Sharing Heritage: Museum Makers Group celebrates £6,000 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant


The Museum Makers rehearsing for their latest performance ‘The Vikings are Coming!’ at the Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant, it was announced today.  The grant will fund an exciting Museum Makers project which will provide educational and inspirational opportunities for adults with learning disabilities as they engage with the collections at the Museum.  

The project will work with local disability groups, carers, specialist artists and performers on a wide range of creative activities inspired by the Museum’s desire to share the stories of Dorset’s heritage with vulnerable adults in the community.  Weekly creative sessions will include activities such as acting, music, craft making and shadow puppetry which will result in the group producing and performing a play and a film for friends, family and the wider community to enjoy, all inspired by the Museum’s collections.

The initial focus for the group will be recently acquired archaeology collections including the Viking skeletons discovered on the South Dorset Ridgeway, which the Museum Makers will use to explore the Viking connection with Dorset, performing a play based on their discoveries.

The latter half of the project will see the group explore themes relating to the Museum’s current exhibition of railway posters of the twentieth century, Speed to the West:  a Nostalgic Journey.  From this they will produce a film on the coming of the railway to Dorchester, connections with Dorset’s literary heritage and the founding of the Museum itself in response to the threat posed by the construction of the new railways to Dorset’s archaeological heritage and natural history.

Commenting on the award, Andy Worth, Museum Makers Volunteer, said “We’re thrilled to have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started on the project. The Museum Makers group will feel a stronger sense of belonging to their community through engaging with Dorset’s past, and at the same time they will be developing their own self-confidence through learning new skills, performing and film-making.  We’re also delighted by the support we’ve had from Dorset County Museum, and can’t emphasise enough how crucial this interim grant is to the Museum Makers. ”  

Dr Peter Down, Chairman of Dorset County Museum added “This will be a really fantastic project, and staff and volunteers here at the Museum will give our whole hearted support to the Museum Makers in any way that we can.”

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Spring holiday family fun at Dorset County Museum

Iron Age Round HouseHoliday Family activities continue to be FREE at Dorset County Museum thanks to generous sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

The activity during spring half term is on Wednesday 18th February. Find out all about the amazing round houses that Iron Age people lived in on top of Maiden Castle and all over Dorset, then build your own model to take home. This takes place between 10.30am and 12.30pm and there’s no need to book.

At Easter the family activities focus on some of the burial customs from ancient times – looking at how people were buried and what special objects were chosen to go into the grave. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the Museum’s famous horned Ooser.

Dorset County Museum welcomes families and has a range of family trails and plenty of activities for children in the galleries.

For further information please see or telephone 01305 262735.

Dates of Family Activities at the Dorset County Museum as follows:

  • 18th February: Make a Replica Iron Age Round House – 10.30am and 12.30pm
  • 1st April: Brilliant Burials and Skeletons – 10.30am and 12.30pm
  • 8th April: Make a Dorset Ooser Mask – 10.30am and 12.30pm

New Dino Club launched at Museum

Dino ClubDorset County Museum is launching a brand new Dino Club this summer. Especially for children aged four to eight years old, the club will be held in the Museum’s Jurassic Coast Gallery and will be all about dinosaurs.

The first session will be held at 10.30am on Tuesday 7 August and after that on 14, 21 and 28 August. Activities will include model-making, working with clay, investigating a Dino-Discovery box and making a fact file. Each week the club will concentrate on a different dinosaur – the first one will be the Pliosaur.

“We’ve had a lot of requests about a setting up a club which just concentrates on dinosaurs,” said Pippa Brindley, Learning Manager at the Museum. “We hope lots of people will join in, have some fun, and learn something at the same time.”

The club will cost £3 per child for each session and accompanying adults are free. Each session will last one hour and numbers will be limited to ensure everyone has the best possible experience.

Advance booking is therefore strongly advised although spaces may be available on the day – please contact the Museum Shop by popping in or by phoning 01305 756827.