Daventry Town Council Museum Volunteers Wanted
- Do you enjoy working with the public?
- Are you computer literate?
- Interested in local history?
- Prepared to help collate and display artefacts?
- Looking for a rewarding and interesting volunteer position in your community?
If you feel you fit the above criteria and can spare a few hours a week the Museum would love to hear from you. However, if you would prefer to help on a more social level and are willing to serve refreshments or be a steward on exhibition days we still want you to get in touch.
This small and friendly Museum is home to some very interesting artefacts from Daventry’s past. It opens the first Saturday of the month and is run by an enthusiastic team of volunteers who organise special exhibitions to run alongside regular displays.
If you would like to become involved please contact either:
Luisa Pereira – Voluntary Museum Curator or
Lynn Scott – Communications Officer , at Daventry Town Council Offices on 01327 301246
Daventry Town Council Museum will be open this Saturday, 3rd December, from 10 til 4 with the second part of its fabulous Christmas in Wartime exhibition. New artefacts include some very recently and kindly donated propaganda leaflets dropped on Germany by British Forces.
The BBC World Service exhibition held on the 18th and 19th of July in the iCON, attracted many visitors including someone very famous. The picture shows Museum volunteers David Adams and Rod Viveash with Terry Waite CBE.
Saturday 6th August – 10.00 am ‘til 1.00 pm - CLASP (Community Landscape and Archaeology Survey Project) exhibition
Due to unforeseen circumstances the ‘Back to School’ exhibition will now take place on Saturday 3rd September only, from 10.00 am until 1.00 pm
Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October – 10.00 am ‘til 4.00 pm – The comeback of the ‘Shop ‘til you Drop’ exhibition
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November – 10.00 am ‘til 4.00 pm – ‘Gunpowder Plot’
Saturday 19th November– 2.00 pm ‘til 4.00 pm as part of the Christmas Lights Switch On Event and Saturday 3rd December 10.00 am ‘til 1.00 pm – Christmas in War Time
More Exhibitions to Follow...
Museum Events Update – by Luisa Pereira, Voluntary Museum Curator
Daventry Town Council Museum has been extremely busy during the past few months with recruitment and promotion activities as well as some fascinating exhibitions.
In May we took part in the DDC Countryside Day using a borrowed tent with a small presentation of photo’s and information and distributing leaflets. Hundreds of visitors flocked to the park that day, many knowing nothing about the Museum, and several new volunteers were recruited.
On the 4th of June the Museum was open for an exhibition of “History in the Making” which attracted around 50 visitors. The exhibition traced the history of manufacturing in Daventry from the 1800s to the present day. Residents
were asked to come along and share memories of their working lives and many took up that invitation bringing photographs and artefacts to be exhibited.
The weekend of the 25th and 26th of June saw the first ever Daventry Cultural Festival, organised by local groups and supported by the Daventry Town Council. Angela and David Adams, Canon Michael from the Holy Cross Church and Mez Tebbitt were some of the organisers, together with Daventry Town Council and Town Council Museum Volunteers.The Museum stayed open all weekend with the first part of the exhibition “Collectomania”.
The façade of the building proudly displayed our new “Museum Open” banner attracting the attention of everyone passing by New Street. The Town Council offices were the meeting point for many so the Museum was buzzing. Visitors came directly from the exhibition of local artists work at the Holy Cross Church, through the back door into the Museum and left to move on to the Library’s art exhibition.
The “Collectomania” exhibition opened to the public that weekend with eleven different, interesting and beautiful collections on show:
- Holiday memorabilia (Rita Harding)
- Rocks and minerals (Gwen Rintoul)
- Cow-shaped cream jugs and figures (Ann Squire)
- Crested spoons from all over the world (Joyce Bushill)
- Early radio receivers (Rod Viveash)
- Dice and diced themed objects (Sue Russell)
- Framed caricatures of famous cricketers (Roger Allen)
- Necklaces reflecting fashion through the years (Jill Upton)
- Commemorative coins (Patricia Kenning)
- First Day Cover stamps (Patricia Kenning)
- Model railways (Daventry Model Railway Club)
That Saturday brought in a record 207 visitors. Many of them were newcomers and families with children who enjoyed themselves immensely looking at the exhibits and completing a quiz on collections. Museum Stewards had to go out to buy extra prizes for the winners. The Royal Oak Morris Dancers were invited in by the Curator and, to the surprise and delight of the visitors, they played their instruments and danced in the Museum room itself.
