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Valued Volunteers Shortlisted for Award

Enthusiastic volunteers are in the running for an award for helping the Council to stage a show-stopping cultural event celebrating the 250th anniversary of the modern circus.

A total of 14 volunteers, who support activities and events at the Brampton Museum, are finalists in the West Midlands Volunteer Awards.

Officers nominated the team following their extensive research which formed the basis of an exhibition symbolising Philip Astley’s meteoric rise from the son of a cabinet maker to “father of the modern circus”. Philip, born in Newcastle in 1742, was an elusive character and left very few traces of his life and family.

The volunteers were tasked with finding out as much as they could about him. They searched high and low in their investigations – this included online research, archive trawls and transcribing documents. One volunteer even went to Paris to search for Philip’s unmarked grave and another designed and made costumes. The team also wrote exhibition text and attended regular progress meetings.

“Philip Astley – His Life and Legacy” featured loaned artwork from national museums, archive material, costume, sounds, colours and other elements. It was a huge success, attracting more than 10,000 visitors.

Cllr. Mark Holland, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The museum volunteers are an amazing group of people who go above and beyond what’s expected of them and deserve recognition for the time, effort and sheer enthusiasm they have brought to this important project. The exhibition simply wouldn’t have been possible without their contribution – we’re very proud of them.”

The Awards are part of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s National Portfolio and Museum Development programmes, funded through the Arts Council England.  It recognises the invaluable work done by volunteers in the museum sector. The results will be announced at Birmingham Hippodrome on Thursday, 6 September.

Pictured, left to right, are museum volunteers Beryl Carter and Ann Watkins.


Last updated 21 August 2018