HLF Grant for Oral History Project

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The Holburne Museum has received a grant of £10,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an oral history project in Bath.

The project will engage local people in collecting reminiscences about Sydney Gardens and the surrounding area of Bathwick in the period between WWII and the present day.

The Holburne Museum is currently working towards re-opening on 14 May after its longest period of closure since the Admiralty made use of the building during the Second World War. The Museum closed in the summer of 2008 for a £11.2m development project of restoration and extension supported by many generous donations including a grant from HLF.

The ’Sharing Our History’ project, which will look back over the last 70 years, will inform a new interactive display about the area in the re-opened Museum. The project begins with a series of intergenerational workshops involving local older residents of the area which will promote the importance of oral history to students from Bathwick St Mary Primary School. The students from Year 5 will be taught interview techniques and how to record the memories that they collect.

The second phase of the project involves further developing the memory bank as Bath Spa University’s Heritage Management students train pupils from Hayesfield Secondary School in engaging with oral history and collecting memories. Media Students from Bath Spa will also create a DVD of shared memories.

The final phase of the project involves an exhibition of all of the work of the project at the Gardener’s Lodge, the Education Team’s base in Sydney Gardens, during the Easter holidays.

Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Holburne Museum, said “The Holburne sits in a wonderfully rich area at the entrance to Sydney Gardens. We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund is helping us to engage with our community to encourage them to share and record their memories of this unique corner of the city.”

Commenting on the award, Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West said, “We were especially keen to support the Holburne Museum with this project, as it provides the opportunity for young people, the future champions of our heritage, to learn about and record the history of their own local area from the older residents who experienced it at first hand.  The resulting exhibition will be a very fitting way to mark the start of a new and exciting period in the Museum’s own history.

The Holburne Museum would love to hear your stories and share your photographs of Bathwick and the area surrounding the Holburne Museum. The Gardener’s Lodge will be open for shared memories on Tuesday 1, 8, 15 March from 3.30 to 5.30pm.


Media Enquiries Please contact
Katie Jenkins, Communications Manager
The Holburne Museum
Great Pulteney Street
Bath BA2 4DB
Tel: 01225 820818
Email: k.jenkins@bath.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

The Holburne Museum is currently closed for a development project of restoration and extension. Our Grade I listed home is being lovingly restored while a striking extension designed by Eric Parry faces Sydney Gardens behind the Museum. Our project is supported by a grant of £4.3million from The Heritage Lottery Fund and many other trusts, foundations and donors. In addition to our endowment we have raised £9million and have £2million left to raise before we re-open our doors to the public free of charge on 14 May 2011.

When we re-open the Holburne will house a collection of fine and decorative arts, built around the exquisite art collection of Sir William Holburne assembled in 19th-century Bath. We hold a nationally significant collection of paintings, Renaissance bronzes and maiolica, silver, sculpture, furniture and porcelain, including important and popular works by Brueghel, Gainsborough, Stubbs and Turner. In recent years we have also established a national reputation for imaginative, scholarly and popular exhibitions.

The Holburne’s project transforms what we are able to offer all our visitors. It will make us fully accessible to all visitors for the first time, allow more of our collection to be displayed than ever before and enable us to stage far more ambitious exhibitions, offer a garden café, creative learning opportunities for all ages and a family friendly environment.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. Since 1994 it has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk

Published on: 08/02/2011