Preparing for the All Aboard! auction
03 November 2016
Now that the All Aboard! sculpture trail has come to an end, we are getting ready to auction the sculptures at a special event at at Tiverton Museum on Friday 18th November at 7:30pm. The proceeds from the auction will go to Tiverton Museum and a donation will be made to the Market Drop In Centre. The auction is an open event, no prior booking required. The museum is taking commission bids if you are unable to attend the auction but would like to put in a bid. Please email Pippa on email@example.com for a copy of the commission bid form. The reserve price for each sculpture is £150.
One of the 20 sculptures, the ‘Fiery Fox’ will not be auctioned, but is the prize in a raffle which will be drawn on the same night. The sculpture features characters from the Peter’s Railway books who sponsored it. The books are for children who love railways and engineering. The author, Christopher Vine, has generously donated some signed books which will also be part of the raffle prize. The raffle tickets are now on sale at Tiverton Museum for just £1 !!!
Last chance to complete the All Aboard! trail
12 October 2016
The All Aboard! Family sculpture trail ends on the 30th October! If you haven’t completed the trail yet, there is still time to follow the trail map and find all 21 sculptures in the shape of the Tivvy Bumper steam engine.
When the trail is finished, Tiverton Museum is auctioning off the sculptures in a special event at Tiverton Museum on Friday 18th November at 7:30pm. The proceeds from the auction will go to Tiverton Museum and another local charity. The auction is an open event, no prior booking required. The museum is taking commission bids if you are unable to attend the auction but would like to put in a bid. The reserve price for each sculpture is £150.
One of the sculptures, the ‘Fiery Fox’ which is on display outside Phoenix House will not be auctioned, but is the prize in a raffle which will be drawn on the same night. The sculpture features characters from the Peter’s Railway books who sponsored it. The books are for children who love railways and engineering. The author, Christopher Vine, has generously donated some signed books which will also be part of the raffle prize. The raffle tickets are now on sale at Tiverton Museum for just £1 !!!
Museum coach trip great success
19 September 2016
A great time was had by all on our coach trip last week. Museum supporters visited the Kennet and Avon Canal. The photograph below shows the Avoncliff Aqueduct which was built in 1801 by John Rennie & John Thomas featuring 60ft long arch, still the longest span ever built. The trip made over £700 for the museum! For details of our forthcoming events please see the events page.
Railway events at Tiverton Museum
14 September 2016
Linking in with the All Aboard! Sculpture trail, Tiverton Museum is running a series of railway related events this autumn. Tickets for all of these events are on sale at the museum’s front desk, and are already selling fast!
The first is a trip up the Exe Valley in a vintage bus retracing the old railway line on Saturday 8th October. The day will include unique access to private property and the day will be led by railway historian Amyas Crump. Tickets are £40 p/p and advance purchase is essential. The last time the museum ran a similar event the tickets sold very quickly!
On Thursday 20th October Cine Star Film Archive will be showing their archive railway films at the museum on Thursday 20th October at 7:30 pm. Tickets are £5 (£4.50 for members) including light refreshments,advance purchase essential.
Behind the scenes of the railway collection: we're offering a unique opportunity to see items from the museum’s railway collection which are normally in store on Thursday 10th November. From an engineer's notebook, information posters to photographs there will be a lot to see. Railway historian Amyas Crump will be on hand to answer your queries. Tickets are £5 (£4.50 for museum members). Advance purchase essential as this will be a popular event.
We need more Front of House volunteers
12 September 2016
Tiverton Museum is looking for enthusiastic and friendly people to join our front of house volunteer team. 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. We provide the training as long as you bring the passion and enthusiasm for Mid Devon and its history, playing a key role in engaging visitors and helping them to enjoy their visit.
As a registered charity, volunteers play a vital role, in both the front of house and behind the scenes at Tiverton Museum. Over 70 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!
We are particularly looking for people who can help out on Monday afternoons and Saturdays. If you are interested in joining the museum’s friendly team and can spare a morning or afternoon every week or two please contact Pippa Griffith, Director on 01884 256295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruiting for Saturday Visitor Information Officer
18 August 2016
We're looking for someone to join our team on Saturdays.
Appointment Type: Part Time: 4.5 hours (October to March) or 5.5 hours (April to September) per week (Saturday). Fixed Term for 6 months.
Position: Visitor Information Officer (Saturday)
To ensure the smooth, efficient and effective running of the day to day Front of House, tourist information and trading operation at the Museum, maintaining the highest standard of presentation, customer service and safety at all times. You will be expected to have good computer skills together with an enthusiasm for tourism, Tiverton and the local area.
· Duty management of all front of house facilities and activities
· To act as key holder and Duty Officer as required
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life was established 56 years ago, and is accredited under the ACE Accreditation scheme. It provides extensive permanent displays on the history of Mid Devon and a lively temporary events and exhibition programme. The museum is playing a key role in enhancing Tiverton’s reputation as a visitor destination. The profile of the museum has increased greatly in the past few years, winning a number of county and regional awards.
Tiverton’s Tourist Information Service has been based at Tiverton Museum since 2013. The Museum Trust is committed to offering the best level of service possible to local people and to visitors to the area. The Tourist Information Service won the Bronze Visitor Service of the Year in Devon 2013.
