TWO independently run museums have taken top accolades which recognise the important role they play in serving the community.
Louth Museum on Broadbank took the highest honour at the Lincolnshire Heritage Awards, when it scooped Museum of the Year 2012.
The museum, run by the Louth Naturalists’ Antiquarian and Literary Society, was also highly commended in the Best Exhibition category for its Do You Dig archaeology exhibition.
The Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum scooped the Best Event award for the People’s Pageant event which saw the community come together to honour the pageant of 1911 which celebrated the finding of the spa.
The award for Best Museum was decided by a visit from the judges Professor David Start from Lincolnshire Heritage and chairman of the judges panel said: “Louth Museum is constantly pushing at the boundary of what is achievable on a very modest budget and showing just what is possible if you have the imagination.”
David Robinson, President of Louth Ants and Nats, said: “Winning best museum was a total surprise as it is not something you enter for.
“What Professor Start said about a very modest budget is true. We are not owned by the local authority, we have to raise money to maintain the museum ourselves. We were fortunate in that the national exhibition of the woodcarvings of Thomas Wallis has been totally sponsored. We do not have the budget for national exhibitions and that is why we look at new ways of raising funds ourselves.”
Following Lord Archer’s visit in May to open the National Wallis exhibition, he has now launched the Louth Museum Champion scheme by becoming a gold champion.
The champion scheme levels are gold £500 per year, silver £250 per year and bronze £100 per year. Champions receive free museum entry passes, invitations to museum events and a certificate with in-museum publicity.
Jackie Goodall, chairman of Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum, said their award for best event is in recognition of the whole community.
She said: “This was the first time the museum had led a whole community event and it brought everyone together. As a museum, we celebrate our heritage and we put the not-to-profit event on which involved all community groups and organisations who used it to raise awareness and their own funds. There was lots of street entertainment and it was a really enjoyable day.
“This award is on behalf of the whole community and has given the museum and its volunteers an enormous boost.”
To find out more about supporting Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum, call 01526 352454.
To become a Louth Museum Champion, call 01507 602019.