Friday, 21 October 2011

time for an extension

We have just sent off our appliction for an extension to the Monument project. I am really excited about this as it gives me the chance to work longer with Bridget! If awarded we will work to pass on our enthusiasm for the gardening collection to an even wider audience, improving the current seed merchant's shop display.

The original seed merchant display.

There are gardening objects scattered across our museum at the moment - some on the farm, some in the collections gallery but the majority in a recreated seed merchant's shop which is part of Village Row. This display began life as a recreation of Taylor's seed shop in King's Lynn and it was located in the main museum building. It was vibrant and enticing and most importantly visitors could remember visiting shops like this in their youth. Nowadays seed merchant's shops have been replaced by garden centres and supermarkets or online buying. The current seed merchant's shop needs updating and some interpretation to help bring it to life to modern families, connect it to the historic gardens that are growing just outside and help our visitors think about they might grow more to help them towards a more healthy lifestyle.

The extension will allow us to assess what is there, open up access to more of the collections and more importantly demomnstrate why they are of importance today. There are so many opportunities to use gardening collections to do more than just talk about gardening - they promote healthy eating, physical exercise, environmental diversity and responsibility for our own surroundings. There is so much more that these objects can tell us about. I really hope we get the extension so we can follow the fellowship through to its' logical conclusion. Everyone involved has worked so hard - it would be great to celebrate the end of the project with a garden fete in Cherry Tree Cottage garden whilst we admire the new display.

We have been working hard on our masterclass workshop events which are coming up in November. We are really excited about sharing our ideas with others from the museum sector and are really looking forward to two days of sharing what we have learnt (and also sharing from the participants who will bring a wide range of skills and experience to the days). Work is steaming ahead by our collections team as we track down errant parts of the Taylors collection and improve the records. We are even thinking of introducing a heritage gardening event at Gressenhall next year. Tune in later to see how it all proceeds!