Week 25: Christmas at the Museum

It's been a slightly odd Christmas, with no museum to close up for the holidays.  Ever since 2007, when the Square was redesigned, the town Christmas Tree and the Christmas Lights have been a focus for celebration.  Next year we will be joining in making Christmas a great event, with the Christmas Lights switch on … Continue reading Week 25: Christmas at the Museum

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Week 24: Our new website

As part of our Heritage Lottery funded project we have created a new website for the Museum.  It's been a long time coming, and its not completely perfect yet, but it is up and running, ready to be the public face of the new extended museum when we reopen in summer 2019. It all started … Continue reading Week 24: Our new website

Week 23: Bertie Burrington

As the centenary commemorations for the First World War draw to a close, I thought it would be interesting to look at an ordinary Barnstaple man whose records we have here in the museum.  Bertie Burrington wasn't a hero, and he wasn't one of the thousands who gave their lives in the Great War, but … Continue reading Week 23: Bertie Burrington

Week 22: It never rains but it pours…

We had a minor setback last week, when our Fire Alarm went off at 6.30 on Saturday morning.  We feared the worst, as so many terrible things happen during building works - remember the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter just two years ago?  Fortunately it turned out not to be the builders' fault, but our … Continue reading Week 22: It never rains but it pours…

Week 21: Lethaby’s Legacy

One of our tasks at the Museum is to show off the products and creativity of North Devon people, and to inspire young people now to go out into the world and create wonderful things like the pottery and furniture made at Brannams and Shaplands in the past.  In our new extension we will be … Continue reading Week 21: Lethaby’s Legacy

Week 20: Taz’s tiles

Those of you who follow our Facebook page will already know that this week we took some of our volunteers to see how work is progressing on the terracotta tile frieze that will run around the outside of our new wing. This is ceramic artist Taz Pollard demonstrating the amount of energy needed to fill … Continue reading Week 20: Taz’s tiles

Week 19: On bricks and bricklaying

This week saw a significant milestone in our build - the laying of the first brick.  We were delighted that Keith Abraham was able to come along and do this for us, using a silver trowel he found in his collection.  We will get the trowel engraved to mark the occasion. https://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/museum-extension-first-brick-1-5768956 Now work is … Continue reading Week 19: On bricks and bricklaying

Week 18: Looking back to 1963

Now that the building is taking shape, I thought it would be interesting to remind you all of the history of our site.  When we were applying for planning permission for the extension, we had to discuss the options with Historic England and our Conservation Officer, because we were not only affecting a Grade II … Continue reading Week 18: Looking back to 1963

Week 17: On Hillforts and other community projects…

Last week, on the same day that work started on the steel for our new extension, I attended North Devon Archaeological Society's latest talk.  The subject was "Iron Age Devon and its Hillforts".  The Speaker was Henrietta Quinnell, Honorary Fellow of the University of Exeter and acknowledged doyenne of all things prehistoric in the South West … Continue reading Week 17: On Hillforts and other community projects…

Week 16: The Steel Arrives!

After many weeks watching men dig holes, at last the steel has arrived.  Now we can see the shape and the scale of the structure we are building. On Tuesday 16th we found the Square had been occupied by possibly the biggest crane in North Devon.  Shortly after that a lorry full of steel girders … Continue reading Week 16: The Steel Arrives!