Desborough’s Heritage Centre has been recognised at the East Midlands Heritage Awards by recieving two highly commended awards for their work.
Run by a group of volunteers, the heritage centre was nominated with museums, historic houses and heritage organisation from across the region.
East Midlands Heritage Awards, which recognise excellence and innovation in all aspects of local history, recieved 61 entries from 38 different organisations and the shortlisting panel were particularly impressed by the number of partnerships and community-led initiatives that were entered into the awards.
Although competing against organisations which recieve much more money than the heritage centre they returned back to their Station Road base with two pretigious awards.
Volunteers from the centre who attended the ceremony at Nottingham Conference Centre took to the stage to get a highly commended certificate for their exhibition ‘1914-1918 Men at War & Families at Home’.
The exhibition commemorated the centenary of the start of the war by remembering the 145 Desborough men who lost their lives in the conflict.
It showed soldiers’ stories, the home front and a display of war memorabilia.
The exhibition also had a “hands on” display, mainly for children to learn about the war; to try on soldiers’ tunics and to let them handle replica weapons.
A fantastic window display which showed a typical trench scene featured some very realistic rats living with the soldiers in their trench caught the eye of the judging panel: Rachel Cockett (Director of Development, Birmingham Museums Trust), Manny Coulon (Director, Ideas for the Kids Ltd.), Kevin Gould (Course Leader for History, Nottingham Trent University), Eric Langham (Director, Barker Langham), Alex Woodall (PhD Researcher, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester) and Duncan Grewcock (Principal Lecturer, Centre for Public History and Museum and Heritage Management,
The award for customer care was judged by a group of mystery shoppers for which Desborough entry recieved another award.
Pipped to top spot by Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum, the Heritage Centre volunteers were acknowledged in the customer care category for ‘Improving the Visitor Experience’.
Desborough Heritage Centre is open Monday to Fridays 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4pm and on Saturdays 9am -12.30pm.
The heritage centre has displays which cover the town’s rich historyincluding the buildings and people of Desborough from very early settlements to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Admission is free.