Elgar Birthplace Museum sets out its stools as audience pleas inspire versatile investment

By Culture24 Staff | 18 August 2010
  • Archived article
A black and white photo of a man in a suit sleeping on two chairs

(Above) Edward Elgar relaxing at Upton on Severn (1903)

Seventy-seven years after Sir Edward Elgar's daughter set up a tribute to her father in the Worcestershire cottage he loved, feedback from guests at the Elgar Birthplace Museum revealed one common gripe.

"Many visitors like to take their time while enjoying all the Museum has to offer, but said there was not enough seating for them to do this," explains Cathy Sloan, the Director of the popular heritage venue.

"We welcome more than 10,000 people a year and pride ourselves on providing a high quality experience, but there is always room for improvement."

Having successfully persuaded Worcestershire County Museum Service and Renaissance West Midlands’s Small Grant Scheme to provide the funding, Sloan and her team wasted no time in finding a playful solution to their seating shortfall.

As well as being suitable stools for perching over the displays on, their new collection of chairs have a deal-clinching level of hidden adaptability.

"The portable seats can be picked up at reception and carried around by visitors," says Sloan, whose idea was perfectly targeted given the Museum Service’s theme for the year of improving the quality of visits for the region’s museum hoppers.

"They are lightweight, easy to use and can also be used as walking sticks."

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