Page 190 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 190

Cornwall’s Regimental Museum
It’s been another very busy year at Cornwall’s   the museum. A highlight of the year was our free Fun
Regimental Museum in Bodmin, home of the regimental heritage collections of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and The Light Infantry. Visitor numbers have continued to increase, exceeding 10,000 for the first time, and our volunteer research team, led by Major Hugo White, has once again helped many hundreds of researchers with their family history enquiries, especially those sparked by the World War 1 centenary. We’ve also been gathering and sharing people’s memories of Bodmin in World War 2 via our oral history project and collecting other stories for our fascinating new podcast series. If you’d like to listen to the podcasts, just search any podcast provider for Bodmin Keep War Stories, or follow this link: https://bodminkeep- .
We are now an active member of Cornwall Museums Partnership, a grouping of leading museums in the County. Through this partnership we’ve been able to develop our work with the community, attracting a broader range of people to
Palaces community event in October 2018 which attracted large numbers of people and resulted in our busiest weekend ever. We also recruited and supported five ‘Citizen Curators’ from the local community who worked with us to learn all about the museum profession. They carried out research into the theme of music in the military and created a great exhibition for us entitled ‘Military, Music & Morale’. As part of the military music project, we also worked with three local primary schools whose pupils learnt to play brass instruments, culmi- nating in a free family concert at which the children performed alongside a local brass band. We’re highly conscious of our charitable purpose to educate the public and in particular, of the need to increase the number of young people and school pupils who visit the museum. In 2018 we welcomed 1,344 school pupils to the museum, our largest number ever and more than double the previous year, including 400 Secondary pupils. We also more than doubled the number of visitors aged 18 and under. To make school and family visits more interactive, we now have a ‘trench’ in our grounds and touchscreens in our galleries which add an extra dimension to visits and are proving very popular.
Our staff team has also grown, thanks to grant funding. We now have a full-time colleague focusing on education and community projects and we’ve also been able to appoint a much-needed part-time archivist for 2 years, thanks to a grant from the Army Museums Ogilby Trust. Our staff are supported by many volunteers of diverse ages, abilities and backgrounds and we pride ourselves in offering a friendly and rewarding environment for everyone. Volunteers are at the heart of our work and we could not operate the museum successfully, or deliver our school visits and special events, without them. Our volunteers were once again recognised in the Cornwall Heritage Awards with the volunteer team behind our Autism-Friendly events winning the ‘Heritage Heroes’ category and we were also highly commended in the Innovation and Audience Initi- ative categories.
We continue to build close ties with our military family. This year we’re proud to have become the home of the Bodmin Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, part of an award-winning national movement which provides a social point of contact and friendship for serving and former armed services personnel.
   Inside the ‘trench’ in the museum grounds
The museum has once again been recognised in the Cornwall Heritage Award

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