Barbara Davies wrote this article about her trip to the Kids in Museums award ceremony for the Totnes County High School Reunion Association Newsletter 2014.
Barbara (second from left) is a much valued volunteer at the Museum.
“Last September I was very honoured to be asked to be one of the representatives of the Brixham Heritage Museum at the Sunday Telegraph Awards ceremony. For the second year running our museum was in the top six of their Family Friendly Museum – Kids in Museum list. We left Paignton at 5.30 a.m. on the London coach and arrived at Victoria coach station just in time for coffee. It was only a short walk to the Sunday Telegraph office, where we were greeted most warmly and were able to meet the other finalists and some previous winners of the award. When it was time for the formalities to begin, the six finalists were listed in alphabetical order and we were told that because it had been so difficult to choose, for the first time ever there were two winners. The first museum was The Horniman, in London and my heart sank! (I thought – alphabetical order – B comes before H – we’ve had it for this year.) The second winner was Brixham Heritage Museum. We had done it! We had to make acceptance speeches of course, whereupon my mind went totally blank and I think that I waffled my way through something. (Nothing new there then)! I know I was quite emotional and not just because I shook hands with Philip Mould from the Antiques Roadshow who presented the awards. After a buffet lunch we were shown round the Telegraph offices and then it was time to leave for home. Our coach left Victoria at 4.30 p.m. and due to diversions and heavy traffic, it was 6.30 p.m. before we reached Gatwick. Instead of getting home at 10.00 p.m. it was 11.15 p.m. before we could get in the car for Brixham, home and bed after a very long but enjoyable day.”
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
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
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.