Project Co-ordinator, Ruth Bean talks about the redevelopment plans for Weston Park in 2016, and the changes visitors can expect to see over the coming year:
I’m excited to tell you about some of the changes you’ll see as Weston Park undergoes its biggest refurbishment since its grand renovation in 2006. So, what can you expect when you visit the museum in the forthcoming year?
History Lab will be closing its doors for the last time towards the end of January, ready for a complete redisplay. We’ll be installing some beautiful new museum cases, displaying a host of new objects, and there will even be a brand new gallery name – Beneath Your Feet. Beneath Your Feet will be devoted to telling the story of archaeology in our local area, and there will be many fantastic objects to see which haven’t been out on display for years including our Bronze Age canoe, as well as old favourites like the Benty Grange helmet and the Dinnington Torc. You may even find a seat inside an Iron Age roundhouse! We’ll look forward to welcoming you to see the completed gallery in summer 2016.
Also at the end of January About Art will be closing until October, so our team of technicians can use the space as a temporary on-site workshop. They’ll be working away mounting all of the objects coming onto display in our new-look gallery spaces. There will still be plenty to see when you visit the museum during the renovation work, as no more than two galleries will be closed to visitors at any time.
In the spring, Sheffield Life and Times will temporarily close to prepare for the doorway screens to be replaced with new displays from our social history collection, while new additions to the Green City area will chronicle sport in the city. We’re also updating the entrance to Sheffield Life and Times with a new interactive map of Sheffield, and a look at Sheffield buildings from the past. This gallery will be fully reopened in summer 2016.
What on Earth? will be next on our renovation hit-list, with some new displays of both our natural history and geology collections - a big highlight for me will be a look at the wildlife of the Porter Valley. And if you miss the bees, who now live much more happily on the roof of the museum, we’ll be installing a bee camera so you can see what they’re up to on-screen. And if you feel like dressing up as a bee-keeper at the same time you’ll be in luck, as we’ll have some great new dressing-up clothes too.
The final space for a make-over will be About Art, which will be completely renewed in time for the museum’s 10th birthday in October 2016. You can look forward to a Victorian salon-style hang of works on the theme of Picturing Sheffield.
After meticulous planning, and months of preparation, I’m excited to see the transformation of some of Weston Park’s most loved spaces and making the museum even better for years to come.
Do you love Weston Park? Then donate here and help us make it even better.
Schools visit to Weston Park museum. Image © Andy Brown
The improvement to Weston Park Museum are supported by a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Dec 22 2015