Celebration of heritage
HERITAGE organisations from across the county were recognised earlier this month at the Northamptonshire Museum and Historic Houses Forum’s Heritage Awards, which celebrate the work of almost 50 museums, historic houses and organisations.
Northamptonshire has the highest concentration of historic houses in England as well as almost 50 museums, most of which are run by passionate volunteers. This sector plays a vital role in attracting visitors to the county each year.
At the ceremony, held at St Peter’s Church, Oundle on Thursday July 16, winners included Kettering Museum and Art Gallery – which won Heritage Site of the year – and also Desborough Heritage Centre, which scooped the People’s Choice Award, a publicly-voted category reflecting the population of Northamptonshire’s favourite heritage destinations, supported by BBC Radio Northampton.
The awards are organised by a sub-committee of the Northamptonshire Museums and Historic Houses Forum (NMHHF), a network run by a volunteer committee, dedicated to supporting and developing heritage organisations in the county.
The awards were sponsored by Museum Development East Midlands, BBC Radio, the county council and the Northamptonshire Community Foundation.
The award-winners are:
Best Exhibition: Highly Commended Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for #selfies exhibition; WINNER Oundle Museum for ‘Oundle 1851’ Exhibition.
Best Event: WINNER Canon’s Ashby (National Trust) for A Victorian Christmas at Canon’s Ashby.
Community Award: Highly Commended Desborough Heritage Centre for ‘Exchanging Museums’; WINNER Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for ‘Kettering Faces of the First World War’.
Best Volunteer Project: Highly Commended Rushden Museum for ‘Rushden’s journey through the First World War’; WINNER – Towcester Museum for ‘Volunteers celebrating the history of Towcester’.
Best Special Project: Highly Commended Kettering Museum and Art Gallery for ‘On the Wagon, Kettering’s Temperance Portraits’; WINNER Canon’s Ashby for the ‘Brew House Bookshop’.
People’s Choice Award: Desborough Heritage Centre.
Heritage Site of the Year: Kettering Museum and Art Gallery.
Pictured above – HERITAGE HEROES: All the award-winners line up. Photo courtesy of Carole Bancroft-Turner, forum co-ordinator.