Posts Tagged ‘Volunteers’

Object of the Week- Decorative Fork

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

One of the biggest projects that we are working on at the moment (and will be for a long time!) is making sure that we have a photograph or scan of every object in our collection. We have over 100,000 objects and we’re around a third of the way there at the moment but we have a whole team of volunteers working on photographing, scanning and recording these images and sometimes they find wonderful details in the most unassuming boxes!


One of our volunteers, Mark, has been working his way through a collection of tableware (knives, forks and spoons) and this wonderful fork with a man carved into the handle was in the box. Unfortunately we don’t have any information exactly where it came from but at least now we know it’s there and the picture is attached to the object record for anyone searching in the future!

This week’s events

It’s May Half Term next week and our activities are all inspired by Terrific Traditions. Activities run from Tuesday 26th – Thursday 28th May, 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (last entry 3pm) and cost just £1.50 per child so drop in to make a maypole, flower garland and more!

Our latest Hidden Hertford Walks programme is now out so take a look on our website and make sure you book your place!

If you want to know what we’ve been up to over the past year our Annual Report 2014-2015 is available to download from our website.

Object of the Week: Playing Cards (matching game)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

This week’s eventsHETFM3261
These wonderful playing cards are from a game of matching pairs. We have several packs of playing cards from all kinds of games recorded in our collections database and these fantastic pictures have just been rediscovered as our volunteers work through our objects photographing them and making sure all our records have images attached.

This week’s events

If you want to see some of the THOUSANDS of objects our collections volunteers are working on at the moment come to our Stores Open Day on Saturday 9th May. Make sure you put the date in your diary and keep an eye on our website for more information!

We’re in the middle of changing exhibitions at the moment- High Streets & Hedgerows: Watton at Stone opens on the 2nd May but there’s still plenty to see in the museum whilst we’re working!

Teachers don’t forget out new Learning Officer Jo Marychurch has now started so get in touch with her to book any visits or for any other help/ideas! All of our current workshops and loans boxes are on our website so take a look and get booking!

Daggers and Axes and Swords (oh my!)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Thank you to everyone who came to our Stores Open Day on Saturday- we had over 200 people during the course of the day and got some lovely feedback! If you missed your chance last weekend then don’t worry- we’re planning another Open Day in September so watch out for details nearer the time!

Our team of conservation cleaners hard at work on Saturday.

Our team of conservation cleaners hard at work on Saturday.

One of the things visitors could see at the Stores on Saturday was a team of our amazing conservation cleaning volunteers. These volunteers have been trained in conservation cleaning which is a lot more fiddly and time consuming than ordinary cleaning- no metal polish allowed!

Every object is photographed before we begin!

Every object is photographed before we begin!

The idea of conservation cleaning is to show any object off to its best advantage without removing any part of the object or any signs of it’s use or age so we have to start slowly and carefully.

When handling metal objects like this axe it's important to wear gloves. The oils on your hands can cause real damage otherwise.

When handling metal objects like this axe it’s important to wear gloves. The oils on your hands can cause real damage otherwise.

The team on Saturday were starting work on some of the weapons from our collection for our Art of Arms exhibition which will be opening in July.

Every bead on the shaft of this spear will have to be cleaned individually using a small cotton bud!

Every bead on the shaft of this spear will have to be cleaned individually using a small cotton bud!

Stores Open Day!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

When people visit museums and see all of the cases full of objects it’s sometimes easy to forget that, for most museums, the objects on display are only the tip of the iceberg! Most museums have between 5-10% of their collections on display and Hertford Museum is the same so this Saturday, 3rd May we’ve giving you a chance to come and take a look behind the scenes at the rest of the objects in our collections!

SW House001

Come and visit our Stores in the Seed Warehouse (Maidenhead Yard, just off The Wash) and discover how we store and care for our vast and varied collections. Plus you can take a closer look at the larger vehicles in the museum collection that we could not fit in our On the Move exhibition!


If you haven’t visited it before it’s also a great chance to come and look at our Roman corn drying oven and learn more about the fascinating Foxholes Farm excavation.


There will be volunteers and staff on hand to answer your questions as well as a team of our conservation cleaners working on objects for our NEXT exhibition (so if you want a preview of that make sure to pop into our work room upstairs!)


And if all of that isn’t enough to get you to drop in we will also be serving cream teas, cake and coffee from the Millbridge Rooms! The Stores will be open from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm and (other than the cream tea!) everything is FREE.

Family Activity volunteers needed!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

It’s been another busy week here at the museum and we’ve seen some incredibly creative pieces of junk modelling being made in the Andrews Room- trucks and trains and racing cars and all kinds of vehicles! Plus we’ve been making badges (and there have been some very sparkly looking badges looking beautiful in the sunshine!)


