Derbyshire Heritage Awards 2013

NT Museum of Childhood, Sudbury were Highly Commended

NT Museum of Childhood, Sudbury were Highly Commended - Credit: Archant

The annual celebration of all the wonderful work that has taken place during the past year at heritage sites and museums across the county...

Photographs by Andy Dowson and Glynn Wilton

The 7th Derbyshire Heritage Awards took place in great style in the atmospheric and inspiring setting of the engine shed at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. This year has seen a number of innovative and excellent projects come to fruition, such as the imaginative re-design of the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock; the immaculate restoration of a railway carriage used by the Royal family and Sir Winston Churchill by dedicated volunteers; and the creation of a lasting legacy for the county with the adventurous Enlightenment! project which combined the might of Belper’s Strutt’s Mill, Buxton and Derby museums. Many county heritage sites organised impressive, cost effective events and exhibitions of the highest quality that involved and benefited local communities.

On the evening of the awards, members of the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society – past award winners – gave a conducted tour of their magnificent premises, including a demonstration of the working turntable, followed by drinks and canapés served in the Buffet. The award ceremony began with a welcome from site manager Mervyn Allcock who gave a fascinating insight into how the site had been rescued from proposed demolition in 1991 and its subsequent restoration and development. The Mayor of Chesterfield, Cllr Paul Christopher Stone, and Cllr Ellie Wilcox (Deputy Cabinet Member, Health and Communities, Derbyshire County Council) gave opening addresses before Anita Hollinshead led the presentation. The Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, David James, announced the deserving winners before presenting them with their plaques and certificates.

The Chair of the Derbyshire Museums Forum, Ros Westwood, closed the awards ceremony, praising the excellent work that had been showcased during the evening, before all present retired to the Buffet Room for delicious refreshments.

Museum of the Year

Creswell Crags

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Best Exhibition

Creswell Crags and the British Museum for ‘Swimming Reindeer – a story of a journey’

Best Event

Hope House Costume Museum ‘Dig for Victory’, Alstonefield Flower and Costume Festival; Erewash Museum was Highly Commended for Downton at Dalby House

Inspiration Award for Best Special Project

Derbyshire Record Office for its building project with artist in residence

Work with Collections

The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust won for its superb restoration of a 1920s Royal Saloon railway carriage; The National Trust Museum of Childhood at Sudbury was highly commended for its Collections Online project

Work with Children and Young People

Erewash Museum’s Social Media Project

Outstanding Volunteers Award

George Challenger of Bakewell Old House Museum; and the Tour Guide Team at Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mills

A Judges’ Special Award went to Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Strutt’s North Mill, Belper and Derby Museum for their joint ‘Enlightenment!’ project, which they commented: ‘was an outstanding project that could have fitted into all the award categories but its scope and realisation placed it beyond, accomplishing something of national significance. A partnership project between Buxton, Derby and Belper – Derbyshire should feel proud to have people with this scale of ambition to enhance the county’s collections through strategic acquisition in what we all know are difficult times. They had the vision to develop partnerships both within and outside the sector that will leave a legacy for the county of lasting significance. It is a real honour to present this to the Enlightenment team as a glowing testimony to an outstanding project.’

The awards are organised by Anita Hollinshead, Freelance Museum and Heritage Services for the Derbyshire Heritage Forum and funded by a grant from Museum Development East Midlands. This year’s judges were Joy Hales (Editor of Derbyshire Life magazine); Neville Stankley (Employability Co-ordinator, Arts and Humanities, Nottingham Trent University) and Alex Woodhall (PhD Researcher, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester).