I’ve been off in my camper van again this month, Belgium and France this time to watch the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix cycle races. Anyone who regularly reads my blog may have picked up on the fact that I keep going on holiday to places with lots of canals – this is just a coincidence!
After a very relaxing start to the month it was a bit of a shock to the system jumping back into my slightly manic work life, but also a great reminder of why I love working in museums.
I am very excited about the Heritage Lottery Fund bid that we are submitting at National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port in May. We have our final meeting with our HLF advisor on the 6 May and then we wait with baited breath to find out if we have been successful – eek!
It is such an exciting project involving opening up an area of the museum (historic slipway) that has previously been inaccessible to the public, creating a new exhibition, conserving/restoring two historically significant boats, an outreach programme on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and lots of inspiring learning activities woven throughout. Can’t wait.
Meanwhile, over at Gloucester Waterways Museum, I have been contributing to another fantastic funding bid to reinterpret and redisplay their galleries, redevelop the learning offer and create a floating classroom.
At Anderton Boat Lift we have been given some money from local industry to design and pilot a new education programme, which I am busy researching and writing along with some Northwich teachers. I am certainly being kept busy!
School visits to all our museum and towpath locations are rocketing as we start to get some better weather so it’s all hands on deck for our Explorer’s volunteer teams. We are also gearing up for half term activities, including taking part in the Amazed by Science Festival at Anderton Boat Lift. I am super excited about this, particularly as we are working with some wonderful partners in the West Cheshire rangers and Norton Priory’s “Bee Man” Paul Quigley.
I’m sure there are lots of other wonderful things that I’ve not mentioned! For those of you who’ve not met me yet, look out for me at Crick Boat Show!
Helen Evans is the learning officer for our museums and attractions. She joined the National Waterways Museum (Ellesmere Port) in 2010, following eight years of secondary school teaching. Helen lives in Macclesfield and is a keen long distance runner, competing for Macclesfield Harriers.See more blogs from Helen Evans