Tag Archives: award

KEEP CALM – and pass the bandages!


Hilary Emms (Head Receptionist and Coordinator) and Louise Cresswell (Education Assistant and Events Co-ordinator) have successfully completed  the HABC Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work. The course is delivered as a one day program and includes both oral and practical assessments.

Hilary and Louise say that they are now fully trained and eager to practice their new skills on willing volunteers! 







We are winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2013!


Telegraph Family Friendly Museum winners 2013

The proud winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2013 with Philip Mould trustee of Kids in Museums.Brixham Heritage Museum representatives Louise Cresswell and Barbara Davies on the left. (Photo courtesy of Telegraph newspaper).


Brixham Heritage Museum is one of the most family friendly museums in Britain.

Undercover family judges have crowned Brixham Heritage Museum the joint winner of the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award alongside The Horniman Museum and Gardens (Forest Hill, south London).

Both museums beat 140 entrants nationally to the coveted top spot for providing outstanding and stimulating experiences for the whole family.

The winners were announced on Friday 13th September at a ceremony at the Telegraph’s offices in Buckingham Palace Road, London. Brixham Heritage Museum sent two representatives: Louise Cresswell and Barbara Davies.

Dr Philip L. Armitage, Curator of the Brixham Museum, said: “We are extremely honoured to be a winner of the Telegraph Family Friendly Award, and especially delighted given that our museum compared with others shortlisted is very much smaller in scale. Despite our modest size, the part-time staff and dedicated team of enthusiastic volunteers aim to ensure visiting families have an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. Receiving this award judged by the families themselves is a very much appreciated accolade for all the hard work the museum has put in to provide family friendly facilities.”

Tina Mansfield is one of the mums who helped judge the award. She said: “The museum stands out for two reasons. First, the people are really friendly and dedicated and second, the children know that they can play and touch things without worrying that an adult will disapprove. To begin with, my seven-year-old son Ethan thought we were going to a stuffy old museum, but it didn’t feel like that at all. He really enjoyed it.”

Brixham Heritage museum has developed its offer to young children over the past few years through the Mini Museum Project. The project, co-ordinated by the museum, focuses on teaching young children about Torbay’s heritage through a range of early years activities such as mini digs, storytelling, trips and guided walks to sites of local historic interest.

The project is being delivered by Torbay Childminders in partnership with Brixham Heritage Museum, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, Torquay Museum and Torbay Council, which contributed £1000 towards the scheme.

The council’s Executive Lead for Culture and the Arts, Councillor Dave Butt, said: “The minimuseum project is a fantastic way of inspiring young people so they can develop, learn and make sense of the world around them whilst having fun. Our museums play such a huge role in encouraging a love of history so it can be enjoyed and protected for generations to come.

“Brixham Heritage Museum is doing such a fantastic job engaging families and I’m so pleased it has been recognised with a national award. It is a tremendous achievement.”


Shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award – Again!


Our Museum has done it again – we have been placed in the top six of the Telegraph National ‘Family Friendly Museum’ Award! We managed to reach the top six last year, which was surprising considering we were a very small minnow in a very big ocean of national museums, and after even greater efforts to offer something for everybody, we find to our great delight that we have managed it again this year!
We are to be road-tested by under-cover families over the summer and the winner will be announced in early September, so we will continue to offer our usual friendly welcome toour visitors, with a few new attractions since last year, such as the opportunity for children of different ages to do an indoor archaeological dig in sand, to press Devon dialect speech bubbles, to note new ‘out of place’ items and to take information leaflets about prehistoric Brixham which are free to all visitors.
Everybody calls us a “Tardis” but we are a Giant amongst Family Friendly Museums.
Ms Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums, comments:
‘Once again Brixham Heritage Museum has made it to the shortlist of the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award. The judges were astonished at the great community feel and huge amount of imaginative work for families coming out of a small museum. Families testified to what an impact the museum had had on their lives, from exciting days out to leading to their children studying archaeology at university. Every square foot of this small museum works to make the lives of local families richer, more informed and more fun.’

For further information please contact
Mrs Lesley Smith
Brixham Heritage Museum
New Road

Chairman’s Message


Thank you Torbay Council

The upstairs “hierarchy”, the “powers that be” or whatever you want to call those that inhabit the top floor of the Museum, are incredibly relieved and grateful that Torbay Council have continued to award the Museum the Grant for the coming year. Thankfully this means that the Museum can go ahead with all future plans without being hampered with worried thoughts of a financial nature. We would like to extend very grateful thanks to all the Torbay Officers and Councillors who supported the Museum, especially at this time of austerity.

We give thanks also to Brixham town Council for the Grant which enabled the Museum to infill the first floor windows, now depicting from the outside the history of Brixham. Have you looked up?

Earlier last year the Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver, awarded the Museum £600 which has been used to promote heritage crafts, the results of which will be on show during a free Heritage Day at the Museum on 1st June. Thank you very much, Gordon Oliver! We would be delighted to see you on that day. Whilst I am in a thanking mood, I want to thank all the Museum volunteers and the paid “workers” for all the time given to improve and update this best, small Museum.

A belated “Happy New Year”.



Telling Our Story


Discovering the lives of Victorian and early Edwardian families on Berry Head, Brixham (Torbay, Devon)


Brixham Heritage Museum celebrates £4,500 Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Brixham Heritage Museum is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) ALL OUR STORIES grant, it was announced today. This exciting project has been given £4,500 to tell the stories of the Victorian and early Edwardian families who lived on Berry Head, Brixham (Torbay, Devon) with special focus on the Shrives families and their close association with the Rev. Henry Francis Lyte (author of the hymn “Abide with Me”).