We are recruiting for a Saturday post holder to work 4.5 hours (October to March) or 5.5 hours (April to September) per week at £7.20 per hour. This equates to £1,872 pro rota. This is a fixed-term contract for 6 months. The successful candidate will be asked to start work from Saturday 8th October 2016.
To apply please send a letter of application either to email@example.com or by post to The Director at Tiverton Museum, Beck’s Square, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6PJ (marked CONFIDENTIAL), with your CV and the names and addresses of two people whom we may approach for references by 5pm Thursday 8th September 2016. Interviews will take place on Wednesday 21st September 2016.
Unique chance to win an All Aboard! sculpture
17 August 2016
Tiverton Museum is offering a unique chance to win one of the sculptures from the All Aboard! family sculpture trail which is proving a runaway hit over this summer. The trail runs until the end of October. The sculptures will then be auctioned in a special event at Tiverton Museum on Friday 18th November. The proceeds from the auction will go to Tiverton Museum and another local charity.
One of the twenty one sculptures will not be auctioned, but will be the prize in a raffle which will be drawn on the same night. The raffle tickets are now on sale at Tiverton Museum. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a sculpture for just £1 !!! The identity of the sculpture which will be raffled will be unveiled nearer the time.
29 July 2016
We've just sold museum admission ticket 1442 - as that's the number of the Tivvy Bumper we gave away a free All Aboard bag to the lucky family. They were coming to see the real Tivvy Bumper before doing the All Aboard! family sculpture trail.
Heathcoat 200 exhibition opens
19 July 2016
Tiverton Museum and Heathcoat Fabrics have worked together to produce a new temporary exhibition which charts the story of the Heathcoat Factory in Tiverton since 1816. The factory has always had a close relationship with the town due to its central location, the numbers of people employed and the amount of housing and public facilities that the factory and the Heathcoat Amory family provided for Tiverton. The exhibition looks at how the factory started, the history of power and equipment used on site as well as the people who worked there. The exhibition also charts the change from making bobbinet lace to technical fabrics with some examples of the types of fabric made on site today which is used all over the world.
The exhibition runs until 23rd December 2016. Entry for the exhibition only is £1 for adults, or free with a full museum admission ticket.
First All Aboard! sculptures delivered
17 March 2016
Museum staff were excited to collect the first Tivvy Bumper sculptures for the summer's All Aboard! trail from Aden Hynes Sculpture Studios. These sculptures will be sent off to different sponsors and artists to be deocorated before the trail opens in early July.
Huge History Lesson and the Tivvy Bumper
03 March 2016
Tiverton Museum offers many congratulations to Jamie from Chumleigh Community College for doing so well in the national Huge History Lesson competition!
Schools were challenged to choose a museum object, carry out an enquiry and share their findings. Jamie made a fab website all about our very own Tivvy Bumper steam engine - please click here to see it.
For more information on the Huge History Lesson please click here.
Heathcoat workers sought by Tiverton Museum
24 February 2016
Tiverton Museum is busy planning a new temporary exhibition exploring the impact that the Heathcoat Factory has had on the town in the past two hundred years.
Staff and volunteers at Tiverton Museum are busy planning a new temporary exhibition to open later this year, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the arrival of John Heathcoat in Tiverton. The exhibition will examine a variety of topics, including the contribution to local employment and the growth of West Exe with the building of houses and other community resources.
The museum is running an accompanying oral history project with people who have worked at the factory over the years. Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, says ‘We are currently looking for people who worked in the factory and who are happy to have their memories recorded. Among things we are particularly interested in are families with more than one generation who worked there, wartime memories, the 1960 flood, factory housing and people who spent most of their career working at Heathcoats.’ If you would like to contribute to this project please contact Pippa Griffith, Museum Director on 01884 256295
All Aboard! Tivvy Bumper trail on track
23 February 2016
Tiverton Museum is delighted to announce that plans for the ‘All Aboard’ sculpture trail this summer are on track! The twenty one sculptures in the shape of the Tivvy Bumper are currently being made by Aden Hynes Sculpture Studio. Each sculpture has a local business which has sponsored it: Heathcoat Fabrics on behalf of Heathcoat Primary School, Heathcoat Fabrics, Hepco Motion, Kaba Ltd, GWR, Watts and Sons, Mid Devon Gazette, Blundell’s School, Tiverton Learning Co-operative, Peter’s Railway, The Globe Inn at Sampford Peverall, Age UK, Coldharbour Mill, Bampton Heritage Centre (2), Tiverton Museum, Tiverton Portas Company, Tiverton Trade Association, Mid Devon District Council (2) and Tiverton Town Council.
A number of Trail Sponsors have also signed up including Heard & Sendell, Ashfords LLP, Forest Glade and Mid Devon District Council. There is still the opportunity to become a Trail Sponsor for £200 + VAT. Ken White Signs have generously agreed to be Supply Sponsors for the trail by supplying signs for each sculpture. Further supply sponsors are currently being sought to help make and install the plinths for the sculptures.
