Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Christmas from all at The Higgins!

Edward Bawden (1903 - 1989) Advertising Material for The Titfield Thunderbolt: Christmas Card 'from Reginald P. Baker and Michael Balcon' 1952 © The Edward Bawden Estate

We’ve had an amazing 2012 and we’ve really enjoyed seeing so many people at events, workshops and outreach sessions throughout Bedford and the surrounding Borough. But we’re looking forward to 2013 and the reopening even more.

During 2012 we’ve planned new displays, written thousands of object labels, moved the office (back into The Higgins!) and we’ve begun to move objects back to the new store. So far we’ve moved over 1000 boxes or 5,351 artefacts back to The Higgins.

We’ve been out and about too. We have worked with over 60 local groups and organisations including schools, faith groups, residential homes, children’s centres and youth clubs to reach new audiences, talk to people about our collections and gather stories and material for future displays.

We’ve also been out to deliver outreach sessions to over 6,000 school children.

We’ve travelled 484 (nearly 500!) miles in search of archaeology with our young archaeologists group, SAW.
SAW on a visit to Dunstable Downs in September 2012

We’ve had lots of help from audiences, participating in events and helping to create content for the new displays. At the River Festival and at Bedford International Athletic Stadium audiences had the opportunity to choose objects to be shown in Collection Point, a display designed to showcase the breadth and variety of The Higgins’ Collections and to change over time. The most popular object was a glass mouse made by Lalique.

We held an election for Great Bedfordians at Heritage Open Day in September 2012. The event offered audiences the opportunity to vote for their favourite Great Bedfordian, or to nominate a new Great Bedfordian if their favourite was not already on the list. In the end, Trevor Huddleston won the day. The result of the election will form part of the new People gallery when The Higgins reopens.

We were very happy and proud to be made Leisure & Culture ‘Team of the Year’ by the Bedford Borough Council Adult Services Directorate. Here are our staff and volunteers at the presentation with Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford and Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Arts and Leisure.