Leicestershire & Rutland Heritage Awards 2014

April 15, 2014

The Leicestershire & Rutland Heritage Awards celebrate the work of independent museums and heritage groups across the Counties.

This year we received a record breaking 34 applications, spread across seven categories. The judges had a really tough time selecting the winners.

Here are the winners who were celebrated at the awards ceremony on Thursday 10 April 2014 at the Century Theatre, Snibston Discovery Museum.

Museum of the Year 2014 was awarded to the Great Central Railway Museum

Heritage Group of the Year 2014 was awarded to Swannington Heritage Trust


Category Winner: Best Use of Digital Resources

Ashby de la Zouch Museum: Ashby Museum in a Digital Age

Ashby Museum and its volunteers have increasingly embraced the use of digital resources to become more inclusive and accessible. In particular the museum has developed its involvement in social media such as Facebook and Twitter; has developed more interactive exhibition rooms, included video clips about local heritage on you tube and the museum’s website. The museum is now leading the regional development of bar codes to aid object retrieval from the museum’s collections.

Category Winner: Best Event/Exhibition on a Shoe String

Whitwick Historical Group: A History of Whitwick in Thirty Objects

The exhibition was a celebration of Whitwick Historical Group’s 30th anniversary. Held on one day in Whitwick Methodist Church Hall, thirty diverse objects were chosen to represent Whitwick’s unique history. Each artefact was displayed with accompanying information. Thirteen other local heritage and community groups added exhibitions and provided stands at the exhibition. Over 450 visitors attended the exhibition. The exhibition cost only £300 to deliver. The group deployed a wide range of marketing activities to publicise the exhibition.

Category Winners: Best Event/Exhibition the Whole Shoe

Sir John Moore Foundation: Heritage Live Roomz

The Foundation was awarded £22,500 from the HLF Young Roots funding stream to engage young people facing challenging circumstances with the heritage of the Sir John Moore Foundation site. The project involved the creation of a new exhibition which involved 5 diverse groups of young people who each explored a different theme of the site’s hsitory to create a lasting interpretation of the site. Intreptation included DVDs, 3D interpretation boards, pop up banners, on site power point displays, resconstruction drawings. Some of the young people gained formal qualifications.

Great Central Railway Museum: Redevelopment of the Great Central Railway Museum

The GCR museum has been re-designed, redecorated, refitted and completely transformed. No longer just a display of railway artefacts, now it tells the story of the building and subsequent history of the GCR railway. It enhances the visitor experience and celebrates the heritage that GCR volunteers keep alive. By harnessing skills in the GCR volunteer and supporter community costs for refurbishing the exhibition were minimised.

Category Winners: Opening Your Doors to New Audiences

Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial MuseumRawlins Community College Museum Project

Sixth form history students from Rawlins College, Quorn discussed and agreed with the museum a number of projects which could enhance the museums’ displays. The students reasearched, soruced materials and worked on the creation of the displays. The museum benefited from having “new eyes” to look at the displays. The students worked alongside experienced researchers, and gained practical research skills, as well as experience of working within a budget and delivering projects to a deadline. A £500 Leicestershire County Council Shire Grant for Independent Museums and Heritage groups was used to finance the project.

Swannington Heritage TrustHeritage for Schools

Working with primary and secondary schools to bring heritage alive to new audiences of local school children, with a view to developing an on-going mutually beneficial partnership. This was achieved by using a variety of original and innovative participatory activities alongside more established favourites. Activities included school information packs, dressing up, using milling artefacts, history trails, bell pit simulation, visiting rare breeds. The judges were particularly impressed by the range of activities the trust volunteers were delivering on a very limited budget.

Category Winner: Bringing Heritage Alive

Leicestershire Industrial History SocietyReopening the Glenfield Tunnel (Leicester to Swannington Railway 1832)

Glenfield railway tunnel closed in the mid 1960’s. For the national Heritage Open days LIHS obtained permission from Leicester City Council to re-open the tunnel. In four days 150 people toured the tunnel. The project attracted widespread media attention. The opening was so successful it was re-opened a few weeks later for a further 150 people. The category judges were particularly impressed with the thought given to access for people with sensory and physical disabilities

Category Winner: Best Collections Project on a Shoe String

Swannington Heritage TrustReturn of the Newcomen Haystack Boiler

A unique project to re-instate a very rare 18th century “haystack” boiler near to its original site on the former Califat Colliery site in Swannington. The boiler was excavated in 1969 and placed in storage at Snibston Discovery Museum. The boiler was moved by low loader to the site. The project was delivered in partnership with staff from Snibston Discovery Museum. The Trust overcame many logistical issues to re-site the boiler. Volunteers built a special plinth and roof to protect the historic boiler from the elements.

Category Winner: Best Collections Project the Whole Shoe

Leicester Transport Heritage Trust: Project 50: Restoration of a Leicester City Transport Double Decker Bus

The volunteers at Leicester Transport Heritage Trust fully restored a unique 1980s double-decker bus. The volunteers put an impressive amount of time into restoring the bus which took over 8 years to complete. The bus is regularly used by the Trust on running days so members of the public can once again experience this unique bus. The project has also used innovative presentation techniques and meticulous research on the historic interior of the bus.

Find out more…

Some of the Award winners were highlighted in an article from the Leicester Mercury, to take a look click here.

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