The trail will run from early July to the end of October. It will be a high profile event for local families and tourists alike, encouraging enjoyment and appreciation of Tiverton and Mid Devon. The locations of the sculptures will help to raise the profile of some of the local leisure and tourism facilities and benefit local businesses. It is planned that the Bumper sculptures will be decorated in many different ways, involving local artists, celebrities, school children and local community groups. At the end of the trail, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for local charities.
Update on Posy Ring Appeal
03 February 2016
The appeal to purchase a posy ring was picked up by BBC Devon yesterday and was featured on both the local news and Radio Devon. This resulted in a listener, Mrs Hughes, coming forward to offer us the money needed in memory of her late husband Ronald Hughes. Mr Hughes volunteered on the museum’s front desk in the late 1970s.
Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum, says ‘We are thrilled that the appeal resulted in such immediate success, and are very grateful to Mrs Hughes for her support. The museum is a registered charity and dependent upon donations to help fund all of our activities.’
Tiverton Museum Valentine�s appeal for lover�s ring
02 February 2016
Tiverton Museum is asking for help from the public to purchase a gold posy ring. Posy rings are gold finger rings with a short inscription on the inside surface. They were popular in England as lover's gifts during the 15th to the 17th centuries. This ring was found at Uffculme and has the inscription ‘I live in hope’. It has engraved diagonal lines on the outside which may have once held enamel decoration. It dates from between 1500 to 1700. The ring is misshapen, perhaps due to plough damage.
Pippa Griffith, museum Director, says ‘This posy ring is a really evocative object. It makes one wonder who the lovers were and whether the love was requites. We’ve also been thinking about how it got lost, was it thrown in a fit of rage into a field, or did it fall off causing great distress to the wearer? Whatever the story is, it is a wonderful opportunity to acquire an object from an earlier period as many of our objects date from the Victorian period onwards.’
The ring has been offered to the museum through the Treasure Act. As the landowner has generously waived his share of the reward, we only have to raise £87.50 to purchase the ring. We are asking for donations to help us buy the ring and display it when it arrives. For further information on how you can help please contact Pippa Griffith at the museum (01884 256295).
New temporary exhibition open 'Hats Off'
31 January 2016
Hold on to your hats! Tiverton Museum has re-opening today for 2016 with a new temporary exhibition featuring hats from the museum’s collection. Not so long ago, hats were worn by everyone but have now generally fallen out of fashion. The exhibition examines how headwear developed, with bonnets being among the oldest hat style. More recent popular styles are looked, including the bowler, top hat and the trilby. Women’s hats have also changed with the fashions, growing quite large in the Victorian period with exotic decorations. Hats can also help to reveal a person’s job – from a chef’s hat to a police helmet.
The number of hat related idioms reflect the importance of headwear in the past. No eating of hats is required, just throw your hat into the ring and come to see more than a hat trick of old hats (but no old hat!) The exhibition runs from 1st February to 23rd April 2016. Entry for the exhibition only is £1 for adults, or free with a full museum admission ticket.
New Facebook page for the Tivvy Bumper Trail
10 December 2015
Follow all the latest trail news on our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TivvyBumperTrail2016/
Tiverton Museum steaming ahead with plans for Tivvy Bumper trail for 2016
08 December 2015
Tiverton Museum is delighted to announce the first sculpture sponsors for the Tivvy Bumper Sculpture Trail 2016. Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, says ‘we are really pleased to have attracted support from a range of organisations so far. As part of their 50th anniversary next year, Watts and Sons will be sponsoring a sculpture. Other Sculpture Sponsors include Mid Devon District Council, Portas Company, Coldharbour Mill, Bampton Heritage Centre, the Gazette, Blundell’s School, and Peter’s Railway (books for children who love trains and engineering) have all signed up to be Sculpture Sponsors. Ken White Signs have generously agreed to be Supply Sponsors for the trail, and Ashfords LLP are the first business to become a Trail Sponsor.’
‘The trail presents a great opportunity to celebrate the local area, and encourage footfall to the retail areas, leisure facilities and attractions. It will attract thousands of people including the local community, families and tourists.’
Following the success of sculpture trails elsewhere, Tiverton Museum is planning a trail based on the ‘Tivvy Bumper’ steam engine house in the museum. The trail will run between July and October in Tiverton and the surrounding area.
The trail will be a high profile event for local families and tourists alike, encouraging enjoyment and appreciation of Tiverton and Mid Devon. The locations of the sculptures will help to raise the profile of some of the local leisure and tourism facilities and benefit local businesses.It is planned that the Bumper sculptures will be decorated in many different ways, involving local artists, celebrities, school children and local community groups. At the end of the trail, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for local charities.
The museum has been awarded funding through Mid Devon District Council’s High Street Innovation Fund to start this very exciting project. The success of the trail lies in raising the sponsorship needed to cover the rest of the project costs. Businesses or individuals can sponsor a sculpture for £550 + VAT. There is also the opportunity to become a Trail Sponsor for £200 + VAT. The museum is also looking for a supply sponsors to help with specific elements of the trail such as making the plinths and helping with transport. The museum wants to have the sculpture sponsors agreed by the New Year so that the sculptures can go into production.
If you would like to get involved with the project please contact Pippa Griffith, Museum Director on 01884 256295.
Christopher Vine from Peter's Railway (one of the Sculpture Sponsors) with Bongo the engine.
