Emerging Voices

Becki and Katie

The Emerging Voices bursary supports museum volunteers or emerging professionals to undertake training, research or placement opportunities that enhance their skills and bring new benefits to their host museum.

Becki Brattin and Katie Bunnell decided to apply for the bursary following their experience as Citizen Curators at Falmouth Art Gallery. They have been awarded the bursary to continue developing their project, “Gut Reaction” which focuses on audience responses to the Margaret Whitford Bequest, a collection of 48 contemporary prints and a sculpture acquired by the gallery through the Artfund.

The collection is remarkably vibrant and graphically strong and while individual pieces have been on display, relatively little is known about the provenance of the collection as a whole. Through their research on Margaret as the source of these collected works, Becki and Katie have discovered there are another 25 pieces located in 8 museums and galleries in the UK.

For this post Becki and Katie have answered three key questions:

Why did you want to continue your “Gut Reaction” Citizen Curators project? 

K: With the continuing support of Falmouth Art Gallery, the Emerging Voices Bursary will enable us to pursue research threads we have discovered through the Citizen Curators project, visit the other pieces in Margaret’s collection, find out what we can about their provenance and to chase stories as they emerge.

For us, the idea that it is possible to have a felt, physical reaction to an artwork is fundamental to enabling everyone to respond to art in their own way. From what we have read about Margaret we understand that this was her approach to choosing art and have used this as the basis for our “Gut Reaction” project. We would like to continue to develop this idea through the creation of the digital exhibit and for workshops that connect to it.

B: Our initial Citizen Curators project took quite a natural progression after learning more about Margaret once we spoke to some of her friends about the type of person she was within her professional and personal life. We are now faced with learning a whole lot more information about Margaret’s further collection which is spread around the UK. It seemed very obvious to try and bring an awareness of Margaret’s other pieces together, in this case through a digital experience – building a portrait of a female Cornish collector and celebrating the collection in its entirety.

What are your hopes and expectations for this project?

B: I’m hoping we can do the collection justice and bring about a beautiful digital exhibition with a very ambitious idea of perhaps, bringing some or all pieces together for a physical exhibition (one day!) Also, I will be keen to explore how we will be able to bring to the surface a little about who a female collector is? Is it important, and if so, how does this stance affect galleries today or previously?

We are expecting to document our journey within the project through the use of blogs, vlogs, Podcasts and Instagram. Hopefully building an informative and enjoyable journey for all to evaluate.

K: I think that the Emerging Voices Bursary opens the possibility of seeing Margaret’s dispersed collection, hopefully bringing it together as a digital exhibit that can be shared with many. Personally, I am really interested in trying to see it from her perspective, to understand a bit more about her motivations as a collector and how this relates to her work as a feminist philosopher, and one who started life in a Methodist community in Cornwall.

Why do you think it will be useful to Falmouth Art Gallery?

K: I think it is a great opportunity to try out new ways of creating a digital exhibit, using the story of the collector as a way in to seeing this dispersed collection as a whole. We would like to develop the digital exhibit as a tool that enables audiences to think about and respond to the artworks and the business of collecting from their own perspectives.

B: Falmouth Art Gallery is very fortunate to be the custodians of such a beautiful and vibrant set of prints from the Margaret Whitford Bequest; we like to think that our project will help to raise the profile of the bequest and give the community and beyond the chance to interact and access the collection as a whole, leaving a fantastic digital collection tool for all to explore alongside more extensive history files for Falmouth Art Gallery.

 

– Becki Brattin and Katie Bunnell

Falmouth Art Gallery

Cultural Democracy and Cultural Rights in Cornwall

What are our museums doing to respond to calls for greater cultural democracy and cultural rights in Cornwall? One of our major cultural democracy programmes is Citizen Curators. In partnership with the Curatorial Research Centre and funded by the Museums Association’s Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, the programme has two clear aims.

The first, to begin to democratise our museum collections by narrowing the gap between Cornish collections and communities; the second, to provide the start of an alternative pathway into museum work. We first piloted Citizen Curators at Royal Cornwall Museum as part of our Arts Council-supported Change Makers programme in 2017/18. Currently, seven NPO funded museums are taking part in the current three-year programme which offers 35 free places on this free curatorial training course.

