Week 46: googling for museums

As people's lives become more digital, what does that mean for museums, which exist to hold on to real, physical things? In 1999 we received quite a lot of funding from the Department for Culture Media and Sport's "IT Challenge Fund", to run a project called North Devon on Disk.  The idea was to digitise … Continue reading Week 46: googling for museums


Week 45: Tidying up in the museum

Our Lottery Fund for Heritage project is creating our new building and Social History Gallery, but there is only a small amount of money for sorting out the existing displays.  We are worried that the old galleries will look very tired compared with the new spaces, and we have taken the opportunity to take out … Continue reading Week 45: Tidying up in the museum

Week 44: A look around the site

You may have noticed that I am terribly behind on these updates and wishing that I had never said they would be created every week!  We are now up to the end of April, when some of our volunteers and donors had the opportunity to have a look at progress. Site manager Mark explains the … Continue reading Week 44: A look around the site

Week 43: The Partridge Family

As well as creating new permanent displays about Barnstaple and North Devon in the 20th century in our new Social History gallery, we are working hard on our new temporary exhibitions programme.  One of the stories we are looking forward to telling is that of Ethel Mairet, who is nationally recognised today for her working … Continue reading Week 43: The Partridge Family

Week 42: What’s for tea?

As we move towards reopening the museum in the autumn we are getting some extra expert help towards setting up our new shop and tea-room.  Consultant Julie Cullen has been advising us on setting up our new tea-room kitchen (not from IKEA this time) and helping prepare possible menus. The last Bromleys menu we have … Continue reading Week 42: What’s for tea?

Week 41: A spoonful of history

On April 8th we received an auction catalogue from Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury.  Included in the sale were a collection of silver spoons, made in Barnstaple in the 16th and 17th centuries.  We were very excited, but we had to move fast as the sale was only 9 days away. We already have in … Continue reading Week 41: A spoonful of history

Week 40: IKEA saves the day!

One of the important parts of our new extension is the new Learning Room upstairs.  For the first time we will be able to talk to a whole class of children in one space, and the room will also be available for booking by outside groups such as the North Devon Archaeological Society.  It will … Continue reading Week 40: IKEA saves the day!

Week 39: Time for a trip

During the time the museum has been closed for redevelopment our volunteers have not been idle.  Even though we are only operating a limited font of house service, and no tea-room at all, most of them are still working away.  In fact, we have recruited many new volunteers, so that we get the equivalent of … Continue reading Week 39: Time for a trip

Week 38: Exploring the coast

Back in Week 8 I wrote about our new Coast Explorers Gallery which is replacing the old, but very popular Undersea World.  The structure of the gallery is now all in place, and we are finalising the graphics. The displays will enable people to find out more about the important marine and coastal habitats that … Continue reading Week 38: Exploring the coast

Week 37: Bromleys at the Museum

Some of you may remember Bromley's Cafe on the Strand. The huge 500-seat restaurant hosted weddings and birthday parties, as well as coach loads of tourists and hungry locals.  It closed down in the 1970s, but thanks to the generosity of Michael Bromley, we are about to reopen a new Bromleys as the Museum Cafe. … Continue reading Week 37: Bromleys at the Museum