Heritage Heroes Award

In March 2018 Cornwall Museums Partnership and SW Museum Development hosted the very first Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place in our museums.

This week we recognise the invaluable contribution made by the volunteer teams within heritage organisations across Cornwall. Without volunteers, our heritage would not be protected for everyone to enjoy, learn from or be inspired by in the future.

The judges found this a particularly difficult award to judge and wanted to express thanks and appreciation to all the entrants.


Joint Winner – Heritage Heroes Award (smaller organisations) Newquay Old Cornwall Society; Archaeology Group

Under the guidance of Sheila Harper this group tirelessly cares for ancient archaeological sites around the Newquay area. Never afraid of hard work, they do everything from clearance to remedial and preservation work and have brought the ancient late Saxon village at Mawgan Porth back off the English Heritage risk register. The group meet throughout the year and undertake site monitoring, provide talks and guided walks and actively encourage others in learning about and enjoying our heritage.


Joint Winner – Heritage Heroes Award (smaller organisations) Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol, Looe; Winter Team

The museum was left without leadership when both former curators fell ill and were facing a very difficult future. However, the volunteer team stepped forward and worked tirelessly to care for, identify, research and redisplay the artefacts. The process has enabled the volunteers to completely refresh the museum and learn a lot more about Looe’s heritage which they can share with their visitors. It hasn’t stopped there, they are now working on events and activities to encourage and build new audiences.


Highly Commended – Heritage Heroes Award (smaller organisations) The Castle Heritage Centre, Bude; The Castle Archive Team

The archive team at The Castle Heritage Centre are a group of skilled and dedicated volunteers who care for the collections twice a week, keeping meticulous records, recording environmental data and caring for the objects across 3 sites; The Heritage Centre, The Barge Workshop and The Old Forge. The team also support and encourage others, through the return to work schemes as well as work experience initiatives, family history research and public enquiries. It is clear that the volunteers are prepared to go above and beyond for the good of the Heritage Centre.


Winner – Heritage Heroes Award (larger organisations) Wheal Martyn; Historic Crane Conservation Project

Volunteers were absolutely at the heart of this conservation project from the very start through to undertaking the work. Following professional conservation advice, Peter and Ray undertook painstaking conservation, working outdoors in all weathers. It was a long and hard job, particularly given the number of pieces the crane was dismantled into. Peter and Ray were later joined by three new volunteers, Ken, Andrew and during the summer holiday Gavin, a student from St Austell College. The project has been featured as a case study in the  Association of British Transport and Engineering Museums Guidelines for the Care of Larger and Working Historic Objects.


Highly Commended – Heritage Heroes Award (larger organisations); Geevor Tin Mine; Muckers & Loco Restoration Group

Locos and muckers were used at Geevor to transport rocks underground and the shed where they were repaired is still in operation. Jack, John and Kevin have been enthusiastically restoring the vehicles and have spoken with people who still work in the mining industry and sought the knowledge of former miners and engineers to assist them in their work. The team have worked tirelessly to ensure the project is successful by chatting with visitors and sharing progress on Facebook. They provide an enormous contribution to Geevor and the wider story of Cornish Mining.


Highly Commended – Heritage Heroes Award (larger organisations); Helston Museum; Education Pod

Helston Museum Education volunteers take care of all the many school visits to the museum, everything from taking bookings to devising and delivering activities, such as their Victorian schoolroom and evacuee sessions. The team create an immersive learning experience where all participants feel as though they have travelled back in time. They are extremely hardworking and imaginative and were pivotal in enabling Helston Museum to gain a Sandford Award for Heritage Education.


Bryony Robins, Museum Development Officer – bryony@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk

Family Friendly Award

Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Museum Development created the very first Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place in our museums and heritage organisations.


Each week we are highlighting their fantastic work across Cornwall. This week we are focussing on the award for the activities and services provided that create all-round excellent family visits.


Winner – Mevagissey Museum, Walk with Me Story walk app with Kneehigh Theatre


The museum worked with Kneehigh Theatre and Cornwall One Parent Support to create a series of short audio stories. These were gathered from local memories prompted by museum artefacts and locations around the town, the app weaves them into a town trail. The museum hosted memory gathering events with groups of older and younger people, and the final app was launched with a tea time treat event. The museum also offers a number of family trails with a monthly prize draw, and every child receives a souvenir postcard as a memory of their visit. To follow the trail please visit the website.


Highly Commended – Lostwithiel Museum – Children’s Trail

Lostwithiel Museum’s children’s trail is a free activity for families with young children. It was designed to encourage them to explore the contents of the museum and to help them learn about Lostwithiel’s history in a fun way. Miniature Sylvanian animals are dressed in costumes that epitomize the characters that illustrate the life featured in the displays. Each character has a clue to lead the child to the next story. There are clues to solve along the way and each child receives a reward sticker.