Tehmina Goskar, Programme Leader, has recently written about how Citizen Curators was developed for Museum-iD magazine, and showcases some of the results and impact so far.

Read: Citizen Curators. An Experiment in Cultural Democracy.

Pride at The Royal Cornwall Museum

Royal Cornwall Museum at Cornwall Pride 2018

The Royal Cornwall Museum Pride Project is a rolling programme which started in 2017. It strives to uncover neglected heritage stories of LGBTQ Cornwall and is an integral platform offering queer events across the Cornish community.

Evidence of sexuality and gender fluidity have often been neglected in history. This is not through lack of evidence in which diversity existed, but representative of how political views can shape the histories being communicated. As a result, queer stories were often ‘straightened out’ or smoothed over, which meant an open discussion of sexuality in history didn’t exist.

The Museums ongoing pride project began with attending Cornwall Pride in 2017. This was followed by a year-long research project into queer history in Cornwall, culminating in a BBC Radio Cornwall series where different queer figures from Cornish history were discussed in the run up to pride 2018.

Publicising these historical queer stories from Cornish history challenges the heteronormativity of historiography, as many of the historical stories discussed in the series are well known local people who have been detached from their queer identity, such as Daphne Du Maurier. It is vital to remember the importance of championing these stories and to offer them a platform of validating Cornish history as queer history, as prejudice is still prevalent in many forms today.

LGBTQ Pride attendees with Royal Cornwall Museum

At Cornwall Pride in 2018 we took along a video recorder and asked attendees why pride in Cornwall was important to them. This contemporary collecting created a snapshot of queer identity which has now been accessioned into the Museums’ permanent collections. This was a significant step for the Royal Cornwall Museum as previously, nothing in the collection (a collection of over 500,000 objects) had been noted as LGBTQ. Despite a 200-year long presence in Cornwall, 2018 was the first time an openly queer object was accessioned.

In 2019, the Museum will be promoting gender fluidity in Cornish History where it will be exploring the stories of Gluck, Samuel Foote, Marlow Moss and many more.

Some may see the museum’s presence at Cornwall Pride as unexpected. The RCM is the first Museum of its time, in Cornwall, to attend Cornwall Pride. Statements such as ‘I did not expect the Royal Cornwall Museum to be at Pride’ and ‘I didn’t think the Museum would be the kind of place to support us’ were often heardThis is exactly the sort of appearance the RCM and historical institutions across the UK are endeavouring to break free from; the National Trust took a big step in exploring queer stories associated with their properties and the V&A have LGBTQ tours of the galleries.

Museums are not intended to be a neutral space and are there to inform and be open to interpretation, acting for and with everyone. The Museum is working hard on celebrating diversity by actively expanding the programme to become more inclusive, and by working with community groups. The Royal Cornwall Museum’s Pride project sends a message of acceptance, it allows the museum to welcome everybody and allows people to interact with their heritage in a way they possibly couldn’t or wouldn’t have before.

Pride at Royal Cornwall Museum 

This August the Museum will host a week-long pride event featuring:

  • An evening with local drag act Roxie Moron on Wednesday 17 August.
  • A talk by Dan Vo, who founded the award-winning volunteer-led LGBTQ Tours at V&A, London and developed Bridging Binaries for University of Cambridge Museums. He works with museums and galleries to shine a light on objects which explore gender and sexual identities through a queer lens.

If you would like to get involved in the Museums Pride project, please apply to be a Citizen Curator with the Museum, as part of the programme will support the Pride project.

Read more on The Hidden Histories of Cornwall’s Queer Community here!

– Sophie Meyer
Marketing and Digital Lead, Royal Cornwall Museum

My Experiences of Firm Foundations Part Two – Elisa Harris

Firm Foundations part two started at the beautiful Tate St Ives. It was great to catch up with everyone again after a three-month gap. The lightning talks in the morning were quite different from the first time around with everyone speaking much more confidently about their projects.

The morning session was focussed on planning permission and building regulations, with a really useful workshop run by representatives from Cornwall Council in which we were able to ask direct questions e.g. What counts as a non-material amendment? and What requires a resubmission to planning? This was followed by a sneak preview of the Anna Boghiguian show with Sara Matson, Senior Curator at Tate St. Ives, which was a rather special added bonus! 

