Celebration Tea Party

In September, Ramsey Rural Museum hosted the Memories in the Community project’s  Celebration Tea Party.  This was a thank you to all of the museum and care volunteers who have helped on the project and a chance for those taking part to meet and share their memory boxes and creative work.  Over 60 participants and their families came for a vintage tea party with music provided by  40s Home Front.  Many people visited the Memories in the Community exhibition  and unique museum displays as well as meeting other people who have contributed to this 18 month project across Cambridgeshire.

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Mrs Neave, whose daughter took part in the project and created a memory box, says

 ‘It really is wonderful, the objects are so personal and help her to keep very personal and important memories alive  about  her and her father’

Another participant said,

‘I have been sharing my box with friends –  I have done quite a bit in my life and it is nice to be able to tell people about how life was so that they and I don’t forget.’

Partners from museums across Cambridgeshire,  Cambridgeshire Care Network,  Cambridgeshire County Council – Adult Social Services came to join in the fun and Heritage Lottery Fund grants officer, Emma Cook congratulated the team on the work of the project.

Other celebration events taking place in September were  Memories Coffee Mornings at Millbrook House in Soham and Walnut Tree Community Cafe in Earith organised by Cambridgeshire Care Network as part of the project.  People came with their memory boxes and had chance to see some of the textiles and images produced by groups and individuals as they shared their memories.  One resident, a former engineer at Lucas Aerospace, who has taken part in the project has since recorded his life story, copies of which will be donated to his family and the Cambridgeshire Collection at Central Library, Cambridge.

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Touring Exhibition Continues in Cambridgeshire

The Memories Exhibition  continued on tour in August and September to  Ramsey Rural Museum and was on display in the 1940s period living room in the reconstructed Fen Cottage there.  The  large museum  tells the story of rural life in Huntingdonshire spanning 200 years with open air displays and  renovated 17th century farm buildings showing  artefacts from different trades including a chemist shop, cobblers, wheelwrights and farriers – http://www.ramseyruralmuseum.co.uk  During the summer the museum is host an annual ‘Forties Weekend’ and hosts  a renowned Plough Day.low-res-ramsay26

The exhibition is now at Ely Museum,  the local history centre about the Isle of Ely and surrounding Fens. Housed in a former gaol the museum includes original prison cells and tells the story of the changing settlements in Ely up to the present day  capturing unique aspects of the area such as eel catching and the drainage of the fens. The exhibition will be there until 31st October and is hosting activities for visitors to make their own memory box. http://www.elymuseum.org.uk

Touring exhibition update

The Memories in the Community touring exhibition can now be seen at the Museum of Technology, Cambridge.

Based in the original pumping station for Cambridge, the Museum of Technology exists to preserve and exhibit material that is relevant to the Cambridge area, either by its use or its invention.

Collections include:
  • The pumping station’s original equipment and other engines.
  • A number of products manufactured by Pye of Cambridge.
  • Letterpress-printing equipment ranging from early hand operated presses to power machinery.
  • Instruments from Cambridge Instrument Company.
  • Information and artefacts from local industries.

The Museum is open every Sunday from 2 – 5pm.

Dementia and the power of sport

As part of dementia awareness week, 5 live sport looks at how the power of sport is used to help people living with dementia. Eleanor Oldroyd meets people who are living with the disease and take part in sporting reminiscence sessions to help trigger their memories. She also speaks to experts in the field of dementia who explain how sport can be used as a tool to help people engage with their friends and families. Plus the remarkable story of a former tennis professional who still plays despite suffering from a severely debilitating form of the disease.

Listen here

Find out more about the Sporting Memories initiative here

New database launched mapping health and wellbeing activities in the UK

A fully searchable database mapping existing health and wellbeing activities in the UK museum sector has recently been launched. It contains over 600 activities from 260 museums and can be searched by keyword, activity type, audience, location and museum. You can access the database via the Resources section of the Alliance website, where you will also find over 200 other resources, including a jargon-busting glossary of health terms: https://museumsandwellbeingalliance.wordpress.com/links/

Also of interest:

Touring exhibition now open at the Farmland Museum

We are pleased to announce that the Touring Exhibition is now open at the Farmland Museum and Denney Abbey. Featuring artwork and photographs from the two creative projects carried out as part of the wider project, and examples of reminiscence boxes, our fully immersive ‘living room’ exhibition shares the memories of our participants.

The exhibition will tour across Cambridgeshire throughout 2016. You can find out where by visiting the Touring Exhibition page on this site…and for a taster, check out the photographs below.

Play Mobile Game To Help Dementia Research

Members of the public are being invited to join the battle against dementia by downloading and playing a video game on their mobile devices.

Every person who plays Sea Hero Quest will be doing their bit to help scientists understand how the typical human brain navigates.

Early signs of dementia can include the loss of spatial awareness and a difficulty with navigation in familiar places.

By using the video game to gather information from tens of thousands of healthy brains, researchers at University College London will try to establish what is a ‘normal’ pattern of behaviour.

Read more here…

New report on ageing and museums

This new report on The UK’s Ageing Population: Challenges and opportunities for museums and galleries has recently been published by the Age Friendly Museums Network and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing (University of Oxford).

The report analyses key demographic trends and older people’s engagement with culture and is packed with in-depth case studies around themes such as outreach, digital engagement and cross-sector partnerships.

Key recommendations for museums and galleries include viewing older people as an asset, building partnerships with health and social care professionals and engaging digitally, particularly as those currently nearing retirement age are becoming increasingly familiar with smart technologies.

Photography Workshops

By Kay Goodridge

In January and February, having the brief to work with a group of people with learning
disabilities at Larkfield Centre in Ely about their lives and memories, using photography, was a challenge and a joy. The four participants, three men and a woman, were very willing to spend time with me showing them how to use different cameras – digital, analogue, phone and tablet – to take interesting images.

Over the next seven weeks, we met regularly on a Tuesday morning, everyone having the
chance to be both the photographer and the subject in self-portraits in which they could
express an emotion, or hold up family album photos or objects of personal value that they
brought in to share with the group. We also visited places that are important to them in their home towns and their homes in Littleport, Chevley and Newmarket. We then set up a dark studio in the hall at the community centre and projected these images onto each person, creating a series of double exposure portraits that represented aspects of their personal history.

Everyone  at the centre was invited to a celebration at the end of the project – tea and cake and a mini movie of their work throughout the project, a fitting end to a lovely project.