Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019

In March, Cornwall Museums Partnership and SW Museum Development hosted the annual Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place across museums in Cornwall.

In our final blog looking back at this year’s awards, we take a shine a light on the Cornish Object of the Year Award. This category was open to public vote and showcased some of the magnificent objects in museum collections across Cornwall.

Winner – Cornish Object of Year Award
The Gurney Stove – The Castle Heritage Centre Bude

 

The Castle Heritage Centre, Bude, collecting the award for winning Cornish Object of the Year 2019.

 

The Gurney Stove – located at The Castle Heritage Centre, Bude – was one of the most successful inventions of Cornishman Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. A forerunner to the modern radiator, the stove had a unique design, resting in a trough of water that transmitted heat as it evaporated. The Gurney Stove heated over 10,000 churches, schools, and government buildings across the country including St. Paul’s Cathedral. There are still some working examples in cathedrals at Chester, Hereford and Tewkesbury.

Click here to watch the Cornish Object of the Year vlog featuring the Gurney Stove.

 

Highly Commended – Cornish Object of the Year Award

 

 

The Bethlehem Pasty – Museum of Cornish Life, Helston

 

The Bethlehem Pasty – located at the Museum of Cornish Life, Helston – was carved from stone by William (Bill) Jewell in Bethlehem in 1943, when he was feeling homesick for Cornwall during WWII. Bill kept his handmade memento throughout his life. Bill’s family chose to donate the pasty along with photos, medals, and archive documents to the museum to keep his story going.

Click here to watch the Cornish Object of the Year vlog featuring the Bethlehem Pasty.

Museum staff holding the Bethlehem Pasty and an old picture of the maker Mr Jewell

 

Cornish Miner’s Sweetheart Jewellery – Cornish Global Migration Programme

 

The Cornish Miner’s Sweetheart Jewellery – located at Cornish Global Migration Programme in Redruth – is a symbol of the ‘Great Cornish Diaspora’ where many Cornish men went to follow the lure of riches in gold rushes across the globe. Many sent home money made from their endeavours to support their extended families in Cornwall. The more successful migrants would send home artefacts such as jewellery.

Click here to watch the Cornish Object of the Year vlog featuring the Cornish Miner’s Sweetheart Jewellery.

 

 

The Penzance Market Cross – Penlee House Gallery and Museum

 

The Penzance Market Cross is a treasure of the town. Over 1000 years old, standing 7ft tall and weighing almost a ton, it is carved from a single slab of local granite. It currently sits outside Penlee House Gallery and Museum, the latest of seven locations around the town. In earlier times, the cross had inscriptions on all four sides, but centuries of weathering and erosion mean that these designs are now hard to make out.

Click here to watch the Cornish Object of the Year vlog featuring the Penzance Market Cross.

 

 

St. Mary’s Church Clock Hand – Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol, Looe

 

The St. Mary’s Church Clock hand – located at The Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol – is from one of only two single-handed clocks found in Cornwall. Dating from the 1700s, St Mary’s Church in East Looe is a well-known landmark just a few metres from the beach. The clock on the church tower was made by John Belling of Bodmin, whose family later went into making domestic goods such as the “Baby Belling” cooker.

Click here to watch the Cornish Object of the Year vlog featuring St. Marys Church Clock Hand.

 

 

‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Hood Ornament and Mould – Wheal Martyn

 

This example of Rolls Royce’s automotive icon is located at Wheal Martyn Clay Works and represents the enduring relationship between Cornish clay and the aerospace industry. Developed in Cornwall in the 1930s, Molochite from which the mould is constructed, would become an important element in the casting of turbines blades for jet engines. Due to this Rolls Royce would become one of Cornwall’s china clay industry’s most prestigious customers.

Click here to watch the Cornish Object of the Year vlog featuring the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Hood Ornament and Mould.

 

Audience Initiative Award 2019

In March, Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Museum Development hosted the annual Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place across museums and heritage organisations in Cornwall.

This week we are showcasing the Audience Initiative Award category, which highlights successful projects that reach and attract new audiences for heritage.

Audience Initiative Award – Winner (Larger Organisation)
Royal Cornwall Museum: RCM x Truro Foodbank Pilot Scheme

 

Royal Cornwall Museum, winners of the Audience Initiative Award.

