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

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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 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 9: Bigger and better Exhibitions?

One of the things our extension project will be delivering is new temporary exhibitions galleries.  Our two new spaces measure 69 square metres (main gallery) and 31 square metres (community gallery).  They will also have the necessary temperature and humidity controls to enable us to borrow things from other museums around the country.  We have … Continue reading Week 9: Bigger and better Exhibitions?

Week 7: A Barnstaple Benefactor

This week I have been occupied in celebrating the 90th birthday of Keith Abraham, one of the museum's staunchest, and most generous supporters.  Keith is following in the footsteps of our founder, William Frederick Rock  in his generosity to the people of Barnstaple. Keith Noel Abraham was born in Hedge End, on the outskirts of … Continue reading Week 7: A Barnstaple Benefactor

Week 6: Time for a Party!

Even though we are only 6 weeks into our building programme, this week marked the half way point for our Pop-Up museum. Sadie, our Activity Plan Programme Coordinator, organised a party for all the people who have contributed stories and information about our five themes for the new Social History Gallery and 45 people came … Continue reading Week 6: Time for a Party!

Week 4: Dust, dust and more dust…

This week has seen more demolition, more stories and especially more dust.  The whole of the countryside is, of course, exceptionally dusty at the moment, and while we are busy in the pop-up cleaning ancient Athenaeum dust off some things, the builders are busy depositing more dust around the Museum itself. One of the first … Continue reading Week 4: Dust, dust and more dust…