Derbyshire Heritage Awards 2014

Award winners and judges in the Joseph Wright Gallery

Award winners and judges in the Joseph Wright Gallery - Credit: Archant

The 2014 Derbyshire Heritage Awards proved yet again that we can be justifiably proud of the exciting, innovative, dedicated and hard-working members of our heritage sector

The 2014 Derbyshire Heritage Awards proved yet again that we can be justifiably proud of the exciting, innovative, dedicated and hard-working members of our heritage sector. Derby Museums hosted the awards in the Museum & Art Gallery – giving award nominees and guests a chance to see the latest exhibitions and afterwards look round the stunning Joseph Wright gallery at night. A highlight of the year that allows those who work in the sector to applaud and share each other’s good practice, the evening began with a reception. Guests were then welcomed by Jonathan Wallis, Head of Museums & Museum and Art Gallery Development for Derby Museums, before BBC Radio Derby’s Andy Potter took charge of proceedings, carrying the evening along in entertaining and efficient style. Ros Westwood, Chair of the Derbyshire Museums Forum and Derbyshire Museums Manager concluded the evening with thanks and praise for the well-deserved awards’ winners.

This year had seen an increased number of entries covering an impressive range and variety of high quality projects in all six award categories (every entrant goes forward for the ‘Excellence’ award). Projects undertaken in the county’s museums and galleries, historic houses and heritage sites ranged from research into a railway carriage used by Sir Winston Churchill in the run up to D Day to Eyam Museum’s 1914-1918 Second Sacrifice exhibition, and from Creswell Crags’ unique and internationally significant cave art to QUAD’s ‘Pride and Passion’ display of contemporary art and Derby County FC memorabilia. The ‘Inspiration Award for the Best Special Project’ had an unprecedented number of entries which included Deda Producing’s Chatsworth Luminaire, Barrow Hill’s East Coast Giants event, Hardwick Hall’s Stitches in Time display, Buxton’s ‘Wonder of the Peak’ Tram Visitor Tour and ground-breaking work by Erewash and Buxton museums and Ockbrook and Borrowash Historical and Archaeological Society. This year’s Excellence Award went to Creswell Crags, about which the judges commented: ‘Many of our heritage assets are of excellent quality. Many of our heritage assets are well looked after. Many are presented well. The Judges’ Award for excellence went to Creswell Crags because we saw in their work a consistent standard of quality in exhibits, quality in research, putting objects in context, and an imaginative and accessible way of presenting their story to a wide audience.’

Every corner of the county has its unique stories to tell, properties and places to preserve and protect and many were represented in these awards. It seems certain that with so many heritage gems and such a dedicated workforce, Derbyshire can look forward to more inspiring, engaging and enlightening county projects in 2015.


Best Volunteer Project: Winner (W): The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust, the West Shed Museum for ‘Saloon 45000 and Churchill’s D-Day Train’. Highly commended (HC): Eyam Museum for ‘Eyam 1914-1918: A Second Sacrifice’ exhibition based on the men from Eyam who served in WWI.

Best Project on a Limited Budget (under £1,000): W - Creswell Crags for ‘Man or Superman: Pin Hole Man’ based around a 13,500 year old engraving found at Creswell; HC – The National Trust, Hardwick Hall for ‘Gideon Re-colourisation Project’, picturing the tapestries as new.

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Young People in Heritage: W – Sinfonia Viva in association with Derby LIVE, Derby Museums and Tom Dale Co. for ‘Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red’ creative music and dance schools project; HC – DVMWHS & Derbyshire County Council for ‘Technology Then, Technology Now’, using modern digital technology to access, record and interpret the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’: W – Creswell Heritage Trust for ‘Collecting Creswell’ creating an online resource for research into the unique Ice Age collection; W – Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society for ‘Project Decade’, documenting and extending access to the museum’s extensive collection of railway items.

Reaching New Audiences: W – Erewash Museum for ‘Local Heritage Local Lives Collections Access Project’, engaging with the community to learn more about its shared heritage; HC – Bakewell Old House Museum for ‘Two Trails’, adult and child-friendly exploring guided walks exploring the town’s rich history

Inspiration Award for the Best Special Project: W – Deda Producing for ‘Chatsworth Luminaire Gardens of Artemis’; W - Eyam Museum for ‘Eyam 1914-1918: a Second Sacrifice’; HC – Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society for ‘East Coast Giants’; HC – Erewash Museum for ‘New War Gallery’ and ‘First World War Centenary Event’, an exciting new gallery presentation; Shortlisted – QUAD, ‘The Pride and the Passion, Contemporary Art, Football and the Derby County Collection’; Shortlisted – Discover Buxton for Buxton’s ‘Wonder of the Peak Tram Visitor Tour’

Judges’ Special Award: Hardwick Hall for ‘outstanding interpretation’ in their exhibition ‘Stitches in Tim’; on its return from conservation the internationally important embroidery of Penelope has been re-displayed and re-interpreted dramatically and to the highest standard.

Excellence Award: Creswell Crags, a unique resource where projects are innovative, engaging and reflect ‘best practice’.

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 Jim Dixon (Chief Executive, Peak District National Park Authority), Suzanne MacLeod (Director and Head of School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester), and Joy Hales (Editor, Derbyshire Life and Countryside). Plaques and certificates were by David Weight Design & Artwork.