Highly Commended – Penryn Museum – Marmaduke the Museum Mouse


Marmaduke is a cartoon character that was created to help make the museum more user-friendly for younger visitors. The museum team felt that some artefacts needed a little more interpretation to help them come to life for children. The Marmaduke characters are places around the museum and moved on a regular basis to create changing trails, quiz sheets and activities that encourage young visitors to explore, discover and have fun with history.


Bryony Robins, Museum Development Officer – bryony@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk

Brilliant Things – Frances Tout

We’re pleased to welcome Frances Tout to Brilliant Things later this month. Frances will be talking about how Fun Palaces can create organisational change, alongside Stella Duffy.

Frances is Service Delivery Manager for Libraries Unlimited, working with library teams across Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge. With a passion for libraries and community engagement, Frances has led on Fun Palaces for North Somerset and Devon Libraries. Frances was the recipient of the 2015 Travelling Librarian Award and a Carnegie UK Trust Library Lab Partner 2016/17.

Find her on Twitter @FrancesTout

Frances Tout

Brilliant Things – Mark Barrett

We’re delighted to be welcoming Mark Barrett to Brilliant Things later this month. He will be talking about inclusive approaches to neuro-diversity with Tom Weir.

Mark was one of the Museums Association Transformers last year alongside being a trainee at Colchester and Ipswich Museums. He is currently a student at the University of East Anglia and his work involves advocating for Autism Awareness and Inclusion at the heart of museums.

Find him on Twitter @Mbarrettmuseums


Brilliant Things – Tom Weir

We’re delighted to welcome Tom Weir to Brilliant Things later this month. Tom will be talking about inclusive approaches to neuro-diversity alongside Mark Barrett.

Tom is currently mid-way through his PhD at De Montfort University looking at the history of learning disability sport in the UK, which has involved working with Special Olympics UK. He’s also been advising Leicester Council museums service on neurodiversity, researched the ‘Rugby in all its forms’ section at the World Rugby Museum in Twickenham, and is a member of ‘Project Aspie’.

Find him at www.tomweirhistorian.co.uk or on Twitter @tweir8

Brilliant Things Full Programme

This full day event will shine the spotlight on diversity, leadership, participation and making change happen. It will also provide the perfect platform to share, discuss and debate further ideas.

The conference is FREE to attend, but booking is essential.

The full programme is as follows:


Welcome to Brilliant Things

Emmie Kell, Cornwall Museums Partnership


The Creative Case for Diversity

Collette Cork-Hurst, Arts Council England

What is the Creative Case for Diversity? Why is it priority for Arts Council England? Colette will be exploring how greater diversity can lead to increased sustainability and resilience for the future.


(Delegates then choose either Cornwall Museum Strategy Toolkit or Inclusive Approaches to Neuro-Diversity)


Cornwall Museums Strategy Toolkit

Dr. Tehmina Goskar, Curators Institute and Cornwall Museums Partnership

Join Tehmina for a first-look at the new Cornwall Museums Strategy Kit and how this can help you.

Inclusive Approaches to Neuro-Diversity

Tom Weir and Mark Barrett

Join Tom and Mark to hear more about accessible and engaging programming with neuro-diverse audiences and the practical steps museums can take to include people with autism


Fun Palaces Creating Organisational Change

Stella Duffy, Fun Palaces and Frances Tout, Libraries Unlimited

Why are Fun Palaces good for your organisation? Hear from Stella and Frances about how Fun Palaces have created a step-change for Libraries Unlimited with libraries large and small, rural and urban. Take part in this interactive workshop to find out how Fun Palaces might work for you.


Making Grassroots Change Happen

Dr. Tehmina Goskar, Curators Institute and Cornwall Museums Partnership

How well do you know your grassroots? How well do you know your own roots? Change starts with you. Hear about the power of self-awareness in leading grassroots change.


Sense of Place: A collaborative project with young care leavers led by Penlee House and Royal Cornwall Museum

Liz Shepherd, Royal Cornwall Museum and Zoe Burkett, Penlee House

Liz and Zoe will be sharing the benefits of the two museums working together to deliver a creative project for young care leavers.


Making a Memory Café part of Wheal Martyn’s offer

Maggie Trubshaw and Sue Ford, Wheal Martyn

Maggie and Sue will be sharing their experience of setting up Wheal Martyn’s Memory Café and the impact this has had on the museum and the wider community.


Growing Relationships with volunteers at Falmouth Art Gallery

Tamsin Bough and Sarah Scot, Falmouth Art Gallery

Join Sarah and Tamsin to hear how their Fun Palace, and taking part in the Love Falmouth volunteer makers scheme, has helped the gallery to grow relationships with the local community.


Book your place now

Audience Initiative Award

In March of this year Cornwall Museums Partnership and SW Museum Development hosted the very first Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place in our museums.

This week we are focusing on the work undertaken that has introduced new audiences to heritage.

