A guest post by Daisy Bradford, who did four weeks’ work experience with the Museum Service in August 2014:
This summer holiday just past, I spent four weeks doing voluntary with the North Herts Archaeology Service because I have a passion for archaeology and I plan to study it at university when I complete my A-Levels.
In my four weeks with the local archaeologists and museum workers in North Hertfordshire, I learned a lot of things and gained a lot of experience that will aid me in my future ambitions and also as useful life skills. I spent a lot of time with artefacts, holding them, observing them, classifying, photographing, cleaning and it really enabled me to have a close insight into the archaic culture of our ancestors that you won’t get from visiting a museum.
I also got to go on a few site visits to current commercial digs throughout the county, which was fascinating for me, who’d never seen a real dig let alone got to go on one and see how they are organised and all the amazing things the archaeologists find and it showed me how incredibly rich the history is just outside my front door.
This experience has been a great one for me and I’ve earned many skills and a deeper understanding of the study of Archaeology, as well as increasing my passion for it.
I’d also like to say thanks to Keith and Ros, who made sure I was doing all my work right and made the experience even more enjoyable.
2014 is the 20th anniversary of Heritage Open Days, the event that enables people to visit buildings and places normally closed to the public. So don’t forget to book your place on our Heritage Open Days Behind the Scenes tours at Letchworth and Hitchin museums. See how staff are preparing for the new North Hertfordshire Museum. Find out about the history of the buildings and the museums. Have a look at objects as they are cleaned and packed.
Tours are free, start at 10am and last approximately 45mins to 1 hour. Spaces are limited and tours must be booked in advance (tours without sufficient bookings may be rescheduled). You can book onto a tour at Letchworth Museum or Hitchin Museum (or one of each!).
Letchworth Museum Heritage Open Day tour, Thursday 11th September 2014, 10am. To book telephone: 01462 685647.
Hitchin Museum Heritage Open Day tour, Friday 12th September 2014, 10am. To book telephone: 01462 434476 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Wonderful news – we have heard that the Council has been successful in its Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid towards the new North Herts Museum. We will receive a grant of £914,400 from the HLF, to fund the fit-out of the new museum, ensuring that it tells the story of the District through bright modern displays.
Downstairs there will be an introductory gallery telling the history of the District in a chronological manner, from prehistory to the 21st century. There will also be an air-conditioned temporary exhibition gallery on the ground floor, where we will be able to display high-quality works borrowed from other museums. The galleries upstairs will be themed, looking at how we have lived and worked in North Hertfordshire over the years. Some favourite items from the old museums will be re-displayed, as well as many pieces we have never before been able to display. Thanks to the HLF, the new museum will have state-of-the-art display cases and lighting. Some of the grant will go towards materials to help the cleaning and packing of the hundreds of museum objects that the team – of staff, interns and volunteers – is currently processing, and there is also funding for a part-time Audience Development post for the first year of operation. This is excellent news, and we are extremely grateful to the HLF for all their support.