In the afternoon the course covered procurement and value engineering and the day was topped off with a delicious evening meal in the Tate’s Clore Sky studio. We were privileged to be joined by Marketing Manager Arwen Fitch and Andy Bruton who chatted with us openly about their experience of the capital redevelopment – the highs, the lows and the lessons learned.

Andy Bruton talking at the February 2019 Firm Foundations programme

Andy Bruton giving a talk at Firm Foundations

Day 2 was held at Porthmeor Studios and this is where we got into the nitty-gritty of the construction process. It has to be said that by the afternoon we were all suffering a bit from information overload and it was helpful to be reminded that we don’t have to be experts in every field, the project manager you appoint is there to guide you through the process.

The final session was led by Chris Hibbert, Manager of the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, who managed the £4 million renovation of Porthmeor Studios. He gave an inspirational talk and a tour of the studios which a great way of demonstrating how everything we’d learnt could be put into practice.

We were all a bit sad when the course came to an end but we’ve agreed to stay in touch and will be planning a reunion at Krowji towards the end of our Phase 2 redevelopment project, which is now underway!

You can find out more about the upcoming 2019/2020 Firm Foundations programme here.

 – Elisa Harris, Krowji Studio Manager
www.krowji.org.uk

Equip your Facilitator’s Toolkit

This September we are excited to be offering a fantastic training opportunity for people who facilitate meetings, events, and workshops based in the South West.

The two-day ‘Facilitator’s Toolkit’ workshop, delivered by the Association of Facilitators, is a short course that will refresh the basics of facilitator style and provide you with new ways and confidence to lead groups and teams with a focus on assertiveness for facilitators. It is designed for those who want to consolidate, broaden and enliven their style of facilitation. You will be provided with facilitation models, tools and tips.

Course Content

This is an introductory course in facilitation, but it is not basic. If you are looking for a core facilitation model, and are keen to develop your personal style – then this is for you.

The workshop will explore your role as a group facilitator, paying particular attention to skills practice, and awareness building in the live group setting. Participants will have the opportunity to complete the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Inventory, a short questionnaire designed to identify ones preferred approach to conflict and to broaden one’s skill base. We shall apply assertiveness to the role of facilitator and consider Dimensions of Facilitator Style, a practical toolkit designed to equip you with the confidence and skill to effectively handle group processes and group tasks.

You will learn how to direct and guide groups assertively, this includes leading in cooperative and autonomous ways. You will be encouraged to become aware of your own skills, experience, personality and preferences, and use and flex your facilitator style with self-awareness, authority and personal presence. The topic of Group Dynamics is introduced in the context of choosing an appropriate facilitation style and approach.

Practical skills will include: 
  • Developing an assertive style
  • Managing passive, aggressive, or manipulative behaviours.
  • Contracting, setting and managing expectations
  • Being a catalyst for learning and development – moving things forward
  • Handling emotions, particularly where they hinder group effectiveness
  • Challenging and confronting limiting behaviours and attitudes
  • Working with the prevailing group dynamics to create positive outcomes
  • Planning and structuring a facilitated session
Who is this for?

If you are:

  • Working as a consultant, change agent, trainer to a client organisation
  • Working within an organisation as a change agent, group/team leader, manager or project manager
  • In chairing roles at meetings with a developmental purpose (be that business, charity or education)
  • Occasionally called upon to facilitate groups, meetings and teams
  • Embarking upon a career in facilitation.

Cost: £425 including the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Inventory

Click here to book your place

Please contact Clare Pennington if you have any questions, or call us on 01209 500 750

Guest Blog: Join Us in Year Two of Citizen Curators

Dr Tehmina Goskar is the Director of the Curatorial Research Centre and leads Cornwall Museums Partnership’s Citizen Curators programme. We are delighted that Tehmina has kindly written this blog to answer a few FAQs  for anyone who is interested in taking part in the programme.

We have just completed a successful Year One of the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supported Citizen Curators programme. 29 participants who joined as volunteers at their chosen museum successfully completed the programme and received a certificate for their accomplishment.

If you are interested in taking part in Year Two of Citizen Curators, here are some of your questions answered.

