Evaluating the My Worcester Pop-Up Museum
- 27th August 2015
The pop up museum was a roaring success and the trainees had a lovely time chatting to the public about their placements and the project. Here, Sarah Ganderton our own Skills for the Future trainee assesses what was most popular about the pop-up museum over the weekend.
Over 200 people came to the pop up museum over the weekend, many of whom knew one or more of the placements represented by the Skills for the Future trainees. But many had not heard of all the placements, or thought the Museum of Royal Worcester was at the Worcester Museum and Art Gallery or that The Infirmary and the George Marshall Medical Museum were one and the same. Hopefully through this project we have successfully shared with the people of Worcester just how many great heritage venues the city has, and encouraged them to seek out the museums for themselves.
Even before the pop-up opened to the public is was proving popular. A special opening event allowed us to welcome the volunteers and visitors back to see the panels we had created based on their chosen artefacts and the comments they made. This was also a chance to invite dignitaries such as a visitor from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Worcester’s Mayor, the project’s Steering Group and the Director of the Worcester Festival.
Visitors enjoyed reading the panels we had painstakingly put together over the months before the exhibition and the handling objects were popular with many of the visitors. One gentleman said ‘its nice to be able to touch things.’ Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service provided a tile and a glass bottle for this section. The youngsters from Pershore particularly liked the medieval tile from Pershore Abbey and a few people even said they had a similar Malvern Water bottle at home.
But most of all our visitors enjoyed the free activities. A select handful came to the storytelling on Saturday, many enjoyed the print making on Friday and many more went away proudly carrying the mini museum they had made. But the archaeology activity Digging up the Past was perhaps the most popular activity of all. Although it was only expected to run on Thursday it was set up again on Friday and Saturday due to popular demand. Children of all ages enjoyed dusting away the sand to reveal roman pottery treasures, and a few adults were even spotted having a go when they thought no one was looking.
All in all the pop up was a success and the exhausting preparations and sleepless nights were worth it for all the happy people who came to see us in the empty shop in reindeer court and the comments they left on the pear tree. Would we do it again? Let’s recover from this project first… but it was definitely worth it.
The Vernon Map Book, and other artefacts chosen by Worcester Belles WI at Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service are still on display on level 2 of The Hive until the end of August. There are also digital images of the map book on the Touch History table as the Vernon Map Book so that you can see the original maps in even more detail. While you’re here you can see the book Where the Wild Things Are too, chosen from the University of Worcester Research Collection for the pop-up museum display.
by Sarah Ganderton