Our holiday activities are very popular and we try to keep them as low cost as possible because we know holidays can be expensive times but to make sure we can keep running them we rely on our incredible team of family activity volunteers who take turns to look after our visitors (and sometimes make their own models and pictures too!)

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At the moment our team of volunteers is a little smaller than we’d like so we’re looking for new volunteers who think they’d like to come and lend a hand. Volunteering slots are generally only 1.5-2 hours at a time and you can sign up for as many (or as few!) as you feel able to do.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering with us then now is the perfect time to get in touch! Email Eleanor at or call on 01992 582686 for a chat!

Sketches and Photographs

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

One type of enquiry we receive on a daily basis is from people looking for a photograph or sketch or painting of a place they know- sometimes it’s their house or street and sometimes it’s a well known site in their town or village- and the first place we always direct them is to our Kiosk where it’s possible to browse through hundreds (if not thousands!) of images from our photograph collection and then buy a copy.

View near Braughing, Hertford shire- James Wilcox

View near Braughing, Hertford shire- James Wilcox

But it isn’t only photographs that people are interested in and this month one of our fabulous volunteers has started to scan sketches and paintings in our collection by local arts James Wilcox. Wilcox drew many local churches and houses (and stations!) i the nineteenth century and when they’ve all been scanned and carefully checked they will also be available to browse through and purchase!

Sketch of Stortford Railway Station in the early 1840s- James Wilcox

Sketch of Stortford Railway Station in the early 1840s- James Wilcox

Of course this week there’s art of another kind being made at the museum- our family activities over Easter are all transport themed and you’ve got one more day to visit the museum and make a boat collage or a picture of a penny farthing with a moving wheel! Next week we’ll have new activities for you to try!


Support Hertford Museum – new Patrons scheme!

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Last night we launched our new Patron and Corporate Patron schemes at a special event for museum supporters.

Museum supporters learning about our new Patrons scheme

There are many ways to support the museum from volunteering to joining our Super 100 Club not forgetting the wonderful Friends of Hertford Museum but now we have two new ways- our Patron and Corporate Patron schemes.

Photographs showing all of the different events that happen at the museum

If you sign up as a Patron you will be helping secure Hertford Museum’s future but there are also plenty of benefits to you! For a minimum annual donation of £150 our patrons enjoy:

  • Annual Patrons’ reception
  • Invitations to exhibition previews and special events
  • Your name displayed on the Roll of Honour in the Museum
  • An annual behind the scenes experience
  • Regular newsletters
  • A 10% discount in the shop

We also have a separate scheme for Corporate Patrons which we hope will benefit your business as well as ours! For an annual donation of £200 our Corporate Patrons enjoy:

  • Invitations to exhibition previews and special events
  • Free link on our website to your business
  • Annual reception at the Museum to which you bring clients or colleagues
  • Your business’ name displayed on the Roll of Honour in the Museum
  • An annual behind the scenes experience
  • Regular newsletters
  • A 10% discount on room hire

To find out more about either of our schemes for Patrons visit our website or email or call us on 01992 582686.

Friends of Hertford Museum at our patrons launch

Hertford Museum’s Volunteers

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

It’s been an incredible summer with family activities every week as well as all our usual exhibitions, events and collections care and now it’s autumn things aren’t getting any quieter! 18 Bull Plain, our exhibition about the building the museum has been in for the last 100 years, opened on Saturday (thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our anniversary with us!) and the World of Wallace is coming on 26th October (so very soon!)

To keep all of our work on track we have a fantastic team of volunteers who help us with a whole range of tasks so today we wanted to update you on some of the things are volunteers are doing.

Volunteers help run all of our family activities.

Volunteers help run all of our family activities.

We start, of course, with our amazing family volunteers who kept our activities running throughout the summer and who are now having a well deserved break before the excitement of October Half Term (it’s the Big Draw again and then a Spooky Spider activity for Halloween)

Volunteers being trained in how to clean Natural History specimens.

Volunteers being trained in how to clean Natural History specimens.

Some of our volunteers have been helping prepare for World of Wallace doing research, updating computer records, taking photographs, writing text and even helping to do some vital conservation cleaning on some of the objects that will be in the exhibition- make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel for more about that tomorrow!)