05 November 2015
Tiverton Museum has been offered an extremely rare chance to purchase a collection of 22 lead cloth seals from Tiverton featuring a range of merchant’s names and marks. 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 seals on offer to the museum have been found in Holland and date between the late seventeenth centuryand the late eighteenth century. This is a unique chance to acquire a comprehensive collection that will help the museum to improve its displays on the local wool trade.
The merchants represented in this collection include Samuel Footewhose business was taken over by his son-in-law Robert Burridge, after Samuel’s death in 1691, and then by his grandson Samuel Burridge (who is also represented in the collection). There are seals from other well-known Tiverton merchants including:
- 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).
The museum only has two seals in the collection at the moment which were found in Holland by a metal detectorist. These seals both feature the mark of Samuel Burridge. Burridge was a cloth merchant who owned the Great House in Tiverton, and was Mayor in 1723.
We are asking for donations to help us buy the collection and to display the seals when they arrive. For further information on how you can help please contact Pippa Griffith at the museum (01884 256295).
Tiverton Museum among the finalists for two awards at the Devon Tourism Awards 2015
22 October 2015
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life if among the finalists for Small Attraction of the Year Award and for the Access & Inclusivity Award in the Devon Tourism Awards 2015. Reaching this stage means that the museum will win a Gold, Silver or Bronze award in each category.
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director said ‘We are very pleased to be among the finalists for the third time for the Small Attraction Award. We are even more delighted to be up for the Access & Inclusivity Award as this is the first time we have entered this category. It is really important to us that we make the museum as accessible and inclusive to our local community as possible. Reaching the finals is a wonderful recognition that we are achieving this.’
Tiverton Museum is no stranger to the Devon Tourism Awards, winning the Gold Small Visitor Attraction in 2013, and Bronze in 2012. The Tourist Information Service, run by the museum won Bronze Information Service of the Year in 2014.
Tivvy Bumper sculpture trail for 2016
20 October 2015
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is planning a trail for the summer of 2016 with Tivvy Bumper sculptures being placed around the local area. By using the Tivvy Bumper (the steam engine displayed at Tiverton Museum), the trail will be unique, using a local symbol which appeals to a wide range of people. The museum has been awarded funding through Mid Devon District Council's High Street Innovation Fund to start this very exciting project which has been inspired by the Shaun in the City trail in Bristol, the Big Hoot in Birmingham, Swans of Wells and many others.
The trail will run during next summer and will be a high profile event for local families and tourists alike, encouraging enjoyment and appreciation of Tiverton and Mid Devon. The locations of the sculptures will help to raise the profile of some of the local leisure and tourism facilities and benefit local businesses.It is planned that the Bumper sculptures will be decorated in many different ways, involving local artists, celebrities, school children and local community groups.
Andrea Rowe, Chairman of Tiverton Museum, says ‘We are thrilled that MDDC has provided the initial funding needed to start the project. The success of the trail will lie in working closely with the local community and in raising the sponsorship needed to cover the rest of the project costs. We are confident that the Trail will build on the already powerful pull the Tivvy Bumper attraction creates on visitors to the town.’
New temporary exhibition open
09 August 2015
Tiverton Museum’s summer exhibition ‘Munitions and Matrons; Tiverton’s role during World War One’ was officially opened by BBC Radio Devon presenter Jo Loosemore. The exhibition showcases a project which has examined the contribution that the Heathcoat Factory made to the war effort during the First World War. The project and exhibition have been funded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme.
The factory was heavily involved in the war effort from 1915, producing shell cases and net for very early respirators after the first gas attacks on the Western Front. Museum staff and volunteers have undertaken hours of research using photographs, newspapers and documents. Museum staff have talked to local people who had family members who worked in the factory during the war which has helped to build up a better picture of individuals behind the story.
The Museum has been working with Knightshayes Court, which became a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) hospital in 1915. Knightshayes is also running a special exhibition ‘Knightshayes at War’ looking at the history of the hospital which runs until November.
The exhibition ‘Munitions and Matrons’ runs until 19th December and entry is free.
New collector's corner display
26 June 2015
We are inviting local collectors to showcase their exhibitions in the museum, and are starting with a local person who has a collection of vintage Penguin Books. If you have a collection you would like to see on show in the museum please contact us!
Community display area used by Mid Devon Natural History Society
25 May 2015
Mid Devon Natural History Society have put on a special display in our community display area showing some local (and not so local) wildlife, including a Tawny Owl. Discover what a door mouse's nest looks like and a variety of birds' nests.
Museum celebrates 55 years
15 May 2015
Tiverton Museum celebrated its 55th birthday recently with a special volunteer tea party generously hosted by Sir Ian and Lady Amory. Around 50 of the museum’s 78 volunteers joined staff and trustees for the celebration where a cake featuring the museum’s logo was cut by Charlie Jackson, the museum’s oldest volunteer.
The museum is dependent upon volunteers who are involved in every aspect of running the organisation including welcoming museum visitors and helping with tourist information queries, caring for the collections, dealing with research enquiries, helping with school groups and family holiday activities, delivering our reminiscence service, maintaining the Grade II listed building and much more! People from all walks of life and all ages help out at the museum. Last year volunteers gave more than 11,800 hours to the museum – an in kind contribution of well over £107,420.
