Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending January 7 2007.
05.01.2007 – Wandsworth Council to take decision on museum closure
“This is a high quality community museum,” said its first curator, Val Bott. “First opened in April 1986, it was one of the first museums in Greater London to be awarded the new Accreditation standard last summer.”
“The museum has around 30,000 visitors a year, which compares well with some comparable local authority museums in Greater London,” she continued. “About 8,000 of those visitors come in school groups and there is a also a well-respected programme of activities for children and families.”
“The museum’s community work is very impressive – it is, for example, a contributor to ‘Amazon and Caribbean’, the current special exhibition at the Horniman Museum.”
The council will take the decision this February. To make an objection, go to www.wandsworth.gov.uk.Image from the exhibition Memories from the Islands, at Wandsworth Museum in 2004
05.01.2007 – National Maritime Museum Cornwall wants your pictures for Your Falmouth exhibition
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is asking the people of Falmouth, Penryn and the Fal estuary to contribute to a new temporary exhibition. ‘Your Falmouth’ will include displays on the people, the packet ships and the maritime history of Falmouth, together with pictures and memories lent by local people.
“This is a real chance for local people to make their contribution to a museum,” said Director Jonathon Griffin. “We really encourage people to come forward with pictures, documents and photographs and to make Your Falmouth something we can be proud of.”
The first donation has already been presented to the Museum by volunteer John Mitchell, a former coxswain for Falmouth Harbour Commissioners and second coxswain to on the RNLI lifeboat.
The exhibition will run from late March, for three months. If you have a picture, document or photograph relating to the maritime history of the towns, waterside or river which you would like to see included in Your Falmouth, contact Jo Warburton at the Museum on 01326 313388.
05.01.2007 – Holst Birthplace Museum, Cheltenham, looks to raise £18,000 repair bill
The Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham is looking for £18,000 to save its historic Victorian home.
The Friends of the museum have launched an appeal for the funds, which are needed for essential repair work to the building’s roof, timbers and pipework. Torrential downpours have left the house which commemorates the composer of the Planets Suite in a precarious state.
To donate to the appeal, contact Brian Carvell, Holst Birthplace Museum, 4 Clarence Road, Cheltenham, GL52 2AY.
04.01.2007 - £322,425 for historic Welsh buildings
Welsh Culture Minister Alan Pugh has announced over £300,000 in grants to be shared between 12 historic buildings in need of repair.
“These buildings all have a fascinating history and play an important role in their local communities,” he said.
“Dale Windmill on Windmill Farm, near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire is an extremely rare example of a circular windmill tower and the grant of £4,000 will help the local building preservation trust to secure this important structure,” he gave as one example of how the money would be used.
“The Madras VA Primary School in Wrexham is an historically outstanding building, being the first purpose built school in Wales to operate the Monitorial school system. It also boasts one of the few surviving thatched roofs of the area and the grant offer of £14,000 will assist the school trustees in ensuring this historic feature is retained.”
The buildings that will receive awards of between £4,000 and £66,000 are:Dale Windmill, Haverfordwest; Madras Primary School, Wrexham; Bwlchnewydd Baptist Chapel, Laugharne; St Mary’s Church, St Fagans, Cardiff; The North Wales Heroes’ Memorial, Bangor; Glyndwr, Grosmont; 31 Drybridge Street, Monmouth; St Mabli’s Church, Llanvapley; Ashdene Manor, Penarth; The Granary, Haverfordwest; Stable Block, Cefndyrys, Builth Wells; and Nanteos Mansion, Aberystwyth.
04.01.2007 – Curators to become special constables on the Art Beat
Curators and art historians are to be recruited as special constables in a new scheme entitled Art Beat.
The drive to recruit the specialists comes as the Metropolitan Police Authority have warned the Art and Antiquities Unit that it may have to become 50 per cent self-financing by 2008. The art squad, consisting of just four full-time officers, polices places where art and antiques are sold, making sure everything is above board and deterring criminals.
Art Beat special constables will be recruited from cultural organisations such as the V&A, the British Museum, universities and insurance companies, before being given a month’s training in order to go out and patrol art sales.
The police hope to have 14 constables trained by April 2007, who will be sponsored by their employers to work for the police for the equivalent of one day a fortnight.
03.01.2007 – Images of planned £60million Riverside Museum in Glasgow revealed
Design concepts for the striking new Museum of Transport, to be situated on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow, have been revealed.
The £60million museum has been designed by architect Zaha Hadid CBE and is scheduled to open in 2009. The Museum of Transport, currently based at Kelvin Hall, has about 1,300 exhibits, but it is hoped the new facility will be able to hold double that.
The design has a many-ridged roof that sweeps in a V-shape.
Click the link for the 'flythrough' on the Glasgow Museums website for a virtual tour of the planned building. Image © Glasgow City Council
03.01.2007 – Derbyshire Vickers Fine Art Award worth £29,000 launched
Emerging artists are being invited to apply for the 2007-08 Vickers Fine Art Award, which has just been launched by the Derbyshire Community Foundation and the University of Derby.
The biennial award will give the winner £21,000, plus a teaching place in the University’s Fine Art Department for a year, studio space, exhibitions and expenses (worth an extra £8,000). Entrants are asked to produce a body of work inspired by the county’s landscape, heritage and people.
“This new partnership will benefit the artist, the University, the wider arts community and art viewing public in and around Derby and Derbyshire,” said Scott Green, Head of Fine Art at the University. “It should also attract a very high calibre of applicant.”
Full details for applicants can be found at www.vickersartaward.co.uk.
03.01.2007 – Neolithic hand axe found in Hampshire field
A stone object discovered by a metal detectorist near Winchester has been identified as a Neolithic hand axe.
Jeremy de Montfalcon found the hand axe in a field near Martyr Worthy and reported it to the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the Hyde Historic Resources Centre. Finds expert Laura McLean dated it to 3500BC.
02.01.2007 - Restoration Village runner-up gets lottery lifeline
The Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey, runner-up in the BBC's 2006 Restoration Village competition, has had £4.3m of lottery money earmarked to redevelop the site.
It was awarded the stage one Heritage Lottery Fund pass, which means that the gallery now needs to submit a detailed application to secure a stage two pass and the full funding.
The money will go towards repairing the roof of the gallery, restoring the rest of the building and conserving the art collection, which is a memorial to the Victorian artist GF Watts.
Restoration work is hoped to start in 2008. A total of £10m needs to be raised to complete the programme of improvements.
02.01.2007 - Big Pit raises flag to 60th anniversary of nationalisation of coal industry
The Big Pit mining museum in Blaenafon, South Wales, has marked the 60th anniversary of the nationalisation of the coal industry.
The National Coal Board (NCB) gained possession of around 800 privately owned collieries across the country on January 1 1947, which was then celebrated with the raising of an NCB flag.
Big Pit raised their own NCB flag to commemorate the occasion, which was raised up the mine’s headgear by the venue’s youngest miner, Peter Richings.
"Nationalisation of the mines may not have lived up to the dreams of the miners of the 1930s and 40s but there's no denying that without it the British mining industry would not have become the most efficient in Europe and the safest in the world,” said Peter Walker, Manager of Big Pit.