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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Greyhounds and Welsh Museums: Federation AGM

Shame on me, but it is a while since I attended a meeting of the Welsh Federation of Museums and Galleries in Wales. However, I actually did so yesterday.

The meeting was held at Wrexham Museum. I was really envious of their central town location, their great displays, and especially of the fact that they have a logo with two greyhounds (having a softspot for greyhounds myself). Apparently the dogs are the famous Acton Park hounds.

We heard about the work of the Federation. They do a lot more than just distribute grants! For example an advocacy toolkit has been produced. I was really interested in Jane Henderson's talk on the Distributed National Collection. The National Collection is defined as that which is particularly important to the people of Wales. They have recently carried out a research on doll collections distributed throughout the Principality. They can say a lot about changes in Welsh National costume, among other things. Natural Science is planned next.

In the afternoon, I gave a quick talk on our getting our collections online. Wont say much about this as the link gives more information.

Pat West told us about the Llyn Cerrig Bach Partnership with the National Museum of Wales. Both Anglesy Council and the National Museum deserve a lot of praise for this project. For those of you who don't know, Llyn Cerrig Bach is a hoard of Iron Age (Celtic) artefacts which were discovered in the 1940s. They include a gang chain, a piece of a cauldron, a sickle, etc. The items have been kept for much of their time since their 1940s discovery, in Cardiff, but are now on display in Anglesy.

Eleri Farley told us all about volunteering at Wrexham Museum. It was interesting to hear how other museums do things. Eleri told us that they limit their volunteers to 30 so that they can ensure that the volunteer manager has a good personal relationship with all the volunteers. This is different from Egypt Centre where we need many more volunteers to run our programmes, but I did think it was a good point. Like Egypt Centre, they also see their volunteers as an important link with the community and they have a structured induction process and volunteer roles. Wrexham Museum Service volunteer programme is the first in Wales to achieve the Investors in Volunteers award. Well done to them, and from what Eleri said it is much deserved.

Finally, we had a tour of the galleries. I really liked the way the display was set out, making a lot of use of a limited space. And, I thought the 'Smelly Old Wrexham' interactive was great fun. They have a trail of Wrexham on a panel, and a dog character is shown going around the town sniffing out the different sites. You can lift small panels on the interactive to smell the smells that might interest the dog.

So thank you to the Federation and to Wrexham Museum. I also had a very nice lunch!


  1. My father lives near Chester, a short drive into Wrexham. I must go and have a look around the museum next time I visit him.