One of the postcards our volunteers have been  cataloguing- Port Vale, Hertford c. 1905

One of the postcards our volunteers have been cataloguing- Port Vale, Hertford c. 1905

We have other collections volunteers working on their own special projects including cataloguing all of the documents and photographs that we have from the Addis factory and also we are finally nearing the end of documenting and carefully storing the 4000+ toothbrushes from Addis! We also have a volunteer checking through all of our postcards to make sure they’re scanned and have proper descriptions and other volunteers working on our archaeology and geology collections.

Volunteers working on our carnival float.

Volunteers working on our carnival float.

And then there are all of the other tasks our volunteers help with like weeding our beautiful knot garden, delivering leaflets and posters, making cupcakes (that was a one off for last Saturday), preparing materials for family activities, painting giant Asterix characters (for the carnival), serving afternoon teas and even helping keeping our computers running!


Without our volunteers we would never be able to provide the service we do so we wanted to take this chance to say THANK YOU to all of them and to everyone else who supports us as Friends, Patrons, Donors or by being visitors- we’re very grateful for all of you!

Our Fabulous Volunteers (and the May Newsletter)

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Our May Newsletter is now out so drop in and pick up a copy or you can download it from our website. It’s full of information on upcoming events to put in your diary- tomorrow is our monthly Knit & Natter morning, it’s the Craft & Curio Fair on Saturday and then NEXT Saturday there will be music from Zoe Phillips and Schrödinger’s Strings to celebrate Museums at Night weekend.

Local singer/songwriter Zoe Phillips.

Local singer/songwriter Zoe Phillips.

To keep our busy programme of events, activities and exhibitions running smoothly alongside the every day work of a museum we rely hugely on our amazing team of volunteers. Hertford Museum volunteers are diverse group and help us in many different ways.

Today is one of our regular volunteers meetings which are our chance to say thank you to all our volunteers and let them know about our plans and the work that is going on so we thought it was a good chance to tell you a little bit about what they do for us!

Two of our family learning volunteers

Two of our family learning volunteers.

If you have taken part in any of our Family Activities then you will have met some of our wonderful family learning volunteers. All of our activities are supported by volunteers who hand out instructions, make sure you have enough pens and glue and glitter and hopefully encourage everyone to take part!

We also have a small group of volunteers who helped with our Saturday Teas (though you’ll also see them at some of our evening events- particularly if you come to our exhibition previews where they’re in charge of the wine!)

Another important group of volunteers are the leader of our Hidden Hertford Walks. These walks take place on Sundays and are entirely led by volunteers- the new programme will be out shortly and we’ll let you know here when it is!

A volunteer team working on cleaning some of the collections.

A volunteer team working on cleaning some of the collections.

Then we have a large team of Collections volunteers who do a huge variety of jobs from helping clean and care for our current collections to cataloguing any new objects that come into the museum. Volunteers help us with research on our collections and for some of our books and exhibitions, some of them even help write exhibition panels. All of our digital images have been scanned in by volunteers, a task that is still ongoing, and other volunteers are helping photograph objects.

Volunteers working on our carnival float last year.

Volunteers working on our carnival float last year.

And that’s not all, many of our volunteers kindly take on special jobs for us when we need help- transcribing recorded oral history interviews, delivering leaflets and posters and even helping us paint the temporary gallery between exhibitions!

We’ve got a very full team of volunteers at the moment which is wonderful but when we have any spaces for new volunteers we’ll let you know!

The Easter Holidays at Hertford Museum in numbers

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

For today’s blog we thought we’d share some numbers about the Easter Holidays at Hertford Museum!

Since the start of the Easter Holidays we’ve had 1854 visitors!


As it’s the holidays we’ve had family activities on and last week 166 children took part- don’t forget our activities are on tomorrow as well from 10.30- 3.30 if you haven’t been in yet!

12 wonderful volunteers have been running our family activities and another 13 volunteers working in other parts of the museum. Our volunteers help us with collections care, documentation, research and even maintenance sometimes. And speaking of maintenance we’ve had to change 10 lightbulbs since the holidays began!

Animal Crackers 31-7-12 009

Online we’ve had 11 new followers on twitter and 1 new like on facebook. Make sure to add us if you haven’t already because that’s where you’ll find the most up-to-date information (particularly when the website goes down unexpectedly as it did this week!)

Hidden Hertford

On Sunday our Hidden Hertford Walks continue with the Rivers of Hartham walk and we’ve got 9 people booked already so make sure you call us soon if you want a spot!

And for a final few numbers we’ve sold 4 copies of the Bengeo Stories book this week (though the total number is over 100!) and our Bengeo exhibition is on for another 11 weeks so you’ve still got time to see the exhibition and pick up a copy of the book! Our next exhibition will be celebrating 180 years of County Hospital and the one after that will be celebrating 100 years of Hertford Museum at 18 Bull Plain!