The historic surroundings of the North Hertfordshire Museum proved the perfect place to hold the first Hertfordshire Association of Museums Awards. The awards celebrated the very best projects and people involved with museums across the County with 10 museums entering for the chance to win a trophy.
The event was a great opportunity for staff, volunteers, local and county councillors and other stakeholders to network, discuss plans, projects, priorities and to celebrate their work.
The awards were given out by author Kate Griffin and Executive member for Education, Libraries and Localism Councillor Terry Douris. We were thrilled that both Terry and his deputy Tim Hutchings came along and offered their support to the museums in Hertfordshire.
Author Kate Griffin spoke to the audience about her Kitty Peck book series and the inspiration behind the dramatic Victorian crime series. She also spoke of her work for the Society of Preservation of Ancients Buildings and the value of heritage to local communities. It was great to hear her highlight the value of museums both to individuals and to wider society. She also compared those working in museums to superheroes and ‘Guardians of the Past’, which thrilled the audience.
The awards were judged by 5 independent judges recruited from the national museums sector. The winners were as follows:
Look out for the return of the Hertfordshire Association of Museums Awards in 2019.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players (the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of nearly £2 million) and funding received from several Trusts and Foundations including The Garfield Weston Trust, The Hobson Charity, The Foyle Foundation, Paul Allen Philanthropies, Barclays Bank, plus donations from our many supporters, the “de Havilland Aircraft Museum in the 21st Century Project” can now be built. It is a significant investment in Hertfordshire’s aviation heritage and Community facilities.
Official Permission to start from the HLF was given in August and contractors will arrive on site at the beginning of November, once the Museum closes for the winter from 5th November, until February 2019.
The Project enables the building of a large new hangar at the museum, providing an all-undercover experience for visitors to see a range of historic aircraft designed by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at its Hatfield factory.
Museum chairman Alan Brackley stressed that the museum will be continue to be open to visitors seven days a week during 2019 all the time that building is in progress and emphasised the need to continue to raise funding to ensure that the project can be completed.
“Visitors will not be inconvenienced in any way whatsoever,” said Mr. Brackley. “All of our Museum will be accessible for visitors to get close to and into several of our military aircraft and civil airliners.”
A feature of the volunteer-run museum is that visitors can see also restoration work being carried out on some of the aircraft, such as the DH.98 Mosquito and DH.106 Comet.
Mr Brackley added: “Thanks to the money raised by the National Lottery players and the many other supporters of the museum the new hangar project will not only safely display several important aircraft exhibits inside the new building away from the rigours of the British weather, but it will be able to offer the local community an exciting venue for meetings, conferences, parties, learning and other social events.”
The museum, which attracts several thousands of visitors each year, is the oldest aviation museum in Britain and concentrates on the many types of aircraft and engines built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at its Hatfield factory in Hertfordshire.
It is based in the grounds of Salisbury Hall, a Tudor mansion, which during the Second World War was used by de Havilland as its secret design centre for its “Wooden Wonder” Mosquito twin-engine multi-role aircraft.
The prototype Mosquito W4050 is one of three examples of the type on display, more than can be seen at any other museum in the world.
Next year the museum will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, having been founded by the then owner of Salisbury Hall, Walter Goldsmith, and opened to the public with one small hangar and one exhibit, the Mosquito Prototype, W4050.
A second, larger hangar was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1984.
“We are a working museum where visitors can watch restoration work being carried out and can get up close to the aircraft. It is run by volunteers, some of whom were among the many thousands of people who worked for de Havilland,” said Mr Brackley.
More information about the museum can be found by visiting www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk
We invited museums to nominate their favourite objects and we would now like you to vote for the one you think should be named Hertfordshire Museums' Object of the Year 2018.
To vote please click here.
You can vote as many times as you like. Voting closes on Sunday 11th November and the winner will be announced later in the month.
Thank you for voting!
The summer holidays maybe over, but Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Museums are still accepting Museum Explorer Passports. The scheme runs until the end of October half term and there's lots to see and do in all the participating museums. Pick up your passport from a library or a museum and start exploring!
Hertfordshire Association of Museums Membership is now open for 2018/19 and it is now open to individuals, freelancers and businesses.
The Hertfordshire Association of Museums is an organisation that supports and promotes museums and heritage organisations in Hertfordshire, by bringing together information on collections, activities and events in the region. Membership to the Association starts from as little as £42 for Full Member, £27 for Associate and Individual members and £52 for Corporate members.
If you are interested in a museum career, networking in the local heritage sector or just interested then please email us on email@example.com to find out more about eligibilty criteria.
We are very happy to launch our new and improved website. The website has been updated with new information and links including social media live links. Several new pages have also been added and these pages mean you can explore the collections available across Hertfordshire as well as discover the services on offer through Hertfordshire’s museums.
We have also updated our leaflets and printed new Hertfordshire Association of Museums posters so keep an eye out for our lovely new materials!
We would like to thank our member museums for their help during the redevelopment and Steve at Brasstacks for his hard work on our website.