Buxton Museum and Art Gallery was thrilled to receive recognition for its work with young people at the Derbyshire Heritage Awards last Friday. Blue John – Uniquely Derbyshire is a project that provides the opportunity for young people to participate in making three commissions relating to a unique local mineral called Blue John. A window and a turned chalice made of Blue John and a film about making the chalice will be unveiled in Buxton Museum’s new galleries in May 2017 when it reopens after extensive refurbishment. Participants worked with the museum collections and at Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton; the only place on Earth where the stone can be found.
Highly Commended were the Creswell Heritage Trust for Joel Pemberton and the Portland College Volunteers which recognised the contribution of a dedicated group of young volunteers with disabilities and their work at Creswell Crags. Plus the Midland Railway Trust for Getting into Training; a volunteer programme that has particularly benefited an individual with learning difficulties.
The project that won the Young People in Heritage Award is part of the Made in Derbyshire programme with additional funding from the Friends of Buxton Museum.
The Blue John window is being made with the help of young artists from Buxton Artbox Artclubs. The museum has a window made by John Tym of Castleton, owner of Treak Cliff Cavern in the 19th century but the new version is the first to be made for over 150 years!
The turned chalice is being made by Jack Mosley, who is 23 years old. Jack has been making ornaments for 3 years and will make the chalice from the Ridley Vein identified in 2015 allowing him the rare opportunity to have his work in the museum collection.
Jimmy Hyland, 25 years old, is an innovative and exciting film maker with a love of the Derbyshire landscape. His film about working Blue John at Treak Cliff Cavern will be featured in the new galleries alongside the chalice and window.
The Awards are run by the Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum and were held this year at Crich Tramway Village with 70 guests celebrating all the work taking place in museums, historic houses and heritage sites across the county. Entries are welcomed from any organisations that have undertaken heritage related projects during the past year, including arts activities and work with natural heritage. The Awards were funded by the Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum and a grant from Museum Development East Midlands.
This year’s Awards were judged by Joy Hales (Editor, Derbyshire Life Magazine) and Pete Brown (Museum Education & Interpretation Consultant) whilst the ceremony was compered by Radio Derby’s Andy Potter. Award winners received a plaque, whilst Highly Commended projects were awarded a framed certificate. There were 35 entries from 16 different organisations this year, so the judges were forced to make some very difficult decisions when choosing the winners.
Well done to our friends …
Heage Windmill Society: Trouble at Mill Appeal for winning Best Volunteer Project which fundraised £75,000 to repair Heage Windmill, the only operational windmill in Derbyshire.
Joint Highly Commended: Dronfield Heritage Trust: Restoring Dronfield Barn – a project to restore a derelict historic building and bring it into community use and Crich Tramway Village: Loan of LCC 106 – where volunteers organised the transportation and loan of a tram car to East Anglia Transport Museum.
Midland Railway Trust: Keeping Time for winning Best Project on a Limited Budget which recognised their efforts to restore a railway clock system at Butterley.
Highly Commended: Erewash Museum: International Women’s Day Project – celebrations included a series of blogs and a mini-exhibition.
Derbyshire Record Office: Mining the Archives project for claiming the Behind the Scenes at the Museum Award for the repair and digitisation of two historic lead mining account books and highlighting them to the public through online blogs and an exhibition.
Highly Commended: Derby Museums Trust: Wright Revealed: Uncovering two lost paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby – a project enabling staff and visitors to learn about two Wright paintings though exploring the conservation and investigation process.
Belper North Mill Trust: Creative Craft Activities for winning the Reaching New Audiences Award; a project to involve the local community through group artwork and workshops, resulting in an exhibition in the museum.
Highly Commended: Erewash Museum: Foster Family Project – encouraging local foster families to visit the museum and attend art workshops together as part of the ‘Festival of Light’ celebrations in the community.
EDA: The Enlightenment Comes Alive for winning the Inspiration Award for telling the story of Derby Silk Mill and its important place in history through animation projected onto the building.
Highly Commended: Belper North Mill Trust & Fleet Arts: Part of the Fabric – a massive art installation using threads woven around Strutt’s North Mill supporting structure with 500 miniature mill workers hidden within, along with textile skill workshops for visitors.
The Judges’ Special Award went to Friends of Cromford Canal to recognise their contribution in restoring the Cromford Canal and providing events so that visitors can enjoy this historic and scenic area.
Erewash Museum for winning An Award in Excellence for their endeavours in a broad range of categories.
The Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum is a friendly, informal network chaired by Ros Westwood, Derbyshire Museums Manager. The Forum meets quarterly at different sites across the county to share information, discuss current issues, take part in training and listen to invited speakers. Anyone who is involved with a museum, heritage organisation, historic house or local history group in Derbyshire is welcome to join the Forum (a membership fee applies). For further information please contact Forum Secretary Kate Watts via email: firstname.lastname@example.org