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Why museums matter

(13 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 28-Feb-13 07:51:43

This week's guest post is from Dea Birkett, director of Kids in Museums. She explains what's important to preserve from the past - and why museums really matter. Add your own thoughts and experiences below.

dorsetpennt Thu 28-Feb-13 09:26:10

I love museums. Sadly we only have one small, but very nice, museum where I live so whenever I visit my son in Twickenham I always try to visit at least one museum or art gallery. I suppose the V and A is my favourite as it has such a diverse collection - also I've always found that the restaurants in museums are excellent.

AnneNW Thu 28-Feb-13 13:22:15

I spent a great morning during half term at Haslemere Museum with 10 year old grandson. He found so much to interest him, from the dinosaur's roar to the hieroglyphics, to the giant crab and the colourful frog and giant egg in the garden. Not crowded so could wander at will and see everything. So glad I didn't take the train up to London and endure the crowds at the museums there!

skybluepink Thu 28-Feb-13 14:43:55

I can't understand why they make it so expensive for Concessions . It is really mean if you are a disabled, a pensioner, a member & a student they only recognise one how mean can you get .

As for disabled parking they have allowed it to become a thing of the past . I thought this sort of discrimination was against the law. Who is in charge? The accountants!

BAnanas Thu 28-Feb-13 17:26:24

I love museums. I feel very lucky to live close to London where we have fantastic museums. I particularly love the British Museum there is so much to see there. Just adore the Egyptian rooms, also a lot of fantastic items from the Middle East, including Iraq. There are many wonderful Celtic and Roman artefacts there as well as the Elgin Marbles, not sure whether they shouldn't be given back to Greece though. I enjoy all of it, there's so much to see, I love history and museums are absolutely key to showing us how mankind lived and how we all evolved. I'd much rather do a London museum than say Harrods. When we were in New York last year we discovered the Museum for Native Americans, a couple of hours wasn't really enough for me would have liked a whole day there. The Natural History Museum is great for kids and enjoyed taking my sons there when they were young and look forward to taking my granddaughter when she is a bit older. I agree with doresetpennt about the restaurants, they are often very good a friend and I had a lovely cream tea at the British Museum. I also love art galleries and libraries as well.

PRINTMISS Fri 01-Mar-13 14:51:05

We volunteer at the local Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre - not a vast place, and it is located in the local Chalk Pits, so there is no room to expand. It is manned mainly by volunteers, in other words folk who really enjoy what they are doing, and in some most cases very knowledgable. Lots of the exhibits are 'hands-on' particularly for the children who seem to love the wide open space - it is very much in the open air - and the opportunity they have to talk to people who are demonstrating. Preserving the past for the future is very much in vogue, but old professionals are hard to come by, and handing down an out of date skill is not easy, but all the while there are people who are willing and able to do this, and care for the past, it is indeed a very enjoyable occupation, and gives pleasure to many visitors.

NannaAnna Sat 16-Mar-13 00:03:55

My baby granddaughters are as yet too young for museums etc., but I did experience what Dea describes in the blog with one of my own daughters (aged 25) last weekend.
We visited the Biba exhibition at the Brighton Museum, and it brought back many memories. My daughter loved hearing at first hand about the hours I spent in Biba's Kensington High Street store, and the stories attached to the 2 Biba dresses I owned.
Funny to be contemporary to a museum exhibition, but a very enjoyable experience.

NannaAnna Sat 16-Mar-13 00:15:02

PRINTMISS hello from a fellow West Sussex resident smile
As the editor of the GN Worthing Local page (quick bit of plugging grin) I've added Amberley to our local listings. As you are so involved, would you like to add anything or edit what I've included Printmiss?

Here's the link:

PRINTMISS Wed 27-Mar-13 12:29:11

Sorry, NannaAnna, I have only just picked up your reply to my post of 1st March, about Amberley Museum, tried your link, but not working any more - my fault, I should have contacted you earlier. I will be pleased to look again, and add anything pertinent, - I am only involved really in the print shop, don't get much time to look around, but always enjoy myself when I go there. With my husbands latest heart op, which we hope will be successfu, we are both looking forward to returning to the Museum, even if it is on a part-time basis. The people there are the best, and the visitors always interesting.

NannaAnna Sun 31-Mar-13 00:03:41

Hi PRINTMISS I just tried the link and it worked for me. Alternatively, just click on 'Local" on the Gransnet home page and then chose Worthing smile

PRINTMISS Sun 31-Mar-13 12:29:40

Hello - caught up with the link, worked this time, thought the review good, but once again the Print Shop was missed from the review - we are one of the few volunteering groups who actually manage to keep the print shop open every day the Museum is open, and we are proud of that. The children love us - lots of people are friends, and so come in regularly as families, and we now recognise the children and know their names, because we let them use a machine to print on. They are not allowed to touch the type because it is lead, but enjoy what they do. We have a special weekend coming up May, and I hope that my husband will be well enough this year to allow us to spend a little longer then, than we have been in the past, due to ill health.

NannaAnna Sun 31-Mar-13 22:59:45

Hi again PRINTMISS Would you like to put a separate listing on there for the Print Shop?
The idea is for the listings to be self-populated (ie by businesses, organisations, interested parties, etc) rather than for the local editors to find and add everything, so please feel free to add what will clearly be a positive and enthusiastic promotion for the Print Shop smile

Flowerofthewest Sun 31-Mar-13 23:11:07

Sadly our museum is moving to the next town this year. My DDH used to work in the museum service as Senior Keeper and Head of Natural History for our county also as Countryside Officer. When he retired his post was not advertised or filled. It is a sad reflection of where things were heading. In fact the Curator the museum, in answer to an enquiry from a member of the public, sent one of her staff to the local bookshop to buy a couple of books on Natural History to answer enquires. What an insult to the fantastic work my husband did while he was there.