Erewash Museum scoops 'Best in Derbyshire' Award
By LEClare | Thursday, July 26, 2012, 11:43
Erewash Museum has scooped the prestigious Derbyshire Museum of the Year title for the second year running, a top honour that confirms it as an award winning heritage success that is the best in the county.
Erewash Museum Manager Helen Martinez, right, and Collections Officer Nicola Wood, pictured with David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire.
As delighted staff celebrated the news this week, it was also confirmed that the Museum has won a nationwide Sandford Award for its excellence in heritage education work with schoolchildren, putting the Erewash Borough Council Museum in the national spotlight.
The Museum of the Year 2012 title was announced at the Derbyshire Heritage Awards held at Crich Tramway Museum on Friday – with the Erewash team beating off competition from heritage sites throughout the county.
This is the third year running that the Museum team have walked away from the awards as winners – last year, along with Museum of the Year, they also won 'Best Event' for the 1940s day and in 2010 they were also awarded the title of 'Best Exhibition' for the Stanton Ironworks gallery.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council's Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, was at the ceremony and says the award will be warmly welcomed by the thousands of families and residents who visit the Museum every year:
"It is the first time a Museum has won the award in consecutive years, so it is a massive achievement for Erewash. There are well over 60 museums and historic houses in Derbyshire, but we have the best of the best in our borough . . . and that's official!
"I know that there are many, many supporters of our Museum who will share our delight and our pride in this award – as well as the top honour we have also been awarded for the inspirational activities and heritage work we do with schoolchildren. It really is a double top celebration that is a tribute to the hard work and commitment to quality of our Museum team and the volunteers who support them."
At Friday's ceremony, Erewash Museum also achieved a 'Highly Commended' award for its Rock and Roll Birthday Party event held in April that was attended by more than 600 people.
The Heritage Awards, which are held annually, celebrate the work of museums and heritage sites throughout Derbyshire and are supported by Renaissance East Midlands and the Derbyshire Museums Forum. The Museum of the Year title is awarded to an organisation that has excelled in all areas of museum work and development and means Erewash Museum is now a flagship example of good practice for all museums to follow.
The celebrations continued when the Erewash team was told on Monday (23rd) that the Museum had received The Sandford National Award for Heritage Education.
Confirming the award, the judges said:
"Erewash Museum has a dedicated but small team of enthusiastic staff who support schools to achieve learning outcomes within an inspirational setting. Children are encouraged to use their imaginations and connect with their local and national heritage both physically and cognitively. The museum's education potential is huge and this award should be seen as a stepping stone to better things."
The annual Sandford Awards are run by the Heritage Education Trust in partnership with Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln to promote quality and excellence in education provision by heritage sites across the British Isles.