Volunteers are required to help give a new lease of life to an important Rural Life Collection. The Corinium Museum is working in partnership with the Cotswold Conservation Board (CCB) to preserve the Rural Life collection housed at the Discovery Centre in Northleach. A £4,000 grant from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and contributions from the Cotswold Museums Charitable Trust will fund the project.
Volunteers can find out more or sign up during a registration drop-in event at the Discovery Centre in Northleach on Wednesday 6 September from 10am until 2pm. Free training sessions will then take place in September delivered by experienced conservator George Monger. The training will be designed to demonstrate safe preservation methods to clean and treat the Rural Life collection.
At the heart of the collection is a group of 23 farm wagons and carts, one of the largest publicly-owned regional collections anywhere in the country. Of particular importance are the examples of Cotswold and Gloucestershire styles of traditional farm wagons. Made in village workshops, these reflect the topography and farming traditions of their area and are truly distinctive, including a fascinating mix of bow and box type wagons.
James Harris, the Corinium Museum Collections and Engagement Officer, says: “Volunteers will be at the centre of this project. This is a chance for local people who want to offer their time, learn some new skills, and to meet others with similar interests, all working towards a vitally important cause. It is my aim to develop a project which will run for consecutive summers. No prior experience is necessary, other than a good level of fitness and a willingness to get stuck in.”
Richard Watson Visitor, Events and Interpretation Officer at the CCB, adds: “It’s great news that the Corinium Museum has been successful in obtaining the funding for work to start on the rural life collection. This will offer an interesting volunteering opportunity for anyone looking to develop their engineering or conservation skills and work as part of a small team to improve the condition of the collection. It should be very satisfying to look back and see the difference the work has made.”