Museum appoints manager

The new Bailiffgate museum manager Roy Bearpark
The new Bailiffgate museum manager Roy Bearpark

The new manager of an award-winning visitor attraction has revealed his plans to build on its growing reputation.

Roy Bearpark recently stepped into the role at Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum, which tells the fascinating history of the town and surrounding areas.

Having previously worked at Newcastle’s renowned Great North Museum, the 29-year-old is looking forward to putting his expertise into practise at the Northumberland venue.

He is keen to expand its community history projects and encourage visitors to feel part of the museum.

Roy said: “The aim is to put heritage at the heart of the community. There are a lot of opportunities for growth when it comes to school groups and community groups and there is a lot of heritage to show.

“We want to broaden out our oral history projects to different community groups, collecting their stories and putting our collections into context and giving them a voice. I would also like to put on events for the public which support the themes of our exhibitions; it is something that I think the museum could benefit from.”

The museum is volunteer-led and Roy is relishing the chance to work alongisde this army of helpers.

He said: “One thing that attracted me to the job was the work of the volunteers, who put in a lot of time.

There are about 50 volunteers. This is one of the museum’s big strengths and makes it special. I want to help them build on what they have already achieved.”

Roy said the museum is always looking for volunteers, but the attraction will be specifically focusing on recrutment later in the year.

Looking ahead to his stint in Alnwick, Roy, who lives in County Durham, added: “It is a really exciting time for me. I am a big fan of Alnwick. For such a small town it punches above its weight when it comes to culture and heritage.”