 

Following a conversation with a volunteer, Royal Cornwall Museum approached Truro Foodbank with the suggestion of including free-entry passes with food parcels over the summer holiday period. It was felt that those who might benefit most from the museum’s family-focused activities over the summer holidays were potentially being excluded by the entrance fee. The trial saw 80 passes handed out with a staggering 90% take-up rate, far surpassing expectations and delighting museum staff. The scheme gained local and national press coverage, leading to similar trials popping up across the UK.

 

A photograph of a foodbank and a culture pass from Royal Cornwall Museum

 

Audience Initiative Award – Winner (Smaller Organisation)
St. Cubert Church: Sacred Land, Saints and Sand

 

A photograph of St Cubert Church with their Audience Initiative Award.

 

Aiming to engage with new audiences who may not have visited before, St. Cubert Church ran a series of free workshops exploring some of the skills that feature in the church architecture, including stained glass and stone carving. The art workshops encouraged hands-on interaction with the heritage of the space, a chance to have some quiet time and to learn a new skill. Examples from the workshops also formed the basis of a handling box that was taken out for sessions in memory cafes and care homes, facilitating a church experience for those less able to access the space. The feedback from these sessions found that the participants enjoyed the interaction and generally felt happier afterwards.

 

Photograph of a person carving a pattern out of sandstone.

 

Audience Initiative Award – Highly Commended (Larger Organisations)

 

Cornwall's Regimental Museum and Museum of Cornish Life collecting their certificates.

 

Museum of Cornish Life, Helston: Can We Really Fit It In?

 

Spotting that the story of RNAS Culdrose in Helston was missing from the Museum of Cornish Life, a volunteer who also worked at the naval base, wondered if she could help fill that gap by creating a small display of archive material. After developing the relationship with RNAS Culdrose, the exhibition grew from a small display to a large temporary exhibition which included the tail-end of a Sea Hawk helicopter. The exhibition brought in a new audience to the museum, recognising the importance of the naval base to the history of Helston and Cornwall.

 

Screenshot of a helicopter tailwing being positioned in the Museum of Cornish Life, Helston.

 

Cornwall’s Regimental Museum: Fun Palaces Bodmin

 

In 2018, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum took part in the Fun Palaces campaign for cultural democracy. Fun Palaces are free events for everyone, encouraging everyone to be a scientist and everyone to be an artist. Working with six other organisations across Bodmin, they created a town-wide Fun Palace for a weekend packed full of action. It was the first time that the museum had got involved with activities that encouraged audiences to travel across the town. The pebble hunt was a real success and many visitors were arriving at the museum and asking for their stamp to show how many Fun Palaces across Bodmin they had visited. The Fun Palaces resulted in the largest number of visitors to the museum in a single day ever.

 

A photograph of a child and their grandfather at Fun Palaces in Bodmin.

 

Audience Initiative Award – Highly Commended (Smaller Organisations)

 

A photograph of the smaller organisations collecting their Audience Initiative Award certificates.

 

Fowey Museum: In Search of Tywardreath

 

Inspired by the memory of a local resident with a passion for heritage, Fowey Museum embarked on locating the site of an ancient Priory, situated somewhere in Tywardreath. What started with tea and chat sessions for older people, recording memories and oral histories, rapidly became more inclusive. A broader range of activities shared learning with the community and involved more people in the discovery of their heritage. Working with the Cornwall Archaeology Unit, the museum organised supervised community digs, test pits in private gardens, family open days with identification of finds, and staged exhibitions in community venues. The project reached over 800 people and provided a reason for many people who would normally be facing issues of rural isolation, to come together and make a meaningful contribution within their community.

 

A group of people excavating with Fowey Museum

 

Mevagissey Museum: Secondary School Collaboration

 

When contacted by a local secondary school student asking for support in his community work, Mevagissey Museum jumped at the chance of mentoring the student. The museum attended the school’s careers evening to promote the various roles and volunteering opportunities at the museum. They also showed a film of the Restoration of a Mevagissey Sunday School banner and the Walk With Me app, to highlight the fact that although the artefacts are old, the museum is in the 21st century. The project has helped build a relationship with the local secondary school, with the aim to inspire young people to become interested in heritage.