The museum attracts many local visitors from all over the world, many of whom comment on the warm welcome they receive from the volunteers on the front desk. Recent comments reflects how much visitors to the town enjoy our museum:
‘A Wonderful world class museum!’ – Visitor from Swaziland
‘Fantastic museum for a small town.’ – Visitor from France
‘Amazing! Thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Could spend hours here.’ – Visitor from Australia
‘One of my favourite museums ever.’ – Visitor from California
Munitions Workers Descendants Sought
06 May 2015
Tiverton Museum is looking for relatives of people who worked in the Munitions Department at the Heathcoat Factory during World War One. The museum wants to add to the list of people known to have worked in the department, and also wants to record people’s family stories of the factory at that time.
Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum, says: ‘At the museum we have a small number of photographs of munitions workers, and know the names of some of them. We would love to hear from anyone who can help us to build our knowledge of the Factory during World War One. The first six women employed in the Munitions Department on 22nd May 1916 were Miss Aslett, Miss Cosway, Miss Elson, Miss Lake, Miss Moore and Mrs W. Thorne. Later on we know that Miss C. Dally, Miss Robjohns, Mrs Minnie Ellacott (nee Sydenham), Miss J. Norman, Miss F. Stuckey, Mrs Edbrooke, Mrs Hodsdon, Miss B. Warren, Ellen Boobier and Mr Baker were working in the department. A photograph from 1917 shows that around 90 people were working on making shell cases – over half of whom were women. If anyone recognises any of these names, or any of the people in the photographs it would be fantastic to hear from them. We’re also on the hunt for the triangular ‘On War Service’ badges which you can see them wearing in the photographs.’
This research is part of the Museum’s project ‘Munitions and Matrons’ which has been funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on the contribution that the Heathcoat Factory made to the war effort during the First World War. Tiverton Museum’s project will examine the history of the Heathcoat lace factory, which from 1915 produced shell cases and components for very early gas masks. Museum staff and volunteers will collect and research photographs, newspapers and documents, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like for the local people who worked in the factory.
Tivvy Bumper turns 80!
05 May 2015
Tiverton Museum ran a special day of celebrations to mark the commissioning of GWR locomotive 1442, known affectionately as the ‘Tivvy Bumper’ 80 years ago. There was lots to see and do, with model railways including the Culm Valley Model Railway Club’s layout of Uffculme Station. The were also family activities galore with badge making, making a key ring, decorating Bumper biscuits and a special trail.
The Museum’s shop now stocks even more railway related goodies than ever, including a new booklet by Amyas Crump on the Exe Valley Line, and a new children’s T-Shirt featuring the Tivvy Bumper.
The name the ‘Tivvy Bumper’ originally applied to all trains working on the branch connecting Tiverton Station and Tiverton Junction at Willand. Between 1884 and 1964 trains ran daily, connecting the main line trains at the junction with the Exe Valley trains at Tiverton.
Tiverton Museum awarded HLF grant to mark First World War Centenary
08 April 2015
This week, Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has received £6,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project ‘Munitions and Matrons’ in Tiverton. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on the contribution that the Heathcoat Factory made to the war effort during the First World War.
Tiverton Museum’s project will examine the history of the Heathcoat lace factory, which from 1915 produced shell cases and components for very early gas masks. Museum staff and volunteers will collect and research photographs, newspapers and documents, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like for the local people who worked in the factory.
This information will be gathered together for a temporary exhibition at the museum running from August to Christmas. The museum is planning to work with the local community as much as possible: we are looking for descendants of people who worked in the munitions department of the factory who would be happy to have their family stories recorded for the project.
The Museum is working with Knightshayes Court, which became a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) hospital in 1915. Knightshayes is also running a special exhibition looking at the history of the hospital which will be on from August to November.
Commenting on the award, Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are very excited to start researching the history of the factory to discover what impact the war had on the factory, its workers and the town.”
Information Service wins Bronze award!
20 November 2014
Tiverton’s Tourist Information Service has won the Bronze award for the Tourist Information Service of the Year award at the Devon Tourism Awards 2014. To reach the final, the service went through a three-stage judging process, including assessment of their websites and entry forms, mystery visits and a final independent judging panel. The judges commented 'This is a small, clean and enticing TIC. The person I talked to is clearly passionate about her town and its surroundings.'
Andrea Rowe Chairman of Trustees commented ‘When people drive into Beck's Square off the Link road and want to find out what there is to do in North and Mid Devon and when local people want to buy coach tickets and book local theatres , the Tiverton TIC is there to help. So many of them have told us how good it is and this Award is the icing on the cake.’
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director said ‘We are delighted to receive this recognition for our two Visitor Information Officers, Carrie Thomas and Mary Davey, and the many volunteers who staff our front desk and help with a wide range of enquiries. We would like to thank the Gazette and Frou Frou café/bar for sponsoring our award tickets which enabled us to attend the ceremony.’
Working with local partners on exciting WW1 project
19 November 2014
Tiverton Museum is delighted to be working with arts education organisation, Daisi, and Knightshayes Court on 'What it means to us…’ commemorative World War One project.
Daisi has been awarded £34,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to support an exciting commemorative project for young people- Remembering the First World War: what it means to us.
