Heritage Heroes Award 2019

In March 2019 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 at museums and heritage organisations in Cornwall.

The Heritage Heroes award celebrates the dedication and achievements of heritage volunteers.

 

 

Heritage Heroes Award –  Joint Winner (Larger Organisations)
Cornwall’s Regimental Museum: Relaxed Opening Team

 

This amazing volunteer team was crucial to the success of Cornwall’s Regimental Museum’s first relaxed openingdesigned for people with autism or sensory processing disorders. The insights of the team, who had experience in healthcare, nursing and teaching students with special educational needs, helped transform the museum; from adjusting levels of lighting and sound, to creating the sensory space and offering craft activities for children and young people of differing abilities. The team’s warm welcome and hands-on support meant they received lots of positive feedback. Their relaxed openings are now a regular feature at the museum.

 

 

Heritage Heroes Award –  Joint Winner (Larger Organisations)
Museum of Cornish Life, Helston: Helston Makes It!

 

Led by Jude Carroll, this group of five proactive, hardworking and truly collaborative volunteers developed and ran Helston Makes It! a two-week celebration of the town and the museum, experienced by over 1200 people. Building on the success of last year’s festival, the team took the sessions into schools, working with a local school to produce an animated film. Over the two weeks of the festival the team created an exhibition, a programme of 17 workshops, a screening of the local school’s animated film, and an end celebration event showcasing the skills of over 30 local makers.

 

 

Heritage Heroes Award – Winner (Smaller Organisations)
Lawrence House Museum, Launceston: Launceston U3A Local History Group.

 

 

The Launceston U3A Local History Group have been working for several years surveying and photographing the buildings within the old walled town and researching their history. Their work resulted in the popular ‘Launceston Buildings: Vernacular Buildings within the Old Town Walls of Launceston’ exhibition. Over a period of nearly 20 years, the History Group has also produced a series of other local history monographs, which provide a permanent record of the research by the history group and other volunteers. A copy of each monograph is sent to the Cornish Studies Library.

 

 

Heritage Heroes Award  – Highly Commended (Larger Organisations)
Telegraph Museum Porthcurno: Engineer Volunteer Team

 

 

The dedicated Engineer Volunteer team at Telegraph Museum Porthcurno give approximately 2,500 hours time to the museum every year. Their knowledge is essential to servicing and repairing the delicate and specialist equipment that is central to the museum’s Designated Collection and visitor experience. This includes the fully working Automatic Regeneration (Regen) system situated in the tunnels that forms the only authentic, working telegraph station remaining in the UK. This year the volunteers have been given a dedicated space in the museum to create the exhibition, ‘I Spy: The Secret Listeners’, which runs April – November 2019.

 

 

Heritage Heroes Award – Highly Commended (Smaller Organisations)

 

 

Padstow Museum: A New Museum for Padstow

 

When a member of the community left a generous bequest to the museum, the volunteer-led Padstow Museum focused their efforts and organised themselves into task force teams to move the museum to a new permanent location at the Old Station House. Determined to address the issues faced in their old building, the team set out to make the new museum family friendly and welcoming. This included having level access for pushchairs and wheelchairs and a hearing loop for visitors and new volunteers. Their hard work paid off as in the first five weeks, the museum received over 2,800 visitors – well above their usual number for that time of year and a great deal of positive feedback. They have also gained over £1,000 in donations – more than their previous annual intake.

 

 

Newquay Heritage Archive & Museum: Newquay Old Cornwall Presentation Team

 

The presentation team at Newquay Heritage Archive & Museum carry out the vital work of sharing the local heritage and publicising the museum. The team carry out large numbers of visual presentations throughout the year to schools, colleges, social groups and other organisations. These can cover geographically the whole of Cornwall and include not just Newquay-related historical and cultural topics, but also a wide range of Cornish subjects. Over the last year, the team carried out displays and exhibitions at ten local festivals and events interacting with over 2500 individuals, eight school and college activities with about 250 young people, 24 visual presentations, guided walks and site tours involving 850+ people. The friends and connections the presentation team make ensures the future of the museum.

 

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