Two of the Citizen Curators examining some of Penlee House Gallery and Museum's collection in the object handling session.

 

What is Citizen Curators?

Citizen Curators is a free work-based training programme in museum awareness and modern curatorial practice aimed at volunteers from our community. The programme is provided by Cornwall Museums Partnership in collaboration with seven museums. It is funded for three years by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund administered by the Museums Association. The Programme Leader is Dr. Tehmina Goskar, Curator & Director of the Curatorial Research Centre.

 

When and where does it take place?

The Citizen Curators course takes place between October 2019 – April 2020. Seven Cornish museums are taking part in the programme: Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, Bodmin, Wheal Martyn Clay Works, near St Austell, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, Falmouth Art Gallery, Museum of Cornish Life, Helston, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance and Telegraph Museum Porthcurno.

 

How many places are there?

Each museum has five places. Each year there will be approximately 35 volunteers undertaking the Citizen Curators course.

 

What experience and qualifications do I need?

None. Just a thirst for learning, the ability to demonstrate your curiosity, and be willing to find things out for yourself. You should be able to commit the time needed to make the most of this opportunity. We encourage you bring and to talk about your existing skills and previous experience.

 

A Citizen Curator creating music by hitting a silver plate with a spoon during the interpretation session.

 

How much time do I have to spend on the programme?

You must attend the six core sessions: collections, communities, research, interpretation, communication and curating the Cornish National Collection. These will take place on a monthly basis from October. They will take place in one of the museums in your group. That means about one full day per month. In addition, you will be working on researching and creating content about the collections in your museum. This might be according to a brief set by the museum or it might be on something your group thinks is important. You can expect to commit to between 4 hours to 1 day per fortnight on this. You are welcome to volunteer more hours but this is entirely down to you and your museum. There are also optional opportunities such as field trips and discussion events you will be invited to take part in.

 

What kinds of things will interest me?

Museum collections contain a wealth of untapped knowledge, stories, and ideas from political events and abstract art to family history and science. Our museums are waiting for you to help them share that knowledge with different people. If you get excited by new discoveries, finding something out or asking probing questions then Citizen Curators is for you. The course will teach you how to curate thoughtfully and meaningfully. It will help you to see the relationship between knowledge creation and communication and you will gain a whole set of specific skills as a result.

This year the cohort will be invited to research collections to highlight new stories, particularly those of under-represented people and subjects. This will also include getting involved in the creation of a Cornish National Collection that will reflect the diversity of Cornish society past and present, while also highlighting our distinctive culture.

 

Two Citizen Curators learn how to

 

What do I need to do to sign up?

The seven participating museums are beginning to look for their next candidates. In the first instance, check out their websites and get in touch with the museum that most appeals to you. In due course, they will send you a questionnaire to complete and we will take it from there.

You can contact the museums participating in Citizen Curators by clicking the links below:

Cornwall’s Regimental Museum 

Falmouth Art Gallery

Museum of Cornish Life, Helston

Penlee House Gallery and Museum

Royal Cornwall Museum

Telegraph Museum Porthcurno

Wheal Martyn

 

Dr Tehmina Goskar
Director, Curatorial Research Centre

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.

 

Best Project on a Budget 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 is taking place across museums in Cornwall.

This week we are focusing on the Best Project on a Budget, which highlights projects that have been achieved for less than £500.

Best Project on a Budget  – Winner
Saltash Heritage: Volunteers are the Lifeblood of our Museum.

 

Wishing to celebrate the dedication and commitment of their 48 volunteers, Saltash Heritage has sought to enhance their volunteers experiences through setting up training sessions, talks, and an annual awards ceremony. In the light-hearted awards ceremony, the achievements of the volunteers were recognised with bronze stars they could wear on their lanyards, these included awards such as ‘Museum Squatter’ for the volunteer with the most amount of hours and ‘The One to Always Leap Out of His Chair’.

 

 

Best Project on a Budget – Highly Commended

 

 

Lostwithiel Museum: Creating a Corporate Identity.