The project runs over two years (2014 – 2016), and enables four separately drawn geographical communities in Devon to explore local stories and happenings from that time providing opportunities for local young people to then make creative responses to the research which will be shared widely through exhibitions, film and a touring show.
The first community to start work is Tiverton. Young people from local schools including Tiverton High School and their families will be invited to take part. Workshops in animation, print making and the creation of memorial artefacts will take place at National Trust property Knightshayes and Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life during February and May half term. In addition there will be a schools’ programme of activities.
Autumn Celebration Day enjoyed by all
28 October 2014
Tiverton Museum's Autumn Celebration Day proved very popular with families today. There was loads to do including helping with apple pressing, butter making, craft activities and basket making demonstrations. A huge thank you to Jane Welsh for the basket making and the Sampford Peverell Community apple press!
Information Service up for an award!
21 October 2014
Tiverton’s Tourist Information Service is among the finalists for the Tourist Information Service of the Year award in Devon Tourism Awards 2014. Reaching this stage means that the Tourist Information Service will win a Gold, Silver or Bronze award. Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has been operating the new Tourist Information Service for a year. Andrea Rowe Chairman of Trustees commented ‘We, at the Museum, were quietly confident that we could provide an excellent information service for the Town. Our nomination for one of these prestigious Tourism Awards is welcome confirmation that we are on the right track. We thank all who wished us well and worked with us to produce such a good outcome.’
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director said ‘We thrilled with the news that the Information Service is among the finalists especially as it is for the first year that we have operated the service. It is a fantastic achievement for our two Visitor Information Officers, Carrie Thomas and Mary Davey, and the many volunteers who staff our front desk and help with a wide range of enquiries.’
TivertonMuseumis no stranger to the Devon Tourism Awards, winning the Gold Small Visitor Attraction in 2013, and won a Bronze award in 2012. The museum did not enter the Small Visitor Attraction category this year as we thought we’d have a year off!
Favourite objects highlighted
01 September 2014
Tiverton Museum asked our staff and volunteers to pick their favourite objects and to tell us why they like it. We have put up special signs around the museum highlighting these favourites.
The museum would love to hear from our visitors about their favourite items in the museum. We are asking visitors to fill in ‘Visitor favourite’ cards, or to leave us a message on our facebook page (TivertonMuseum). Some of these will be picked and featured as visitor favourites.
Holly, our Education and Outreach Officer, has picked a blue and white decorated toilet:
‘It is so beautifully decorated - for me this sums up the Victorian obsession with beauty and design - even on the most mundane of objects!
It is also part of the very important story of how sanitation improved the lives of people in the Victorian era. Without Thomas Crapper popularising the flush toilet, we may well still be living in an age of cholera, dysentery, typhus and typhoid fever.’
Tiverton Museum open Saturday afternoons throughout August
01 August 2014
Tiverton Museum has extended its opening hours for the summer holidays, and will be open 10:00-4:30 on every Saturday in August.
Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt
03 June 2014
Tiverton Museum is delighted to take part in Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt again this year. The competition has a cash prize and is open all summer (closing date 30th September).
Gold Street businesses sponsor Tourist Information Service
01 May 2014
Tiverton’s Tourist Information Service, based at Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has recently received generous sponsorship from the Lantic Gallery, Mojos, Mademoiselle Mojo’s and Frou Frou. The sponsorship enabled the service to purchase some new display units in time for the new tourist season.
Bev and Jan Wheatley (owners of Mojo’s, Mademoiselle Mojo and Frou Frou) commented: ‘Visitors to Tiverton are key to the success of the Town as a destination or as a stop over. We have a lot to shout about, the canal, Knightshayes, 2 castles and some of the best independent shops and restaurants around. Thanks to Tiverton Museums' Tourist Information Service for putting us out there!’
Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum commented: ‘Support from local businesses is very much appreciated and helps the Tourist Information Service to promote Tiverton and the local area to visitors. We work closely with local partners, including the Mid Devon Attraction Group (which is currently chaired by me). We are looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors to the area this summer.’
Representatives from Frou Frou, the Lantic Gallery, Mademoiselle Mojo, Mojo's and the Tourist Information Service show the new sponsorship board at the museum.
New display in the Exe Valley Leisure Centre
08 April 2014
We have a new summer display in the entrance of the Exe Valley Leisure Centre with some lovely vintage swimming costumes and this fantastic photo of a race in 1949.
Tiverton features on BBC today!
25 February 2014
Tiverton's World War One story is featured on BBC Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight today. The programmes examine the role that the Heathcoat factory played during the war making shell cases. The programmes feature extracts from the factory log books which are held at Tiverton Museum and interviews with two of our volunteers.
Tiverton Museum wins BRONZE!
03 February 2014
Everyone at Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is overjoyed to have won the Bronze Award for Small Visitor Attraction at the South West Tourism Awards for the second year running!
Andrea Rowe, Chairman of Trustees of the museum commented‘This regional Award is testimony to the professionalism of The Museum Director, Ms Pippa Griffith. Without the support of Tiverton Town Council and the MDDC, the Trust could not afford a full time post. She leads our many volunteers who come from across the district and who contribute hugely to the success of the Museum. We have an exciting and varied programme of events and exhibitions for 2014 so do continue to support your FAMOUS local Museum.’
