Museum Update December 2020

I’m having problems with the GovDelivery mailing system, so am posting the latest newsletter online here too.

Heritage Education Group Meeting with Escape Room Training, Thursday 5th December, 10 for 10:30, Chelmsford Fire Station, Rainsford Lane, Chelmsford
Essex, CM1 2QS

Please try and attend this important meeting of HEG, where we will be discussing the group’s long-term future and how to keep it sustainable. As you can see from this packed agenda we will also be talking about autism access grants and the Thinkspace event in March, promoting your offer to local schools.

After lunch, we will be joined by museum escape-room specialist Sacha Coward, who will be teaching us about using that model in delivering fun, problem-solving education sessions.

Please let me know ASAP if you will be joining us for the morning, afternoon or both and if so, what your dietary requirements are, by emailing

Please note that Coval Lane is the nearest car park


Museums Essex, Chelmsford Museum, Friday 6th December, 10 for 10:30, Chelmsford Museum

Please see the agenda, available here.. We will be joined by Jamie Everitt from SHARE Museums East and discussing the long-term plans for museum development in the county.

Minutes of the last meeting are available here.

If you would like to attend, please email


Autism Access Training (and Grants), 10th December, 10 for 10:30, Braintree Museum

This all-day session will be delivered by museum access specialist Jo Gillam, looking at how what barriers there may be to for visitors accessing your museum and how we can remove them. The session is open to anyone working or volunteering in museums in Essex. To book, email

Accredited/WTA museums in Essex, Southend and Thurrock who send representatives to this training (or those who can show they have attended similar training in the last 12 months) will be eligible to apply for a grant of up to £500 to make their offer more accessible to people with Autism

You may also be interested in this Guardian article on barriers to access in museums.


Thinkspace 2020

Museums are invited to pitch sessions for “Thinkspace 2020”. The event on 26th March at the East Anglian Railway Museum will show teachers how they can use museums to deliver Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths subjects.  Our definition of STEAM is deliberately broad and there will definitely be something in your collection that fits.

The day will be a mix of keynote presentations, breakout museum-led sessions, a forum for teachers to think and plan, and a marketplace of museum stalls.  We aim to reach 100 teachers from across Essex.

Breakout sessions will run in ½ hour slots in the morning and afternoon with teachers signing up for the sessions of their choice.  Numbers in each session will be limited.

The event is aimed at museums of all sizes, both volunteer run and staffed.

We are inviting you to contribute content for one or more 25min breakout session.  This could be

  • A taster of activities from one of your school sessions
  • Hands on with your other learning resources such as loan boxes, teachers’ packs
  • Hearing about other STEAM projects in your museum

The marketplace and lunch will be held between 12 – 2pm and the timings of the morning and afternoon sessions will be staggered to manage the numbers there at one time.  Museums can create a tabletop or other pop-up display and liaise directly with teachers.  It may also be an opportunity to take bookings.

If you would like to be involved, please complete this form and return it to by midnight on 17th December 2019.


Paintings on Offer

“I am currently working on ‘re-homing’ the Derbyshire Schools Library Service. This is a collection of 20th century art and ethnography that was bought between 1938 and 1988 and used as teaching aids in Derbyshire schools. We are offering objects in the collection for free transfer to accredited museums, following the MA’s code of ethics.

There are quite a few pictures with an East of England connection, either in terms of artist or subject matter – please see the attached list. I just want to flag them up to museums in your area as there are some interesting pictures on there.   In total we are looking to re-home over a 1000 pictures, you can see the full list and further details on the MA’s ‘Find an Object’ website.”

For more information, contact