Ilkeston - Museum Joy
w/e 03 April 2016
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
The Good Friday Walk of Witness had a theme of "Easter joy
begins here!" and it was certainly a joyful occasion the
following day when the Erewash Museum opened the refurbished
Hayloft and Stable Block to the general public with their first
event of the season, a Victorian Extravaganza.
There were numerous volunteers on hand to welcome visitors and
even a horse and carriage in the forecourt with a blacksmith
in close attendance demonstrating his skill. The next stage of
the project is to redevelop the gardens at the museum and although
a fence prevented access to part of the garden, plans were attached
to it showing the proposals.
Inside the museum two ladies, also in costume, were displaying
the art of lace making.
But the main focus was on the Hayloft and Stable where an extension
has been built.
I include this image from another event five years ago merely
as a comparison and to show the steps that led up to the Hayloft
before the new extension was built.
Those steps have now been replaced with a new flight inside the
extension plus a new lift to enable disable access. A wall display
contains many photos plus details of the alterations which have
included converting the coach house to become the Old Stables
Tea Room and the stables to become a new exhibition area. The
Hayloft itself has been completely refurbished as a learning
suite and research area. It is also available for hire by local
groups and contains a local history library with numerous books
about Ilkeston and the surrounding area. That alone deserves
a closer look when the museum is not so busy.
Below the Hayloft are the stables (left) and coach house (right)
and although there are steps to negotiate, access for the disabled
is easily available by returning through the main museum building
to the forecourt at the entrance.
The museum is housed in Dalby House and the stables now contain
a permanent exhibition telling the story of the building. Dalby
House, like the Hayloft, has had alterations and extensions added
over the years and the observant will be able to pick out the
different periods of construction when made aware of them.
The recent alterations to the Hayloft and Stables have been financed
by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In the past refreshments at events
like the Victorian Extravaganza with provided in the Hayloft
but the alterations have now created a Tea Room in what was the
Coach House. This has also created an exhibition space with details
about Victorian food and diet.
As more and more visitors arrived during the day to explore museum
staff must have been extremely pleased with the response and
the interest shown by the local people. The museum has won the
coveted award for being the best museum in Derbyshire for a number
of years now and the recent refurbishment will hopefully mean
it is well on the way to retaining the title.
The museum is within easy walking distance of the town centre
with nearby car parks too but there is provision for anyone arriving
by bicycle to secure their vehicles in the forecourt. I don't
suppose there will be many though arriving on a penny farthing,
even a modern version like those there on Easter Saturday. I'll
probably walk there and one thing for sure is, in the words Arnold
Schwarzenegger, I'll be back.