Winner – Audience Initiative Award (smaller organisations) was won by Perranzabuloe Museum for the Heritage on the beach project

Perranzabuloe Museum created a pop-up museum on Perranporth beach, complete with a programme of talks that highlighted the mining heritage evident in the landscape around them, for the many diverse visitors to the beach. The museum was open with a display about the impact that climate has made on the beach. The project was a partnership between the museum, parish council and Exeter University, and students helped with public surveys and promotional activities that helped to attract new audiences and raise the profile of Perranporth’s mining and environmental heritage.

Highly Commended – Newquay Heritage Archive & Museum – Tide & Time

Time and Tide was a collaborative project between Blystra Arts and the museum, to create a range of creative activities that encourage engagement in heritage. These included a historically accurate play with choreographed dance sequences and original music. The museum also provided heritage walks and talks and activities for school children. They play was performed to a large audience at Newquay’s Art8 festival, and will be reproduced at the many more festivals in Newquay throughout the season.


Highly Commended – The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society – Falmouth History Week

The Poly volunteers worked with community partners to deliver a week long local history festival to celebrate the people who ‘lived in a place like this’ and bring the rich cultural heritage of the Falmouth area to life. The programme included a range of traditional, creative and learning opportunities designed to appeal to a wide range of people including a family fun day, mini film show, schools’ activities and a Cornish Cabaret performance. The project was aimed at introducing and inspiring people who do not normally engage with heritage.

Winner – Audience Initiative Award (larger organisations) was won by Penlee House Gallery & Museum for their Inclusion project

The museum undertook a range of activities to find ways that would enable people with partial or no sight to access and enjoy the museum and art gallery. Working with iSight Cornwall who support people with visual impairments, and the Penzance Macular Society, they trialled a range of interpretation tools to improve the gallery visit including audio guides, LED torches and adapting the building with tactile ‘bumpons’ for lift buttons and stair rails. The museum also provided workshops that led to an exhibition of their work. Staff and volunteers gained training in welcoming and guiding visitors with visual impairments.

Highly Commended – Falmouth Art Gallery FOMO – Falmouth Art Publishing Book Fair

Falmouth has around 5,000 students, who rarely visit museums in the town, so Falmouth Art Gallery decided to run an event to engage them. Working in conjunction with four tutors of Falmouth School of Art the gallery held the First Falmouth Art Publishing Book Fair. The Book Fair had four distinct strands: independent publishers with stalls in the 3 galleries on first floor; talks in the Council Chamber; workshops and performances mainly in the Library spaces. The project complemented the ‘OUTspoken’ exhibition of movements and manifestos.

Highly Commended – National Maritime Museum Cornwall – Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed

The major temporary exhibition Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed was the largest gathering of objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK featuring over 400 artworks, photographs and historic artefacts. The audience was engaged in co-curating the exhibition, and people were able to tell the stories of their tattoos as part of the museum interpretation. The museum ran a supporting programme of late openings and exciting events. The museum aims to continue to engage a younger audience with targeted programming in future years.


Bryony Robins, Museum Development Officer – bryony@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk


Cornish Heritage Award

In March of this year Cornwall Museums Partnership and SW Museum Development hosted the very first Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place in our museums.


Each week we are highlighting the fantastic work created within museums and heritage organisations across Cornwall. This week we are focussing on the award for the initiative or project that had wide appeal and has raised the profile and understanding of Cornish Heritage.


Winner – St Neot Local Historians for the West Northwood Dig, Eat and Sing

The discovery of an unscheduled Bronze Age Village on the southern slope of Bodmin Moor offered the owners and St Neot Local Historians the opportunity to explore our local heritage. This was achieved by a community excavation of a Bronze Age roundhouse, Open Day demonstrations, school visits and songs inspired by the site. The connection between people and place supported and inspired the singing that celebrated the finish of the dig. More details can be viewed at http://www.westnorthwoodfarm.com

Highly Commended – Falmouth Art Gallery – Artists Afloat – Tuke and Hemy At Sea

An exhibition that detailed the work of Falmouth’s 2 Royal Academians; Charles Napier Hemy and Henry Scott Tuke. The idea behind the show was that the paintings featured in the show were scenes that either artist would have seen from their floating studios out on the seas off Falmouth. Importantly, they returned some major works to Cornwall. The exhibition has potential to tour abroad, and also helped to promote the reputation of Falmouth as a late 19th c. artists’ colony putting it on a level footing with Newlyn and St Ives.


Highly Commended – South East Cornwall Museums Forum – Grand Family History Discovery Day

South East Cornwall Museums Forum consists of nine heritage organisations and together they planned a one-day event to promote engagement in family history, heritage and their organisations. The event was open to other organisations across Cornwall and Devon. The public could view the 21 market stalls, learn about how to research and start their research, take part in activities and sample home-made cakes. The hall buzzed with visitors all day, and there were many squeals of delight from visitors who were helped to find answers to their many varied queries.


Bryony Robins, Museum Development Officer – bryony@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk