Shining a light on Tiverton Museum
16 May 2017
Tiverton Museum is celebrating as museum lighting has been upgraded thanks to a grant from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, through the Landfill Communities Fund.
The museum has been working closely with a local firm, J.V.Lee Electrical to replace over 300 lights around the building – nearly all of which have now been upgraded to LEDs from halogen and fluorescent lamps. This will significantly reduce the museum’s carbon footprint by approximately 80%. The museum’s finances should see a positive impact as the project is anticipated to considerably reduce the museum’s energy bills. The LED lamps are also better for the objects on displayas they emit less ultra violet light and produce less heat.
This project has been possible thanks to Viridor Credits, which contributed over £15,400. A further £2000 was awarded from the South West Museum Development Programme, and £225 from Tiverton Lions Club.
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, says ‘This has been a vital project for the museum. The funding from Viridor Credits has enabled us to transform the lighting throughout the museum reducing our carbon footprint and running costs. Julian and his team at J.V.Lee Electrical have been incredibly helpful. As a registered charity, we struggle to meet the ongoing maintenance for our listed building. Support such as this enables us to secure the future of the museum as a popular community resource and repository of local heritage.’
We need your help to win Co-op Community Fund cash!
28 April 2017
Tiverton Museum has been selected to be one of the charities supported by the Co-op Community Fund. The museum will be using the money raised to support a ‘Mini Brick Trail’ which will take place at the museum from July to the end of October. There will be small building block interventions throughout the museum alongside the museum displays (housed in display cases) with related topical scenes and mini figures. It will be designed to encourage families to explore the displays through a new and fun way using construction toys. There will also be play areas around the museum for families.
Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum, says: ‘We are asking anyone who is a Co-op member to select the museum as their local cause online so that we can raise as much money as possible for the museum. The Mini Brick Trail will be a really fun event for the summer, and is a great way to follow on from our incredibly successful All Aboard sculpture trail that we ran last year.’
Every time a Co-op member buys Co-op branded products and services, 1% of their spend goes to a local cause. For the 6 months the museum is part of the fund, the money builds up. Throughout the 6 months, members can choose which cause their contribution goes to. The museum has already built up £142, and the fund is open for votes until 7th October 2017.
We're looking for more volunteers
21 March 2017
Tiverton Museum is looking for enthusiastic and friendly people to join our volunteer team.
We are looking for people to join our front of house team on Saturdays. Are you interested in working on the front desk welcoming visitors to the museum and Tourist Information Service, and selling items from the museum shop? This requires using a till, card machine and answering telephone enquiries. Please contact Carrie Thomas on 01884 256295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Education Department also needs more volunteers. If you are interested in assisting with school visits to the museum, helping with our family craft days in school holidays or in delivering our reminiscence service to people in care and residential homes please contact Holly Jarrett on 01884 256295 or email email@example.com
We are also looking for one or two people who would be interested in undertaking oral history interviews for the museum using digital recorders. Finally, we are also looking for someone to help keep our outside areas nice and tidy. This would involve a little light gardening, sweeping and tidying. We have the brooms, but need the people! Please contact Pippa Griffith on 01884 256295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For all of these roles we will provide the training as long as you bring the passion and enthusiasm for Mid Devon and its history, playing a key role in helping visitors to enjoy their visit. As a registered charity, volunteers play a vital part, in both the front of house and behind the scenes at Tiverton Museum. Over 80 local people currently give their time to keep their local award winning museum running. The time that all of our volunteers give us equates to more than 6 full time members of staff per year!
More dementia friends at the museum
17 March 2017
More of our staff and volunteers were delighted to become Dementia Friends today thanks to a session with Tiverton Dementia Action Alliance.
All Aboard! auction raises thousands for the museum
29 November 2016
Tiverton Museum hosted a really exciting auction evening on Friday 18th November. Twenty of the All Aboard sculptures of the Tivvy Bumper steam engine that were around the town over the summer, were auctioned by Brian Goodison-Blanks of Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood.
All 20 of the sculptures found new homes. £4940 was raised for the museum, and £500 for Tiverton's Market Drop In Centre. The remaining sculpture was the prize in a raffle which raised a further £1000 for the museum.
All Aboard! wins award!
07 November 2016
We are delighted to have won the regional award for 'Art in the Landscape' from South West in Bloom for the sculpture trail!
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life earns 2016 Trip Adviser Certificate of Excellence
01 August 2016
Tiverton Museum today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, said: ‘We’re very proud to have won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the third time. We’dlike to thank all of our visitors who take the time to review us on TripAdvisor. As the Certificate of Excellence is based on customer reviews, the accolade is a great vote of confidence to our volunteers and staff who work on the front desk.’
"With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honours hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travellers”, said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travellers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travellers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”
The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
Heathcoat 200 walkers arrive back in Tiverton!
11 July 2016
To mark the 200th anniversary of John Heathcoat's relocation to Tiverton, a group of walkers recreated the walk that some of Heathcoat's workers undertook from Loughborough to Tiverton in 1816. The walk was organised by the museum's Chair of Trustees, Andrea Rowe. It took two weeks and followed canal towpaths and footpaths across the country.
The walkers were welcomed back to Tiverton with a big tea at Heathcoat Fabrics - still operating on the same site where Heathcoat established his mill.
The walkers visit Tiverton Museum's new temporary exhibition 'Heathcoat 200' with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon and Sir Ian Amory.
All Aboard! trail launched
02 July 2016
The All Aboard! family sculpture trail was officially launched at Tiverton Museum on Saturday 2nd July. About 200 people joined in the celebrations at the museum where the first trail maps were handed out and families headed off to find the sculptures.
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, said ‘We are very excited to be launching the trail today. It has been a huge community project with 29 local businesses sponsoring the trail, 18 local artists and 13 local schools have been involved in designing and painting the sculptures. Not to mention, one Olympic athlete, Jo Pavey, who came up with one of the designs. Many hundreds of volunteer hours have been spent getting the trail ready. All Aboard is a project for Tiverton and the local area, and we hope people have fun doing the trail over the summer.’
Bampton Heritage Centre organized the grand unveiling of the two Bampton sculptures on the same day. Pupils from Bampton Primary School had all submitted ideas for one of the designs, which were combined into a design celebrating Bampton.
All Aboard! is an exciting family sculpture trail in Tiverton and the surrounding area over this summer. Follow the trail map and find all 21 sculptures in the shape of the Tivvy Bumper steam engine. The trail maps are available from Tiverton Museum, Jo Amor on Bampton Street, Tiverton Library, Grand Western Canal Visitor Centre, Exe Valley Leisure Centre, Coldharbour Mill and Bampton Heritage Centre. The trail runs for 17 weeks until 30th October 2016.
Valentine's Appeal Success
23 March 2016
A recent appeal by Tiverton Museum for public help to purchase a posy ring resulted in immediate success thanks to a generous donation from Elizabeth Hughes in memory of her late husband, Ronald, a former volunteer at the museum.
Following an appeal on BBC Devon, Mrs Hughes contacted the museum. Pippa Griffith, Director of the museum, says ‘We are thrilled that the appeal resulted in such immediate success, and are very grateful to Mrs Hughes for her support. The ring will be a wonderful addition to our collection, and the inscription is very evocative and makes one wonder about who gave the ring and if the love was reciprocated!’ Mrs Hughes popped into the museum last week with her daughters to see the ring (pictured above).
Seals Appeal Success!
09 February 2016
We are delighted to announce a successful result of a public appeal Tiverton Museum held at the end of November last year. The appeal was to help purchase a collection of 22 lead cloth seals featuring a range of Tiverton merchants’ names and marks. The museum received a really positive response and the funds were raised for the purchase (£310). Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, says ‘We want to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this appeal which enabled us to respond to this rare chance and purchase the cloth seals. They were sold to us by a metal detectorist from Holland who found them, and he added a 23rd seal in for good measure. We have put the seals on display in our entrance area for the time being, so anyone coming into the museum and tourist information service can see them.’
Small lead cloth seals have been found by metal detectorists in Germany and Holland, often featuring the names of Tiverton merchants. From the late seventeenth century through most of the eighteenth century, there was a large export trade in serges from Topsham to Rotterdam or Amsterdam. The seals were attached to bolts of cloth and often discarded when all the lengths of cloth were sold. The seals are not often found in this country, but usually at market sites on the continent where Tiverton's cloth was sold.
- The Lewis family who built a grand house on Fore Street after the fire of 1731.
- Oliver Peard who lived where Boots the Chemist is today who was very wealthy, but killed himself with a blunderbuss in 1764.
- Benjamin Dickinson, Peard’s nephew, who eventually took over his business and rebuilt his uncle’s house on Fore Street to become a mansion that was said to ‘be finished with great taste, having every convenience suited to a very superior station in life and furnished throughout with costly elegance.’ To improve the view from his new house, Dickinson ordered the removal of the Market Cross which had stood at the centre of the street since the mid seventeenth century. In the same year, 1787, work was completed on his new country mansion at Knightshayes (which was of course rebuilt by John Heathcoat’s grandson).
In all, 19 of the seals feature Tiverton merchants and 3 of Exeter merchants. A very unusual seal is of John --- of Uffculme. Until this seal came to light, it was thought that local seals only carried the names of merchants from Tiverton, Exeter or Wellington. Research is ongoing as to the identity of this merchant. Space on the seal requires it to be a short name, maybe How, recorded as a sergemaker in 1771.
Tiverton Museum wins TWO Bronze Awards at Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2015!
27 November 2015
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has won the Bronze award for Small Attraction and the Bronze award for Access & Inclusivity at the Devon Tourism Awards 2015.
The awards celebrate the breadth of Devon's tourism offer as a county, and showed the strength of the award’s finalists and winners, with the awards receiving174 entries. Paul Hardingham, Commercial Director at Headline sponsors Hoseasons, said: “We have nothing but admiration for the energy, commitment and dedication shown by this year’s award winners to making sure Devon remains a place people want to go on holiday. Each and every one of them fully deserves the recognition they have received and we wish them all the best for another successful year in 2016.”
Andrea Rowe Chairman of Trustees commented ‘It is always daunting to find the Museum coming up against the likes of Plymouth Gin and Stuart Line Cruises, Exmouth in the Small Attractions category and The Calvert Trust in the Access and Inclusivity one, but it is thanks to our hard- working, creative, volunteers and small paid workforce that we gained not just one but two creditable Bronze Awards.’
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director said ‘We are delighted to have won our third Small Attraction Award from Visit Devon, and thrilled to have won our first Access & Inclusivity Award. Ensuring that the museum is as accessible and inclusive as possible is very important to us, and this award is a great recognition of that ethos.’
Long listed for the Family Friendly Museum of the Year award!
02 June 2015
Tiverton Museum is among the top 20 family friendly museums in the country. The longlisted museums have been nominated by visitors because they go out of their way to offer a warm welcome to families.
Tiverton Museum has a lot to offer visiting families including: free entry for kids visiting the museum with an adult; ‘Barney’s Bunch’ a new group for 2-5 year olds; explorer backpacks; play areas; step ups; regular craft activities; object handling session; trails; and special one-off events.
Holly Jarrett, Education & Outreach Officer commented: ‘Everyone here at the museum is excited to have been nominated for the Family Friendly Museum Award by so many visiting families. We are passionate about welcoming visitors of all ages and have started a number of new initiatives this year to make sure families get the most out of their visit.’
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, said: ‘We are delighted to be longlisted for the award for the second time (we were previously longlisted in 2012), and want to thank our visitors who nominated us. At Tiverton Museum we think it’s important for people of all ages to enjoy the museum. We see a lot of intergenerational interaction at the museum with grandparents showing grandchildren objects they remember and sharing memories about them.’
Tiverton Museum all set for people with a visual impairment to visit
22 April 2014
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has recently been working with Devon in Sight and Guide Dogs to ensure that visitors to the museum who have sight loss can enjoy the many and varied exhibits contained within the museum.
It all started last September when Devon in Sight organised a visit to the museum of local people who have a visual impairment accompanied by the volunteers who make up the Devon in Sight Volunteer Visiting Service.
Tiverton Museum’s Director, Pippa Griffith, said, “We were very pleased to welcome so many people with sight problems into the museum and it was the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback as to how we might make the museum experience more enjoyable and worthwhile for visually impaired people.” One of the most popular suggestions of the feedback and one that has been easy to remedy was that of training staff and volunteers to become Community Sighted Guides.
This is a nationally recognised half day course that raises awareness of visual impairment and also teaches the basic techniques of how best to guide someone safely who has significant sight loss. Devon in Sight is working in partnership with Rick Allbrook from Guide Dogs, who is able to offer this training locally. This partnership has worked well over the last couple of years and many people have benefitted from the training. Along with museum staff and volunteers, a staff member from the local Indoor Bowls Centre, staff and volunteers from Involve as well as Devon in Sight volunteer visitors have all been trained in the two recent sessions that have been hosted by the museum.
Sue Snell from Devon in Sight’s Volunteer Visiting Service commented that, “The museum has been incredibly positive and committed to improving their service to people with sight loss and has genuinely made the museum a much more accessible place for people with visual impairment to visit safely and to have an enjoyable and enriching experience.”
If you think your organisation or company would benefit from Community Sighted Guiding training for some staff members then get in touch with Sue (07580787308) to book places on the next course.
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12 September 2011
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