being a maker please get in touch or or visit

This is My Cornwall

Liz Shepherd, Learning and Inclusion Officer
‘This is my Cornwall’ supported by Arts Council England

‘When you have an idea for a project you are never quite sure how it is going to turn out, but this exceeded all my expectations. It was a real pleasure working with the children and staff of both schools and the musicians. We hope to be able to continue this work in the future’.

A sense of place and belonging is important to everyone and that is exactly what a project with the children of migrant families in Cornwall aimed to promote. In partnership with the Cornwall Music Education Hub the learning department from Royal Cornwall Museum worked with two primary schools – Bugle School and Treloweth School in Redruth. The musicians Emma Mansfield and Roger Luxton led workshops with the children learning traditional songs and writing their own piece entitled ‘Walk your way through Cornwall’. Children involved included those who were born in or whose families originated from Portugal, Lithuania, Rumania, Poland and Bengal.

A concert at the Royal Cornwall Museum on 9 February celebrated the children’s learning. The children sang a number of traditional songs including ‘Cornish Lads’, ‘This is my Cornwall’ as well modern songs by Coldplay and Pharrell Williams to a packed audience of parents and family. They were supported by Lost in Song Community Choir and St. Austell Town Band and the concert finished with the two schools singing ‘Walk your way through Cornwall’ resulting in a standing ovation.
This project celebrated diversity, help to foster stronger community links and aimed to promote greater empathy and understanding towards people who have migrated to the UK and specifically Cornwall to live.
Staff at the schools thanked the museum for including them and said that the project had been hugely beneficial to the children’s sense of community and self-esteem.

It’s official, museums make us happy!

20th March 2017 is International Day of Happiness and, in celebration of what makes us happy, here’s a little bit about museums spreading cheer.

Research has proven that visiting museums really does increase our happiness.

In 2013 the Happy Museum Project commissioned a piece of research which revealed that “visiting museums is positively associated with higher levels of happiness”.  The report showed that people put a value on visiting museums at approximately £3,200 per year. Just  one of the reasons why we work to enable more people to visit museums in Cornwall.

Subsequent research commissioned by Arts Council England examined how engaging with different arts and cultural activities affected levels of happiness, in addition to everyday activities like travelling, cooking and shopping, and resulted in similar findings. Participants used the ‘Mappiness’ app to record their feelings whilst engaging in numerous activities to measure how happy they were (these included theatre, dance, exhibition, museum, listening to music, reading, doing hobbies, arts or crafts, performing).

All of the above scored highly, with the top three ‘happy activities’ being:

  1. ‘Theatre, dance, concerts’
  2. ‘Singing, performing’
  3. ‘Exhibitions, museums, libraries’.

What’s more, ‘Exhibitions, museums, libraries’ came in as the top cultural activities which have the most positive effects on feeling relaxed.

So, in the words of ACE’s Director of Policy and Research, Richard Russell,: “Whatever you prefer, arts and cultural activities appear to be some of the best things you can do when you need a little happiness pick-me-up. (…) From this exploratory research, the findings are clear: whether you’re on your own or with friends and family, at a museum, a gallery or gig – arts and culture can make you happy!”

Click here for details on the Happy Museum Project’s report and here for Richard Russell’s blog. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to engage in our Happy Museums campaign using the hashtag #InternationalDayOfHappiness commencing on Monday 13 March.

Top 10 (ish) Tips for Legacy Fundraising

Legacies raise over £2bn every year for charities in the UK, that’s a fourfold increase since the 80’s, and it’s set to continue over the next 40 year years.

Here are our top tips for effective legacy fundraising:

  1. Research, research, and a bit more research. This is integral to a successful campaign. If you run a membership scheme, identify which members have been on the scheme for more than 5 years; do you have a record of who has donated to you before; if your un events do you have a group of people who are always engaged; and don’t forget your volunteers and trustees. In America they use the principle for their boards of “give, get (their friends), or get out” when it comes to fundraising.
  2. Have a great case for support. Explain clearly and passionately why your organisation needs a gift, what difference it will make, and what will happen without it. Tailor your message to the person you’re talking to – again, research and planning are essential.
  3. Start with a legacy campaign. Legacy fundraising should become a natural part of conversations with supporters, but this takes time to develop and can only be done successfully if the right message is embedded throughout your organisation. Start by adding a strapline to all newsletters, emails, websites, leaflets etc.. Something simple like “remember us with a gift in your will”. If you’re going to approach people directly it needs to be done in a strategic way and tactfully. A word of advice – if your museum has never been in touch with someone directly before, don’t make that first contact about asking for money. You can create leaflets specifically relating to legacy or run an event where you have the opportunity to talk face to face with potential donors.
  4. Start conversations. Research shows that talking to people face to face increases the likelihood of them leaving a gift. Invest in the time to properly train your volunteers and staff to identify appropriate times to have a legacy conversation, and how to introduce the topic.
  5. Careful stewardship reaps rewards. Some very simple actions can make a big difference: make sure you keep an accurate up to date record of who has expressed an interest in leaving a legacy, make sure you thank them – in writing from the Director or CEO, ensure they always receive the highest level of customer service, even a small annual event to thank people – behind the scenes tours, meet the curator etc… all help to engage people with the museum and it’s aims.
  6. Allow sufficient time. Legacy has a 40:1 return on investment, but it’s a long term investment, often over many years. Don’t expect quick returns and plan your strategy and resources to reflect this.
  7. Don’t include Legacy income in your annual budget.
  8. Measure what you do. If you don’t know which methods of communication have been successful how do you know what to focus your resources on in the future.
  9. Legacies are not ‘difficult asks’. Professor Russell James talks about legacies being a reflection of someone’s values and experiences. Asking people to consider giving to an organisation and a cause that they’re passionate about is something to be proud of.
  10. Remember – ‘people give to people’ – Eric Grounds.

Joining Forces Exhibition Opening

The Joining Forces Exhibition opened on Wednesday, 1st of March at Helston Museum and it will be running until Saturday, the 11th of March.

The exhibition will show the results of community creative workshops with artist Tony Minnion along with stories relating to the military history of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose and artefacts from the museum collection.
Joining Forces is a project delivered in partnership with Cornwall Museums Partnership, Helston Museum, and Active Plus. It has been generously funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund and the Cornwall Councillor Community Chest Grant Scheme.
Two Culdrose Community Center groups, the Happy Crafters, and Friends and Family group, a group at The Clies, and pupils from both Helston and St Michael’s Schools.