Tag Archives: volunteering

SM team make intriguing visit to V&A Archive

As part of our preparations for the forthcoming  Who is Gordon Craig? exhibition, volunteers and staff at the Stevenage Museum made their first of several planned visits to archives and repositories around the country. The team visited the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Theatre and Performance archive at Blythe House on the 10th June 2016.

The V&A’s archivist Andrew Kirk was very  helpful and knowledgeable in showing us artifacts to help illustrate Craig’s story and his designs and ideas for theatre.




Call for volunteers – Who is Gordon Craig?

Join Stevenage Museum in telling the story of the town’s forgotten son, Edward Gordon Craig 

Edward Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage in 1872. He was an actor, stage director and innovative theatre theorist and the theatre in Stevenage is named after him. But there is lots more to the story…

We are looking for volunteers aged 14 to 114 to help put together an exciting exhibition on Craig here at the museum, due to open in December 2016. This would involve:

  • Trips to Eton College, the V&A Museum and Smallhythe in Kent to select objects for loan
  • Picture research
  • Local history research
  • Writing text for panels and labels
  • Installing exhibits
  • Helping with the private view and programme of talks

Edward Gordon Craig was prolific and there’s a lot to explore: he worked as an actor, director and stage designer; he wrote, illustrated and typeset books and journals; he was a talented artist working in etchings, woodcuts and watercolours; he founded a school for theatre; he explored puppetry with shadow puppets and marionettes.

Craig’s parents, actress Ellen Terry and architect Edward William Godwin were both extraordinary too – their connection with Stevenage is waiting to be uncovered.

Aged 14 to 19? Why join in? Get behind the scenes of a busy museum taking part in this fascinating project with many different aspects to get involved with. Perhaps you are thinking of applying to university to do an arts or humanities degree, but particularly theatre studies, drama, history, history of art or media studies? This is a great opportunity to do something that supports your UCAS personal statement and gives you insight into the workings of a local cultural organisation. We are offering the opportunity to do an Arts Award Bronze, Silver or Gold.

Aged 20 to 120?! Who join in? Stevenage Museum provides an “on-the-job-training”, flexible and well supported approach to volunteering and we will aim to ensure that participants’ personal development is maximised. Our external funding for this project means that cost barriers, including childcare or any physical access issues, can be more readily overcome.


If you are interested in getting involved, please email museum@stevenage.gov.uk  or takepart@whoisgordoncraig.co.uk

A partnership project between Stevenage Arts Guild and Stevenage Museum funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

You can also follow:

@GordonCraig1872 on Twitter




A Happy (Dry) Ending in Sight

It’s been just over a month since the flood and we’ve made huge steps towards re-opening the galleries. The objects rescued from the flooded store are now dry and re-boxed, ready to be moved to our temporary store where they will be further assessed for damage and re-labelled with their unique accession numbers where necessary. Fortunately thanks to the quick thinking of staff and volunteers the collection has escaped relatively unscathed.

The flood in the store at it's worst Friday morning before the Fire Brigade came. The photo shows the pervasive power of water, it gets into everything.
The flood in the store at it’s worst Friday morning before the Fire Brigade came. The photo shows the pervasive power of water, it gets into everything.

For the last few weeks we’ve been very grateful for the help of new volunteers of all ages who have come in to help for an hour or so with some very unglamorous jobs! The sessions have been incredibly successful and we hope to run similar sessions in the future when the need arises (hopefully in less panicked circumstances!).

Unfortunately the parquet flooring in our foyer and temporary exhibition space has been badly damaged and needs replacing along with the flooring in the galleries. As soon as this work is complete we hope to reopen the galleries – current estimates place this milestone towards the middle of September.

Water damaged tools drying on blotting paper, waiting to be cleaned and repackaged.
Water damaged tools drying on blotting paper, waiting to be cleaned and repackaged.

We want to extend a huge thank you to the volunteers and our colleagues from other museums for their invaluable help over the last 4 weeks. Our shop is currently open for sales and to allow visitors to pop in, see our ‘Flood Board’ and see where we are with our work. You can also keep up to date with our progress on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope you see you all very soon!

Making Histories

We were placed at Stevenage Museum due to a university module, which was called Making Histories. The first time we both visited we was given a brief tour around the premises, and introduced to all the staff.

We were both tasked to do different activities relating to the Talking New Towns Project organised by Grete who was the head of the project.

The first day Luke helped produced a timeline, throughout the rest of the placement he looked newspaper clippings, scanning them and seeing if they were suitable for the website.

The first day Lauren came to the placement she had too help Grete listen to an interview, and help edit it to put on the website. Throughout the rest of the placement this was what I had to do. Eventually putting some work up on the website, which was of a man called Mr Richard Edleston.

When we was both on the placement together, we had to go on a walk around Stevenage, using a special route that the Museum had created, which was then put onto an app which had to be downloaded.

While we were both here, we had the pleasure of the BBC coming in to look at the New Towns’ Project. This was a manic day, but also very exciting because Twiggy was coming in to present the show and also many interviews were taking place. This was something neither of us had ever experienced before if we had never come to Stevenage Museum.

Luke’s Overall Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Stevenage Museum, the work was quite monotonous, but it was very interesting at the same time, and all of the staff were very friendly and approachable.

Lauren’s’ Overall Experience

I really enjoyed my placement at Stevenage Museum. The people were so lovely and really helpful and approachable. Being at the Museum opened me to experience different avenues. I have never had to transcribe interviews before coming here, I have also never had to use technology that I have here before either; such as Audacity, a scanner, and wordpress. The experience has really opened my eyes into the world of public history and where my degree could potentially take me. I would just like to thank Grete and Jo for having me and making my experience here so joyful and worthwhile.

Written by: Lauren Faires and Luke Senior