 

Environmentally Responsible Award 2019

In March, Cornwall Museums Partnership and SW Museum Development hosted the annual Cornwall Heritage Awards to celebrate and champion the amazing work that’s taking place across museums in Cornwall.

This week we are shining a light on a new category for the 2019 awards. The Environmentally Responsible Award highlights projects or initiatives that have made an organization more sustainable or environmentally responsible.

We would like to thank Tevi Cornwall for sponsoring this award.

Environmentally Responsible Award – Winner (Larger Organisation)
National Trust Godolphin: Energy reduction at Godolphin Count House

 

The National Trust facilities team has taken on a series of measures to reduce the energy consumption of Godolphin Count House. The building’s lighting has been switched to LED bulbs and motion sensor light switches installed in the bathrooms. The main achievement in reducing energy consumption was replacing the two oil boilers, which together used over 8000 litres of oil a year, with one biomass pellet boiler, which now supplies hot water and heating to the whole building. This has all contributed to Godolphin House reducing its energy consumption from 54,806 KWh to under 11 KWh per year, saving money and allowing the National Trust to invest more into their conservation work.

 

Environmentally Responsible Award – Winner (Smaller Organisation)
Newquay Heritage Archive and Museum: Plastics in the Ocean

 

A photograph of Newquay Heritage Archive and Museum, winners of the Environmentally Responsible Award.

Newquay Heritage Archive and Museum has worked with various local partners to promote greater awareness of plastic waste in the town, and the danger of plastics in the oceans. The museum’s partnership with Fistral Beach Cleaning Group provided material for the mobile Vintage Beach Rubbish display, which portrays the striking messages about the longevity of plastics and other packaging along the beaches. Items shown in the display include crisp packets that are over 30 years old! The displays have reached over 5000 people, encouraging many people to reduce their own plastic consumption.

 

Environmentally Responsible Award – Highly Commended (Larger Organisations)

 

A photograph of Museum of Cornish LIfe, Helston and Telegraph Museum Porthcurno highly commended in the Environmentally Responsible Award.

 

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno: Planet PK

 

The Telegraph Museum Porthcurno is embedding ‘global citizen’ ideals into the core values of the organization. Under the initiative PlanetPK the museum is working on a number of projects with the National Trust and Cornwall New Energy. To show that everyone within the organisation is committed to improving their environmental responsibility, the museum director is training as a Marine Mammal Medic and their gardener Paddy has offered his expertise in installing and managing several bee hives, which staff members have volunteered to maintain.

 

Museum of Cornish Life, Helston: Evergreen Maintenance

 

Over the summer months and into winter 2018, two dedicated volunteers from the Museum of Cornish Life, Helston carried out visual inspections of the museum’s 50 plus windows. They found that some of the windows were in a bad state and embarked on repairing, sealing, and painting all the doors and windows at the museum. Their work has extended the life of the windows saving them from landfill, as well as improving the look of the museum building.

 

 

Environmentally Responsible Award – Highly Commended (Smaller Organisations)

 

A photograph of staff from The Castle, Bude and The Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol, Looe.

 

Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol, Looe

 

A change in volunteers at the Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol, Looe created the desire for the museum to be more integrated into the Looe community, and take a more environmentally responsible position. The museum decided to write an Environmental Policy to guide their decision making, they have started their long-term commitment by installing LED lighting, increasing recycling, and finding environmentally friendly suppliers. UV film has also been installed in some of the windows reducing the need for heating and allowing some of the older paintings and artefacts to be on show again in the museum.

 

 

The Castle Heritage Centre, Bude: Making Café Limelight More Environmentally Sustainable

 

The Limelight Café at The Castle Heritage Centre has introduced multiple initiatives to support the Greener Bude campaign, to make Bude the greenest town in the UK. The café has eradicated single-use plastics, offers free refills of tap water, a discount if visitors are using their own reusable takeaway cup, and is focusing on finding more local food suppliers to cut down on food miles.

Cornish Object of the Year 2019 Vlog 6 – ‘St Mary’s Church Clock Hand’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with objects shortlisted for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, hearing from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In my final vlog I speak to Tony Greenbank, a volunteer at The Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol in East Looe, to hear about their shortlisted object the ‘St. Mary’s Church Clock Hand’.

