“It was just us, some blue tack and a roll of sellotape,” said the representative from the Mansfield Museum today before he announced the winner of this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award. You see, the Mansfield Museum won the award last year- a tiny little museum, which despite limited resources, has had a massive impact.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Museum curator Jodie Henshaw in 2011, “It will mean a tremendous amount to the museum and for the town. It puts us both on the map.” And put it on the map it certainly did. Well, kind of anyway… apparently the Finnish Museums Association wanted to visit this plucky museum, but were not sure where to start looking. Thankfully, they know where it is now.
But that was last year, this year Kids in Museums and The Telegraph are very proud to announce a new bearer of the title Britain’s Most Family Friendly Museum…
“And the winner is… The Haslemere Museum!”
The competition this year was no less fierce than in previous years, but what was it that set Haselmere apart from the rest?
“The volunteers couldn’t have been more welcoming” says Sandra Tellyn whose family helped to judge the award, “Everyone we spoke to gave more than they had to. They were just amazing!” You see, it isn’t about what’s in the glass cases, not at all. It about being, well, friendly. The people who work in museums are really passionate about telling their stories to their visitors, and it’s all about letting that passion shine through, which always keeps people coming back: “I am now in my 50s, and the museum has kept me fascinated since I was a little boy!” said Derrick O’Byrne.
The Family Friendly Museum Award is the biggest museum award in Britain, and it is the only one judged by families. It seems that an increasing amount of museums are getting things right because this year saw 600 museums nominated – that’s twice as many as last year.
So, congratulations Haslemere, keep up the good work! And congratulations to the other finalists:
- Wolverhampton Art Gallery
- World Museum, Liverpool
- Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands
- Brixham Heritage Museum
- National Museum of Scotland