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 27: Struggling for a strapline: A Place for Learning

26: Every object tells a story

Our museum holds many thousands of objects, but only a small proportion can be displayed.  Space is always short, and even those things which are "out" can easily be missed by visitors.  We cannot explain all the details of each item's story in the small number of words available on a label or graphics panel. … Continue reading 26: Every object tells a story

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 25: Christmas at the Museum

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 23: Bertie Burrington

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 22: It never rains but it pours…

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 21: Lethaby’s Legacy

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 20: Taz’s tiles

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 19: On bricks and bricklaying

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 18: Looking back to 1963