 

In February 2018, Lostwithiel Museum launched a whole new corporate identity featuring a new logo and corporate look for all communications including print, signage, and digital output. The new look has allowed the museum to strengthen its brand awareness, providing a cohesive appearance for visitors and allowing the museum to raise its profile. With the new signs, visitors on arrival to the town are able to instantly recognise the museum, that the museum is open, and that admission is free. Since the introduction of the branding, visitor numbers have increased by 60%.

Highly Commended – Bodmin Town Museum: Space Creation/Conservation

 

Through converting a small hidden cupboard into a new hanging storage facility Bodmin Town Museum have improved the conservation of their costume collection. As part of the process of creating the new storage space, each costume item was recorded, catalogued and photographed. The project has allowed the team at the museum to learn more about their costume collection, enabling them to display items and create better access to the collection in future.

Emerging Voices Bursary

The Emerging Voices bursary supports museum volunteers or emerging professionals to undertake training, research or placement opportunities that enhance their skills and bring new benefits to their host museum.

We want to support people who are new to museums to take an active role in developing great experiences and sharing their knowledge with the widest possible audiences.

 

Who can apply?

To be eligible you must:

  • Have an existing relationship with your host museum (either as an employee, volunteer or participant in a regular programme of activity e.g. Citizen Curators or Young Curators)
  • Demonstrate the skills/training need, the benefit to both you as the applicant and your host museum and how this will lead to new approaches or ways of working.
  • Have sought approval from your host museum prior to applying

 

What can you apply for?

We will consider all applications on their individual merit and the difference they are likely to make.

Applications can be made for attending training, conferences or events, undertaking a placement or research opportunity where this leads to sharing of knowledge with audiences, activity which supports greater collaboration and skill-sharing between museums in Cornwall and organisations elsewhere.

You can apply to cover the costs of training, research, travel, back-fill of your time (if you are a member of staff), and any modest material costs that enables you to put your learning into practice. Equipment costs will not be covered.

 

What should your application demonstrate?

  • Value for money and need. We want to support activity which will bring real value to both the individual and host museum and that would not otherwise happen.
  • Collaboration. We want to support individuals, museums and other organisations to work together and to learn and share knowledge with one another.
  • Innovation. We want to support activity that will embolden museums to try new or different approaches. (You may not know exactly how you will put your learning into practice prior to applying however you should have demonstrated what you anticipate may happen as a result of your learning opportunity.)
  • Inclusive. We want to support activity that shares learning across the organisation with other staff and volunteers and which benefits, and makes a difference to, audiences.

 

How much can you apply for?

You can apply for between £500 – £2,000.

 

Sharing the learning

Successful applicants will be required to create two blogs (or vlogs), one prior to/during the activity and the second one after the activity has been completed.

 

How to apply

Send your completed application form to chloe@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk by 9am Friday 24th May.

If you have any questions please call Chloe Hughes, Engagement Lead on 01209 500750.

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.

 

Spotlight on: Imogen Crarer, Assistant Curator Intern at Museum of Cornish Life, Helston

In this blog we catch up with Imogen Crarer, Assistant Curator Intern at Museum of Cornish Life, Helston.

Imogen’s six-month long internship is funded by Arts Council England through Cultivator and Cornwall Museums Partnership, and is one of five new internships supported by Cornwall Museums Partnership’s NPO programme. These opportunities aim to give hands-on, practical experience and create new pathways into the heritage sector.

Imogen moving a 1920s Flapper Dress ready for an exhibition.

Imogen says, ‘My role as Assistant Curator Intern is wonderfully varied. It is giving me skills and experience in collections management, exhibitions, community engagement and meeting the daily needs of a busy museum. I have enjoyed working with the supportive staff and volunteers at MCL, and interacting with our visitors has made my experience very fulfilling. Overall, the internship is valuable in building on knowledge gained from my MA in Modern History from King’s College, London, improving my future employability in the heritage sector through specific training and more generally by providing me with transferable skills.’

Hunting out objects in one of the museum’s store rooms.

Throughout her internship Imogen has regularly featured in livestreams on Museum of Cornish Life, Helston’s social media, telling the stories behind the museum’s collections. You can find these livestreams on Youtube or by following Museum of Cornish Life on Facebook.

Cornwall Museums Partnership’s NPO programme has supported the creation of 20 jobs, five paid internships and five apprenticeships. To find out more about CMP’s NPO programme click here.

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