Community Cash Giveaway 2010
Jan 30 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Community Cash Giveaway 2010
TOUCHING the exhibits is not something museum visitors are usually permitted to do.
But when people come to the Colne Valley Museum in Golcar, hardly anything is out of bounds.
In fact volunteers at the Cliffe Ash attraction do all they can to ensure visitors are completely immersed in the experience of all things Victorian – from wearing the traditional dress to making toys from years gone by.
And they can do that even more thanks to a cash windfall from last year’s Examiner cash giveaway.
The museum, which includes a clog-maker’s workshop and spinning room, was awarded £900 from reserves.
The money was used to fund bigger ovens to help volunteers offer cooking sessions to more people – and is often used to bake bread the Victorian way.
The museum is particularly popular with schools, welcoming hundreds of children through its doors each year.
And the key to its appeal is the fact that it is such an interactive experience, says the museum’s Sheila Osborn.
“It is a unique experience,’’ she said. “In most museums you aren’t allowed to touch anything, but here visitors can pick up an iron and run their hands over a spinning wheel.
“It’s an extremely important part of our heritage. Weaving started in these cottages and people can come in and experience what it was really like to live in that time.”
The museum is housed in three of a row of four weavers’ cottages built in the 1840s by the Pearson’s, a family of independent cloth manufacturers.
The cottages were given to be used as a museum which opened in 1971 and volunteers are now waiting to see if they can use the fourth cottage – formerly a fish and chip shop – to extend the attraction even further.
The museum was painstakingly restored with hours of research going into making everything was accurate of the period.
It is run by a team of 20 dedicated volunteers who have perfected skills in the likes of weaving and clog making to show visitors how people once lived.
Local groups stage exhibits there and the museum regularly plays host to school trips.
Visitor eight-year-old Joanne Chen from Spring Grove School in Springwood said: “I had a really good time dressing up and making things and cooking. You get more of an experience here and learn a lot.”
Sheila agrees that a lot can be learned from the museum.
“It’s great for the children,’’ she said. “It’s really hands-on and I think they learn a lot more from getting involved and having a go at things like cooking and making traditional toys.
“People who come here are quite amazed at what they can see and do – coming into the cottages really is like stepping back in time.”
This year the Examiner has £50,000 to award to groups doing great things for their community. That is £20,000 more than last year.
It is easy to enter and people can pick up application forms from the Examiner’s office on Queen Street South near Huddersfield town centre.
To enter visit www.examiner.co.uk/communitycash