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

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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

Week 34: Mr.Pooley’s Car

Last September a man turned up at the museum with some great photographs.  His name was Roland Packer and he had recently acquired a little car, for restoration. We were immediately intrigued.  The little car was still on the DVLA database, registered as  "PP Special", the only one of its kind.           … Continue reading Week 34: Mr.Pooley’s Car

Week 33: More about the Fire Engine

If you are a fan of steam, or the Fire Brigade, you will understand why we wanted to bring the Borough Fire Engine back to the town so badly.  If you are not, you may want a little more information.  We are are certain that when you see the glistening brass and gleaming paintwork you … Continue reading Week 33: More about the Fire Engine

Week 29: Struggling for a Strapline: A House of Stories

I'm having one last go at creating the "strapline" that will tell people what we are all about.  Having said in my last post that it's all about the objects, this is 2019, and we have to recognise that much of our interaction with the world takes place digitally. The major part of our new … Continue reading Week 29: Struggling for a Strapline: A House of Stories

Week 28: Struggling for a Strapline: A Centre for Curiosity

In our search for a "strapline" we have realised that providing opportunities for learning is not our only role, and certainly not what makes us unique.  Museums are primarily about real physical things, and as the world becomes more and more digital, so that even once-sacred family photograph albums are few and far between, it … Continue reading Week 28: Struggling for a Strapline: A Centre for Curiosity

Week 27: Struggling for a strapline: A Place for Learning

There was a time when museums sat quietly in the centre of their town, opening their doors to welcome the occasional researcher or local enthusiast.  Now we are part of the local tourism industry, as well as a resource for local people, and we see our role as supporting well-being and identity as well as … Continue reading Week 27: Struggling for a strapline: A Place for Learning

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