Our groups of volunteers are working on various projects in local galleries, museums and churches. Volunteers do not need to have previous experience in these areas as appropriate training will be given when the project commences.
Lord Leycester Hospital
Heritage Volunteers have recently started a new project at The Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick. They have visitor books going back to 1853 and over the years The Hospital has been visited by many famous people, including Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Oscar Wilde, The Prince of Wales (Edward VII), Thomas Jefferson, Courboisier. Visitors have come from all over the world, especially America.
The volunteers are entering the information from the visitor books onto a computerised database. This is a laborious process as some signatures are difficult to decipher. So we regard this as a long term project.
A new exhibition space is due to open at the Lord Leycester in 2022, by which time we hope be to able to tell the story of how The Hospital became such an important destination for visitors to Warwickshire.
In November 2019, the volunteers at the Herbert Museum in Coventry will celebrate NINE YEARS of volunteering at the Museum.
During their years at the museum, the Volunteers, Ruth Barton, Anne Haywood, Alex Harris and Shirley Jack, have been involved with a huge variety of projects, ranging from making underskirts for a dress exhibition at Blenheim Palace, mounting samplers, making padded coat hangers, sword covers, parasol covers and even mounting birds for the Natural History section of the museum.
Some of their more unusual projects include creating backdrop curtains for the Santa Sleigh ride at the Transport Museum and protective saddle covers for the bicycles. Dusting and cleaning the moth collection was a task that required an extremely light touch and a certain amount of newly learned expertise.
Ongoing volunteer work at the Museum involves checking, repacking and data recording all the boxes of items in the costume store. This is a fascinating occupation as each set of boxes reveals a treasure trove of history. Some of the items however seem very recently familiar to the ‘mature’ members of the group!
The museum caters for younger visitors and the team has made many items to support the Sensory Story sessions. Props for these include 150 Morse Code bean bags, a Hungry Caterpillar and a starry night illuminated sky blanket.
Lately they have been meeting again with the Transport Museum’s Christmas Sleigh ride team to plan new ‘elf’ costumes for the staff helpers on the ride. The time frame is small but if Santa can do the impossible then so can they!
Leamington Spa Museum
We are delighted that Leamington Museum and Art Gallery has now re-opened, following the easing of lockdown. However, following discussions with the Curator and our Volunteers, we have agreed that we will take a break from the museum until January 2022, unless help is required for urgent projects such as exhibitions or conservation purposes.
The museums is currently carrying out various building and other works, which include upgrading the work space used by the volunteers. There are also new working arrangements for the Council staff, who are still being encouraged to work from home as much as possible.
By January 2022 it is hoped that the extra work caused by the pandemic will be complete and our volunteers, some of whom have been at the Museum since 2004, will return once again.