The story surrounding the clock hand is fascinating. The clock hand dates back to 1737 and is from one, of only two, single handed clocks located in Cornwall. In an intriguing act of local rivalry, the clock face of St. Mary’s Church located in East Looe is hidden from the view of residents in West Looe, likewise, the clock in West Looe is hidden from the view of residents of East Looe.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.

Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 12 February 2019 and the winner will be announced at the Cornwall Heritage Awards on Thursday 21 March 2019.

Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 4 – ‘The Bethlehem Pasty’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Rosie Kliskey, Assistant Curator at Museum of Cornish Life in Helston to hear the story behind their shortlisted object the ‘Bethlehem Pasty.’

I hadn’t visited the Museum of Cornish Life before filming the vlog. The museum specialises in the social history of Cornwall and I was surprised at the variety of objects in their collection, from typewriters to mobile phones, and military uniforms to the gigantic, centuries old, cider press. The ‘Bethlehem Pasty’ – which is carved from stone – is a particularly fascinating example of Cornwall’s social history as it enlightens us to the life of William Jewell, a butcher from Cornwall, who served with the Desert Rats in Africa and the Middle East during the Second World War.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.
Voting closes Midnight Tues 12 February 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 3 – ‘Penzance Market Cross’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March, I have been visiting each of the shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Anna Renton, Director at Penlee House Gallery and Museum, to hear the story of their shortlisted object, the ‘Penzance Market Cross’.

It was amazing to hear the story of the cross, which has been a mainstay of Penzance for over 1000 years. It was fascinating to find out about the meaning of the inscriptions, and how the cross has moved to seven different locations around the town.

The Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 is open to public vote, vote for your favourite object here.

Voting closes Midnight 12 Feb.
The winner will be announced at the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

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

Why innovation in museums should be celebrated

When we think about innovation in the arts and heritage sector, we often tend to think about expensive, high-end innovation projects in large museums. But here’s a good question: Can smaller museums be just as innovative? The answer is yes – they can!

We often hear the case of how a 21st century museum should look like, and the one thing that is constantly relevant is innovation and the move towards a more creative and innovative approach. It is, hence, important for museums to stay relevant and to think creatively so they can work more efficiently, effectively and to attract wider audiences.

Cornwall Heritage Awards 2018 – The Innovation Award

The Innovation Award will celebrate projects, initiatives or ways of working which have made museums or heritage organisations in Cornwall more resilient, entrepreneurial or innovative. This might include a ground-breaking fundraising project, an effective partnership which has brought something fresh to your organisation, the introduction of a sustainable solution, or an innovative project or idea that contributed to the financial stability of your organisation.

The award will recognise and celebrate creative and entrepreneurial thinking that has made a difference and contributed to the long-term sustainability of your organisation. The deadline to apply for this award is the 15th of December.

Do not forget: The activity must be a new area of improvement for your organisation, and have been introduced after 1 January 2016.

This category is open to all museums and heritage organisations with separate awards for smaller and larger organisations.

Cornwall Heritage Awards 2018 – Object of the year

Have you ever been to a museum and been mesmerised by a specific object in its collection? I know I certainly have.

Whether you find yourself in a small folk museum, or a large, national, I-need-three-hours-to-see-everything-museum, it is essentially impossible to love every single object within the collection. Different people are usually drawn and attracted  to different objects; the same object that will strike my attention will probably be somewhat passed by most people. I often find myself being captured by an object or painting and spending so much time looking at it, observing it, reading about it and just taking it in. I am sure everyone is familiar with this.

The Cornwall Heritage Awards 2018 – Object of the Year Award

Every collection in every single museum in Cornwall has at least one stellar object, something that tells an amazing story, something iconic or something that’s weird and wonderful. This award provides an opportunity to showcase these amazing artefacts.

Museums can nominate their favourite objects by the 15th of December, and from then on, it is up to the public to decide which object is awarded Object of the Year. We are extremely grateful to Devon and Cornwall Media for making this award possible by public vote, via Cornwall Live.

The story around your object will be as important as the picture – you will need to explain why it’s worth considering, be that because it particularly attention grabbing, of high cultural value or significant to your community.

This award is open to all museums and heritage organisations.

The deadline for award nominations is less than two months away! To see the full list of award categories you can nominate your organisation for, visit our website.