Kettering, Desborough and Finedon groups up for heritage awards

Alfred East Art Gallery, Kettering

Alfred East Art Gallery, Kettering

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Museums and heritage centres in the north of the county have been nominated for regional awards.

The second East Midlands Heritage Awards will recognised excellence and innovation at museums across the region.

Bob Freeman, Elizabeth Saunders Watson and Belinda Humfrey at Desborough Heritage Centre

Bob Freeman, Elizabeth Saunders Watson and Belinda Humfrey at Desborough Heritage Centre

Those shortlisted include Desborough Heritage Centre for its Heart of the Community project, which brought members of the Desborough community together more thoroughly and clearly into the Heritage Centre as participators and contributors to exhibitions.

Exhibitions as part of this project included Childhood Memories of the 1940s-50s, Desborough Railway Station 1867-1965 and Desborough 1914-18: Men at War and Families at Home.

The centre’s First World War exhibition is also up for the Wendy Golland Award for Quality Research.

The ambitious collection of military and personal material on the 725 Desborough men who served in the First World War provided a definitive list of those who died in war or immediately after.

The Volta Tower in Finedon before it collapsed

The Volta Tower in Finedon before it collapsed

Also up for the research award is Finedon Local History Society for its work on William Digby Mackworth-Dolben and the Volta Tower.

The tower was built in circa 1865, and collapsed in November 1951. It had been erected as a memorial to Lt Commander William Digby Mackworth-Dolben of Finedon Hall, who drowned off the coast of West Africa in 1863.

Kettering’s Alfred East Art Gallery Collection Guide is also shortlisted for the research award.

This project provided an opportunity for the gallery’s permanent collection to be documented in addition to adding biographical information of key local artists.

This publication is the first of its kind, providing a comprehensive guide for staff members and the public.

The shortlisting panel were particularly impressed by the number of partnerships, community-led initiatives and comprehensively managed activities.

The awards are part of the East Midlands Heritage Conference 2015, which is to be held at Nottingham Conference Centre on June 9.

The event is organised by the East Midlands Museums Service, Museum Development East Midlands and Nottingham Trent University.

Neville Stankley, a principal lecturer in museum and heritage management at Nottingham Trent University and a key organiser of the heritage conference, said: “Awards are a great way for us all to celebrate the inspirational work that is going on in the East Midlands.

“These awards are part of the ongoing celebrations of museum activity.”