MALVERN Museum of Local History is housed in the medieval gatehouse of Great Malvern Priory.
This Grade 2 listed building is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, owned by the Malvern Museum Society, a registered charity.
The museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and is open daily from March 25 until the end of October each year.
The museum is often likened to the ‘Tardis’ – a lot of fascinating information is packed into a small space.
In addition to the historic building itself, the museum features the local geology and fossils, medieval remains of the monastic priory, the Malvern Water Cure, the Victorian town, and the busy 20th century including Morgan Cars, the Malvern Festival and Radar Research.
2013 was another bumper year for the museum, thanks to the hard work of all our volunteers. Visitor numbers totalled over 5,400, a small entrance charge is made during the week, but admission is free on Sundays.
The year began with the introduction of QR codes around the museum and the launch of a new website (malvernmuseum.co.uk).
Urgent repairs made to the outside of the gatehouse, as part of the on-going restoration programme, cost £10,000, with more work on the crumbling stonework required over the next five years.
A number of events have raised money for the work. In September, Malvern Museum hosted the Worcestershire Local History Forum annual Day School raising over £650 for the building, thanks to the efforts of the museum team particularly Barbara Steele and Jo Rolfe.
The museum was awarded full accreditation for the second time by Arts Council England at the beginning of the year, to show that the museum meets national guidelines in collection development, organisation and business management.
The museum is now closed for the winter but will see continued work on cataloguing the collection, conserving of the building, and mounting new displays for 2014 featuring the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.
A series of lectures is run by the Friends Association during the winter.
This year we have had two fascinating lectures, about wartime radar research flying at Defford by Dennis Williams and the history of Upton-upon-Severn by Pamela Hurle.
* The next lecture is on Friday, November 29, when Bernard Mills will talk about ‘Shopping over 200 years – the history of Kays’ (7.30pm, Christchurch Hall, Avenue Road).