Delight as reopened museum is a success

One of the museum attractions.
One of the museum attractions.
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Trustees at the newly-reopened Bailiffgate Museum say they are delighted with the response of their first visitors.

Volunteer staff had a very busy weekend after the refurbished Alnwick attraction opened to the public on Saturday.

There has also been a strong response to the call for local people to support the museum.

More than 50 people signed up to the Friends scheme at an event held on Valentine’s Day and another 20 joining at the weekend.

Trustee Jane Mann said: “The opening was everything we wanted it to be, with a packed preview event for existing Friends on Friday and a busy weekend.

“Everyone who visited has loved the museum.”

The refurbishment has come on the back of a £308,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The work has transformed it into a place that brings history into the 21st century with interactive displays, videos and the chance to see, hear and handle the past.

Stories of Alnwick and district’s earliest days, its turbulent history and its changing industries are all told in new and exciting ways.

Highlights of the new displays include a recreated printer’s workshop based on that of Alnwick-born William Davison and a Victorian schoolroom.

A photographic exhibition, Shots from the Heart, in which local people have captured the daily working life of Alnwick, is one of a number of events on offer to celebrate the launch and has proved popular.

Finlay the mischievous mouse, who is housed in a tiny mouse schoolroom inside the museum, has also been a hit with punters.

Jane added: “Adults and children are taking longer to walk through the exhibitions, read the panels, watch the films and soak up the atmosphere.

“The new museum is such a pleasant place to visit now, helped by the stunning colour scheme and interesting alcoves and room layouts.”

She added that visitors have told staff that the new museum is good value and on a par with national museums.

For more information about what’s on and to join the Friends scheme, visit bailiff gatemuseum.co.uk