The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo Saxon objects ever found – over 3,500 gold and silver objects encrusted with precious stones, that provide a wealth of knowledge about the period as well as raising some thorny questions, not least, why was it hidden. We helped Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to develop interpretation for a new gallery to display the hoard by planning and conducting focus groups with Staffordshire residents, planning and facilitating group discussions with families, visiting the current hoard gallery and helping to draw conclusions from this and other research conducted by museum staff.
In April 2012 we helped the Mary Rose Trust by reviewing and proofing proposed text for panels and information in a new exhibition of the Mary Rose. We hope that we have helped the Trust to achieve the right balance between readability and detail. The surviving hull of the ship and fourteen thousand artifacts will be displayed in a new £35m building and exhibition, due to open in Portsmouth Dockyard at the end of 2012.
Working with volunteer leaders, we identified and audited 13 heath walks, producing route information for each (an example route card can be downloaded below). We then planned and delivered two programmes, one for the ‘social walker’ and one for ‘improver-walker’ groups, and implemented them over the course of six-weeks. The aim of these programmes was to encourage NHS patients, referred by GP’s to leisure centres, to take up walking for health. Evaluations were made through observation and by interviewing participants and leaders, to make recommendations for a county-wide programme.
Health walkers descending the Little Skirrid near Abergavenny
In 2010, Hampshire County Council announced plans to reduce the provision of museum services in Alton. In 2011, we were contracted to work with the Council, Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust and local stakeholders to develop a vision and to prepare an audience development plan for the Allen Gallery and the Curtis Museum.
Girls dancing sculpture in garden Allen Gallery Garden
We worked with the North of England Civic Trust to prepare a Stage II heritage grant application for Bensham Grove, a community learning centre in Gateshead, with strong cultural connections to the Arts & Crafts Movement and 20th century social reform in the North East. Our task was to prepare an Activity Plan. Our challenge was to fit engagement activities in and around the already very busy centre.
Activity Planning Workshop at Bensham Grove