Newly Refurbished Green Howards Museum Opening Remembrance Sunday
Friday, Oct 24, 2014
The completely redeveloped Green Howards Museum is almost ready to re-open its doors in the centre of the Georgian market town of Richmond, North Yorkshire.
Following a successful bid for a £974,600 of Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the museum, which is housed in a former church in the market square, has undergone a full transformation – the total cost of the project was £1.7 million with additional funds coming from the Green Howards Trust, other charitable trusts and private donors.
Entry is through the gift shop, as before, but then the museum becomes unrecognisable. State-of-the-art, specially designed displays house perfectly lit artefacts and memorabilia which take visitors on a journey through the Green Howards’ history.
Children and adults alike will be able to handle original artefacts including soldiers’ personal items and military equipment, while interactive displays will help bring the museum experience to life.
The staircase, which used to be in the centre of the building, has been relocated to the side of the museum, freeing up more square footage, which allows guests to move around the exhibitions more easily. There is now a lift and ramps to make visits much easier for those with prams or in wheelchairs and new toilets have also been installed.
The additional space and extra display areas will allow the museum to display more of its 45,000+ objects which span 300 years of military heritage. The oldest objects in the museum date from 1688 and its latest acquisitions are from the Yorkshire Regiment’s recent operations in Afghanistan.
The Normanby Room, which was previously kept behind closed doors, has now become a permanent addition to the displays, housing stunning Robert ‘Mousey’ Thompson furniture and regimental artwork, the Regiment’s silver, instruments and uniforms worn in the Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess.
This beautiful room is also now available for hire for functions – in fact it’s hoped the entire venue will become known as a community space for the public to use, not just as a museum, but for regular events and activities. In the coming weeks and months, there will be special events including a First World War themed concert; “Home Fires Burning” and regular sessions such as Museum Monkeys for pre-schoolers.
Next door to the Normanby Room, the medals room, which never fails to captivate visitors, houses 3,750 medals and awards including Victoria Crosses and George Crosses.
The re-opening of the museum also means that the third venue in the newly formed Richmond Cultural Education Partnership (RCEP) will be available as a resource for school visits. The partnership, which also includes The Georgian Theatre Royal and The Station, was set up to help pupils learn about history within a relevant historic setting. In addition, a whole range of activities for families and groups is planned; all utilising the museum’s excellent collection of objects and uniforms.
Lynda Powell, Curator and Director at the Green Howards Museum, says: “This is an incredibly exciting time for everyone at the museum. So much planning and hard work has gone into its redevelopment and finally we are thrilled to be so close to re-opening. The new-look museum looks fantastic and we can’t wait to open the doors to our visitors in November.”
The museum will re-open on Remembrance Sunday (9 November). As well as the permanent collection, there will also be a special exhibition based around 1914.
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The reopening of the Green Howards Museum is fantastic news for the heritage of Richmond, where we’ve also provided grants for the redevelopment of the Georgian Theatre Royal and Richmond Station. Congratulations to everyone at the museum for the completion of this work which will enable even more people to access and understand the centuries of military heritage the museum houses.”
During half term, a family activity session, ‘Postcards and Plum Puddings’ will take place on Monday 27 October between 2.30pm and 4pm. Find out what life was like 100 years ago as we tell the story of local soldier, Albert Hepplestone and his wife May through original letters, postcards and parcels. On Tuesday 28 October, the museum is running a Big Draw event at The Station between 10am and 4pm.
Special Museum Tour
Tour the recently re-opened Green Howards Museum with Curator Lynda Powell.
Get an insight into the redevelopment project, the challenges faced and choices made, with a personal guide to the newly displayed collection.
Normal museum admission charges apply.
The tour will last approximately one hour. To book your place, call 01748 826561.