The following weekend the Museum opened its doors again from 10am to 4pm, both days, with the second part of the Collections, this time showing 14 collections, only two of which were shown the previous week.
The new collections on show were:
- Serviettes from around the world (Angela Adams)
- Penguin books and Penguin memorabilia (David Adams)
- Military and other hats from all around the world (James Lanham)
- Matchbox vintage cars in the original boxes (John and Elaine Willis)
- Crystal cut miniatures and wine glasses (Daphne Bowhill)
- TY Beanie Babies (Julia Lane)
- Miniature shoes in china and small authentic shoes plus cards with shoes made by the artist (Anne Haynes)
- Musical instruments made from gourds, part of a huge original collection of gourds (Brian Haynes)
- Thimbles from all over the world (Jacqui Mawby)
- Bookmarks and dice (Chris Mawby)
- Yu-gi-Oh cards (Curtis Blewitt – only nine years old)
- Ford Capri miniatures and memorabilia (Ray Blewitt)
A Museum is all about collections. Our Collectomania exhibition was all about connecting and engaging with the Community. We are encouraging Communities in Daventry not just to show us their collections, sharing their passions and interests, but also to start collecting themselves. Encouraging people to think about what we collect and why, was another of our aims. Another of our goals was to have a very positive response from the public and to stimulate their interest in taking part in a future event of the same nature. We ran an enquiry to get to know about collections that our visitors might have which was very well accepted. Our database increased substantially.
Daventry Town Council Museum teamed up with Kettering Museum, who lent interesting, colourful, informative boards on collections as well as cards and word-games about collections for children and adults. From Kettering Museum came also a huge wooden box as a stand to collect people’s thoughts (about Museum collections!) and to display more information and some objects to make people think about what is collectable and why.
In July the Museum participated in the Daventry Arts Festival organised by the Daventry Business Partnership. Rod Viveash the Museum BBC Volunteer and others put together an excellent showing of BBC Borough Hill artefacts as part of the “BBC – Daventry Calling” event.
During the week of the “Festival” the Museum once again played an active part and opened it’s doors for the “Schools Art Exhibition” and the CLASP exhibition on archaeology. The “School’s Art Exhibition” contained work from year 11 students from Daventry William Parker and Danetre School. Many visitors came in and admired the artistic skills of the young people of Daventry. The BBC even came in and filmed a slot for Look East.
The archaeology exhibition was supported by CLASP (Community Landscape & Archaeology Survey Project) and contained archaeological finds from the Daventry area. The Museum stayed open an extra day and doors were finally closed only after the Carnival passed.
At the beginning of August a group of fifteen children, aged between five and eight years old, from the Angel Day Care Centre came to pay a visit to the Town Council. Four Museum Volunteers awaited them with the Civic Loan Box and a batch of crayons and pencils to test their artistic skills. They were shown a piece of film that simulates Council Meetings and Mayor making giving them a glimpse of DTC activity and introducing the idea of voting to make decisions. They were then able to dress up in robes, hats and wigs. To elect their own Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Town Clerk. Later that day Deputy Mayor Ron Fox went in his robes, with the Museum Curator, to the Angel Day Care Centre to surprise the children.
On the 6th of August the Museum again opened its for another display of CLASP items. In addition to the previous exhibits, Rev. Francis Rodrigues, brought in his vast collection of coins and artefacts and stayed all morning, showing, explaining and answering questions about the items. Another exhibitor, Martin Ingert, showed his collection of coins, including one from the time of King John. Martin was also available to explain everything about his coins to the public.
Of course, none of the above is possible without the participation of our team of volunteers who generously donate their time to help in the Museum store and steward whenever there is an exhibition. If you would like to get involved please contact us via the Town Council offices.
There are exciting times ahead for the Museum with a development project just beginning...watch this space!