Pippa Griffith, Director at Tiverton Museum commented ‘This is a fantastic achievement to be recognised again as among the very best attractions in a huge region that has literally hundreds of small attractions. We would particularly like to thank West Pitt Farm (who were Highly Commended in the Self Catering Establishment category) for sponsoring our award tickets which meant that we were able to attend the awards ceremony.’
Vice Chairman Philip Sealy and Director Pippa Griffith collected the award at the awards ceremony at The Holiday Inn, Plymouth which was hosted by ITV Westcountry news presenter Ian Axton, with a stimulating opening presentation by travel writer Sally Shalam.
Nearly 350 entries were considered for the Awards, with all entrants undergoing a rigorous short-listing process and 213 going on to be visited by a team of 35 mystery shoppers. Up to four Award winners from each category in this year’s awards will all now go on to represent the region at the National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in May.
Chair of Judges, Alistair Handyside, said: “It’s that time of year when the tourism industry get together to present the top businesses in our region with their well-deserved awards. This year we have had the most entries ever and the most challenging judging, the list of finalists really does look like a who’s who of the best in the South West. Once again the entrants have surpassed themselves in showing that investment, innovation and creativity remain at the heart of the visitor economy in the region.”
Pop Up Museum pops up in new location
13 December 2013
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life’s Pop Up Museum has moved into the old Bike Shop window on Gold Street. New banners are on display on the wool trade, the Heathcoat Factory and how Tivertonians have spent their leisure time over the years. The differently themed banners that form the Pop Up Museum reflect the many topics that are covered in the museum’s extensive collection.
Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum, says ‘This is the third venue that the Pop Up Museum has been in so far; it’s a great way of sharing some of the wonderful photographs from our collection and for reminding people that the town has a large, award winning museum! We are very grateful to Bill Maynard for allowing us access to the shop, which is now to let.’
The Pop Up Museum was funded through Mid Devon District Council’s High Street Innovation Fund.
Tiverton Museum among the winners at SW Tourism Awards 2013/14
27 November 2013
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has been selected as one of the Winners in the Small Visitor Attraction category of this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards, as well as being selected as one of the region’s representatives in the national VisitEngland awards.
Tiverton Museum is up against Geevor Tin Mine, St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre, and National Trust Coleridge Cottage in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category. As one of the finalists, the museum is guaranteed to be awarded gold, silver, bronze or commended status.
Andrea Rowe, Chairman of Trustees of the museum commented ‘We are delighted that Tiverton's small Museum has again taken on the big boys in the tourism awards. We are in the Finals this year, against a world famous Cornish tin mine, a Brewery and a National Trust property. We work very hard to make the Museum family friendly and fun to visit.’
About the South West Tourism Awards:
After assessing nearly 350 entries, a record 213 visits and 20 hours of panel meetings, an expanded list of 63 Finalists and 34 Highly Commended entries have been announced in this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards. 59 of the Finalists will also go on to carry the South West’s flag in the national VisitEngland awards in May.
The South West Tourism Excellence Awards are the ‘official’ tourism awards for the region, offering entry to businesses in Somerset, Bath, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly as well as linking closely with the awards in Cornwall and Devon and the new awards scheme in Dorset. They also form the regional heat of the national VisitEngland awards, to which eligible winners will now progress.
Tiverton Museum wins GOLD!
14 November 2013
Everyone at Tiverton Museum is delighted that the museum won the Gold Small Visitor Attraction award at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2013! The award is a fantastic endorsement of all of the hard work, passion and enthusiasm of the museum's large volunteer workforce and the small number of paid staff.
Vice Chairman Philip Sealy and Director Pippa Griffith collected the award at the awards ceremony at The Grand Hotel Torquay which was presided over by popular Devon celebrity Judi Spiers.
Successful businesses in the Devon Awards will now be fast tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in January 2014 and then possibly on to the National Visit England Awards later in May 2014.
Tiverton's winner of the Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt
28 October 2013
Congratulations go to Eleanor the winner of Tiverton Museum's prize for taking part in Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt! The lucky prize winner was sent a goody bag of railway items from the museum's shop.
Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt had an overall prize of £500 First Prize which was won by Sam (7 years old) from the North East. The runner up prize of £250 went to Thomas (9 years old) from Nottinghamshire. The other £250 prize, for competitor who visited the most railways and museums, went to Cameron (aged 11) from Derbyshire. There were also 39 Local Prizes (including this one from Tiverton Museum), donated by the railways and museums, awarded to lucky winners.
Official Launch of Tiverton's new Tourist Information Service
14 October 2013
Tiverton's new Tourist Information Service was officially launched on Friday 11th and opened by the Museum's President, Sir Ian Amory. Also in attendance were Cllr John Berry and Cllr Janet Rendle, the Mayor of Tiverton.
Special trip along the Exe Valley Railway Line
07 October 2013
The museum ran a special event on the 5th October to make the 50th anniversary to the day of the closure of the Exe Valley Railway Line in 1963. The museum ran a Bedford OB vintage coach along the old route of the line from Brampford Speke to Dulverton, stopping at a number of the old stations along the way. The day was run by museum trustee and railway historian, Amyas Crump and was greatly enjoyed by everyone. Tickets for the event sold out very quickly and the museum is planning to run similar events using the vinage coach again in the future. The day would not have been possible without the support of the owners of a number of former stations who generously opened their homes to our tour.
