15: Time for an update

You are probably fed up with pictures of foundations so I will only include a few this week.  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the steel (due on Tuesday now).  The museum is now hidden behind graphics showing some of the objects that will be out on display when we reopen next summer.  If … Continue reading 15: Time for an update

13: Unlucky for some?

It's 13 weeks into the build and we have a new site manager.  Mark Jordan (he's the one on the right) has replaced Clive, who had to leave for family reasons.  He was quite disappointed to leave us, as this is one of the first Barnstaple sites he has been responsible for and he live … Continue reading 13: Unlucky for some?

12: 30 years ago…

As we wait for the foundations to be finished and the steel to arrive (and oh! what a long wait it seems) I have been looking back at the Museum recent history.  The last time any major work was done to our building was in 1988-9 when the Council bought the old Athenaeum and began … Continue reading 12: 30 years ago…

11: Laying the Foundations

Does anybody remember the Richard Scarry book "What do People do All Day"?  When I was a child I was fascinated by all the different skills and trades that kept a town going (albeit an American one).  Especially how to build a house! Over the last couple of weeks we have been watching men digging … Continue reading 11: Laying the Foundations

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 9: Bigger and better Exhibitions?

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 7: A Barnstaple Benefactor

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 6: Time for a Party!

5: A D-Day Digression.

Of course there has still been a lot happening on site at the Museum, but this week I'd like to talk a bit about another project that affects museums in North Devon.  To keep you going here's a rather strange panorama of our building site, taken by leaning out of my office window... Next year … Continue reading 5: A D-Day Digression.

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 4: Dust, dust and more dust…

3: You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

This week things really got moving!  Preparation had already taken place, mostly to create access to the building site area.  The builders have taken down a section of the listed garden railings and stored them for reinstatement later.  This means they can get bigger machines round the back of the museum building.     The … Continue reading 3: You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!