It’s been revealed that Ruddington’s rather compact and bijou Village Museum in St Peter’s Rooms received an astonishing 438 thousand visitors when it was open this week – all of whom managed to see some of its many treasures within just an hour and twenty minutes!
It was thanks to a visit by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) student Feixue Huangdu – who undertook a comprehensive tour of the museum accompanied by a variety of volunteer guides whilst ‘live streaming’ it all on the internet. It seems Feixue’s webcasts have become extremely popular in her native China – with the viewing figures for her latest adventure even beating the previous record of 428,000 during a recent visit to Trent Bridge.
Curator Gavin Walker reveals: “It took well over an hour with all the translation involved. Among other exhibits, Tony Revel showed Feixue the ironmongers shop, the crow scarer in the farming display and the cobbler’s last. But the most difficult thing to explain was a wooden clothes peg!”
You can view a recording of Feixue’s now world famous Ruddington webcast >>HERE<<.
Her tour of our Village Museum comes as preparations are underway for a new, NTU led project there called ‘Stories and Objects’ which aims to involve village residents in an exciting way. Ruddington is one of three Nottinghamshire Museums involved in showcasing a diverse range of artefacts owned by members of the local community.
Gavin explains: “These objects will form a unique exhibition which will also feature the unusual stories and interesting backgrounds to all of the objects. These objects could be of significance to an individual, a family or a whole community group. Some objects have never left the area whilst others have been brought to Ruddington much more recently – but they all help tell the story of the community.”
Natelle Morgan-Brown from the University – who is also overseeing similar projects at Bassetlaw and Mansfield Museums – says: “By creating these public exhibitions, community members will be able to tell their stories in their own words, particularly the stories which are sometimes forgotten, untold or unheard. The museums will discover new ways to build relationships, hear more visitor voices and develop experiences of working with their communities. We’re inviting anyone living or working in and around Ruddington to be involved.”
Currently, object owners are being sought to lend items for display at the exhibition and also to be involved in helping to tell their stories. To create the exhibition, you’ll be working as a group with other members of the community, supported by staff and volunteers from the Village Museum and NTU. The exhibition itself will be held in the Framework Knitters’ Museum Chapel, and run from 21st September to 5th October 2019.
Gavin adds: “The project is free to take part in and offers an opportunity to socialise with new people, broaden your experience, develop valuable skills and have your say. Along the way you’ll learn how exhibitions are created and share your ideas on how to do things differently – such as exploring exciting new ways to tell your stories including video, audio and live storytelling. Don’t worry if it sounds a bit daunting, you will get all the help and support you need to bring the story of your object to life!”
If you’d like more information, and possibly take part in this innovative project, you can contact Gavin Walker on 0115 914 6645 or 07865 013 857 or by email to email@example.com. There’s also a drop-in session on Thursday 16th May from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Village Museum. It’s a chance for people to have an informal chat about the project and decide whether they’d like to get involved.
Meantime, the museum is also open to visitors as usual this May Day Bank Holiday Monday between 2pm and 4pm – at a cost of £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for concessions. Child admission is FREE.