The Exe Valley line was completed in 1885 and finally gave Tiverton a direct connection to Exeter with services running from Exeter St David’s, through Tiverton, to Dulverton. The services continued for 78 years until the Beeching Report listed the line for closure.
Summer Seaside Family Day was a great success!
15 September 2013
Great fun was had by all at our Seaside Family Fun Day at the end of the summer holidays. We were joined by special guests Armband Alfie, and Helen who was an Olympic torch bearer at last year's Olympics, not forgetting Issachar the donkey!
Pop Up Museum now in the town
16 August 2013
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life’s Pop Up Museum is now in shop windows around the town. One window of the old Julian Graves shop on Fore Street features a timeline of local history, and a banner promoting local attractions such as Knightshayes, the Castle, Bickleigh Mill and the Grand Western Canal. The old Busy Bee Shop on Gold Street displays themed banners on topics reflecting some of the museum’s extensive collection, such as transport, the market and shopping in Tiverton.
The museum is very grateful to Cllr Sue Griggs from the Town Team for offering us a window in Julian Graves and to Shawn Grace from Busy Bee for generously allowing access to his old premises on Gold Street.
The Pop Up Museum was funded through Mid Devon District Council’s High Street Innovation Fund.
Display opens at Exe Valley Leisure Centre
02 August 2013
Tiverton Museum is delighted to announce that a new display has opened at the entrance of Exe Valley Leisure Centre in Tiverton. The display promotes our current temporary exhibition 'Harvesting Memories' which looks at the memories and experiences of local farmers. Many thanks to the staff at the Leisure Centre for giving us the space for the display!
The museum has also installed part of its Pop Up Museum in the old Julian Graves shop on Fore Street this week. The museum would like to thank the Town Team for inviting us to share their space in the shop.
New additions to railway collection
02 July 2013
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon is delighted to announce four significant additions to its local railway display.
Tiverton Museum is well known for its much loved 1935 built GWR Loco 1442 ‘The Tivvy Bumper’, as well as its extensive collection of railwayana from the iconic Culm Valley and Exe Valley Branches closed by the Beeching Axe fifty years ago.
From the Culm Valley comes HEMYOCK EAST GROUND FRAME and the GWR half harp gas lamp that hung over the booking office at Uffculme Station (pictured below).
Another cast iron sign TIVERTON JUNCTION BOX comes from the signal box which formerly controlled the junction of the West of England main line, Culm Valley and Tiverton branches.
Exe Valley services ran from Exeter St David’s via Tiverton to Dulverton on the Taunton-Barnstaple line where valley trains had their own platform. From the Down platform comes the sign that hung under the footbridge ‘To THE EXE VALLEY TRAIN’ (pictured below).
Harvesting Memories exhibition now open
18 June 2013
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is delighted to announce that the summer exhibition ‘Harvesting Memories’ opened to the public last week. The exhibition is the culmination of an inter-generational oral history project examining the changes in farming from the Second World War to today. Students from Tiverton School and Uffculme School interviewed and recorded local people about their farming memories and experiences. It is these interviews that form the core of the exhibition which also features the some wonderful photographs.The role of women on farms, a farmer’s leisure time and the change from horse power to tractor are just some of the topics covered in the exhibition.
The ‘Harvesting Memories’ project started about 18 months ago, and resulted in 60 students interviewing 30 people. These interviews will be added to the museum’s archives; extracts are available to listen to in the exhibition and will be added to the museum’s farming gallery when the temporary exhibition ends.
The project was funded through generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Young Roots grant programme, as well as support from the Devon Heritage Services and three County Councillors (Des Hannon, John Berry and Polly Colthorpe) using part of their Locality Budgets.
The exhibition opening was attended by Julie Finch and Doug Hulyer from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South West Committee, as well as some of the students from both schools and people who had contributed to the project. Representatives from Devon County Council, Mid Devon District Council and Devon Heritage Services were also present.
The exhibition is family friendly with a play area for younger visitors. The museum will be running a special family day linking to the exhibition on the 10th August with children’s activities, vintage tractors and more! The holiday ‘Build Craft Create’ family activities will also relate to the exhibition.
The exhibition runs until 20th Decmber and entry to it is free. The museum is open 10:30-4:30 Monday to Friday and 10:00-1:00 Saturdays.
Tiverton Museum takes part in Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt
03 June 2013
Tiverton Museum is delighted to be taking part in the Peter's Railway Treasure Hunt. Lots of heritage railways are taking part in the Hunt over the summer!
This free competition is for children of 14 years or under. The 1st prize of £500 will be awarded to the entrant who has collected the most correct answers over the summer. There is a Runner up prize of £250. Another prize of £250 will be won by the entrant who has visited the most railways or museums in the Hunt.
The more places you visit during the summer, the more points you can win. How many can you visit and how much treasure can you collect?! Good luck!!
And the Bronze Award for Small Visitor Attraction at the South West Tourism Awards goes to...
11 February 2013
TIVERTON MUSEUM OF MID DEVON LIFE!