We had a nice meeting last week with John Hoyland at the Castle Museum in York. We discussed various things, and here’s one of them. John is working on a project to develop new sections of the museum buildings and bring them into public use, and improve disabled access. To do this, they’re applying for Lottery funding. To get that, they need a Conservation Management Plan. To develop that, they need to build up a detailed understanding of the historic fabric of the structure. To achieve that… big breath… they need YOU!
We’ve been invited to join the project as volunteers. You get to go behind the scenes of the museum, and make notes and records of what the building actually consists of. The building was originally the city prison, with the debtor’s prison being the section they want to study. As you can see in the photos above, the rooms and offices were the cells and quarters, for inmates, staff and the warden. You’ll be supervised by proper grown-up archaeologists.
What they really need are observant, deductive types like you, looking for patterns, details, mismatches, oddities. The woodwork, the walls, ceilings, floors, windows, stairs, all of it needs studying and recording. You need to look at a room, suss out what’s really there, what’s original, more recent, how it has been altered, how it fits in with the surrounding rooms and so on. You’ll get to make as many visits as you want, and your studies will be compiled with others to help them build their plan.
As a signed up volunteer, you get some bonuses too, discounts in the shop and cafe, and other stuff. There will be a training day, so you’ll be clued up on what to do and what is expected. Please get in touch with John Hoyland directly (John.Hoyland@ymt.org.uk) to offer your services. He’s expecting to start in early March 2012 with the induction.
The Castle Museum is just near Cliffords Tower. Sorry, but there’s no parking available for you at the Castle Museum, and some sections will not suit disabled people at all. You’ll have your own room to store your belongings and can bring your own food and drink as you wish.
It’s really a great opportunity to get to see something unusual, and help out a prestigious York museum, and use your deductive skills, honed to a razor’s edge at BM!. Several people spring to mind as perfect for this job. Get in touch with John and prove yourselves.