By Laura Simcox, Ironbridge Gorge Museum
2015 started off with a bang with our second residential at UOB. This consisted of 3 days packed full with learning sessions and activities with the other interns, and I can only say I wish it had been longer. I won’t bore you with a re-run of Charlotte’s previous post all about the training, but would just like to put in how great it was to spend a few very cultural days in Birmingham and how lucky we all felt for it!
Back in Ironbridge I’ve had a few weeks of intense researching for the Museum of Iron redevelopment project. If you have any questions or queries about the Darbys or the Coalbrookdale Company, I’m your girl. I’ve compiled detailed biographies, associations, partnership histories and worked on a timeline of events collectively with the curatorial team. At the moment we’re each picking apart a century and digging for interesting stories relating to Coalbrookdale and its history of iron production. In support of the curatorial team I also took a role in editing exhibition panels for other displays around the museums.
In other news I recently visited Blists Hill Victorian Museum for a mini tour with the Curatorial Officer. It is such a great site – really beautifully and cleverly presented and there’s so much to see and do. I was taken backstage to see the Stores where a team of volunteers are getting stuck into organising years of pile up, which is grubby and heavy work. Here’s a sneak peek of the Stores and also a very adorable book.
Back to the Museum of Iron project, I had the opportunity this week to visit the Shropshire Archives in Shrewsbury to view an original document dating back to the 17th century. I’d never been to an Archives before let alone researched directly from an original written document, so it proved a very interesting experience. Whilst in Shrewsbury I also visited the Museum and Art Gallery which is fantastically designed. The layout of galleries and the supporting graphics work really well, well worth the £4 entry!
Coming up things are looking busy and hands on which suits me down to a T. This week at Blists Hill is Sweets Week and I’ll be giving a few talks on the history of sweets accompanied by object handling sessions. I’m also down to supervise a group of NADFAS (the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) volunteers over in the Library doing some work on one of the Collections which should be good fun. Exciting times ahead!
NOTE: Since writing this blog post, Laura has successfully landed a permanent role at Ironbridge as Special Events and Corporate Hospitality Assistant. Congratulations from all at University of Birmingham – we wish you every success in your new role.