All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story – has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage, With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.

The popular series presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events got thousands of us asking questions about our history and inspired us to look at our history in a different way through the eyes of ordinary people.

The programme and HLF All Our Stories has proved a real hit and now Brixham Heritage Museum’s project “Discovering the lives of the Berry Head families” is one of hundreds of successful projects around the UK to receive a grant. Brixham Heritage Museum will work with young people and volunteers from the local community to help them to develop media and communication skills. Using excavated archaeological finds, census returns, historical documents, old photographs and information gleaned from talking with descendants of the
Shrives, participants in the project will aim to reconstruct the stories of the Berry Head families. Two open house excavation days in the summer of 2013 will be organised for families to participate in an actual archaeological dig at the site of the cottages on Berry Head where the Shrives and other families lived from 1841 to c.1908. Young people (including Torquay Museum Young Explorers Club members) and Brixham Museum volunteers will be involved in assisting the study of archaeological finds and historic documents, and will receive training. Presentations about the Berry Head families will be made to schools and
community groups and school children will be invited to write their own poems and stories about the lives of people who lived on Berry Head in Victorian times.

TV presenter and historian Michael Wood said “We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that the people of Brixham and Torbay have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and
enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative”.

Dr Philip L. Armitage (Curator, Brixham Heritage Museum), commenting on the award said: “We are extremely pleased and honoured to have been awarded this grant, which will enable us to share with local people little known personal stories of ordinary families who lived on Berry Head in past times, reconstructed using archaeological and historical resources”.

Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the Brixham Heritage Museum’s project ‘Discovering the lives of Victorian and early Edwardian families on Berry Head, Brixham (Torbay, Devon)’ as they embark on a real journey of discovery”.

For further information, images and interviews, please contact
Dr Philip L. Armitage (Curator) Brixham Heritage Museum
Telephone: 01803 856267
Email: mail@brixhamheritage.org.uk



Mini Museum Childminders Achieve National Award


Five Torbay childminders have celebrated reaching top standards.

Annmarie Parfitt, Naomi Barret, Caroline Lane, Martine Philips and Samantha Maidlow have been awarded the Bristol Standard, recognising their commitment to improving the quality and effectiveness of thier childminding services.

They all met monthly for a year to achieve the Bristol Standard, which will help them to develop the quality of care and play through self evaluation.

Certificates, which last a year, are then awarded to settings or individuals who demonstrate thay have set appropriate challenges for improvement.

Torbay council is committed to improving the quality of services and its Early Years Team promotes The Bristol Standard to all early years settings in the Bay.

The council’s Executive Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Cllr Chris Lewis, said: “Well done to all five childminders. I am really pleased that all their hard work has paid off and that they have achieved the Bristol standard.”

“It takes a lot of time and commitment to do this, but they have all demonstrated that they are prepared to go that extra mile to give the children they look after the very best care they can.”


Family Friendly Museum Award – The Final!


On Thursday 31st May, Lesley and Louise attended the Awards Ceremony at the offices of the Sunday Telegraph for the presentation of certificates to the TOP 6 Family Friendly Museums, as judged by Kids in Museums.

We were very proud to reach this level, having been selected from hundreds and then from a short-list of twenty, in the judging as our Museum was a very tiny minnow in a sea of much bigger fish.

The winner was Haslemere Educational Museum, Sussex, to whom we send our congratulations.

During our visit we were told that we would receive the feedback from the families who judged us, so we will study their comments with care, and armed with other background information gleaned, we will return to the fray, hoping to be the absolute finalist next year!

Shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award!

Brixham Heritage Museum are proud to announce that they have been selected by the Sunday Telegraph as one of Britain’s six most family-friendly museums, amongst much larger museums.

During the coming month (April) we will be road-tested anonymously by a volunteer family, who will judge us against the Kids in Museums Manifesto, to declare a winner from the list of six.

We know how much we want to encourage families with children to enjoy their visits to our Museum and we hope that every family who comes through our doors will have an enjoyable experience.

The Museum is competing against

World Museum, Liverpool

Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands

Haslemere Educational Museum

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Family Friendly Museum Award

Brixham Heritage Museum has been selected to the “long list” of the Sunday Telegraph’s Family Friendly Museum Award.



On February 12th the Sunday Telegraph newspaper published the selected 20 museums from over 100 from all over Britain which had been nominated by their readers as conforming to the Kids in Museums Manifesto, 2012.
Brixham Heritage Museum is also receiving a share of a £31,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1,000 from Torbay Council for work with young children as part of the Mini Museum programme delivered by Torbay Childminders in partnership with Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, Torquay Museum and Torbay Council. We are therefore very conscious of the importance of inspiring creativity and enthusiasm in young children for their Torbay Heritage. Louise Cresswell has been appointed Part-time Co-ordinator for this project and is based at the Brixham Heritage Museum.
The “long listed” museums in the Sunday Telegraph will be presented to a panel of experts chaired by Jenny Abramsky, who is the Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. They will select a shortlist of six museums which will be road tested anonymously by families using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a guide as to their family friendliness.
As we have always encouraged children with activity bags, quizzes, colouring sheets and dedicated play areas, we feel we have always been very “child friendly” and hope to receive this further National recognition. Our activities annually at Berry Head (children’s dig and Napoleonic boot camp) have also been greatly enjoyed by young people.
For further details please contact Mrs Lesley Smith or Dr Philip L. Armitage.