Crowds flock to reopening of Warwick museum

The reopening of the Market Hall Museum. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

The reopening of the Market Hall Museum. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

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A museum in Warwick officially reopened at the weekend after an 18-month redevelopment project.

The redevelopment to the Market Hall Museum is part of a wider £1.5 million heritage project, which has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.
John Radley (Curator of Natural Sciences) and friends launch the new look museum.
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Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick. John Radley (Curator of Natural Sciences) and friends launch the new look museum. MHLC-18-02-17-markethall NNL-170218-212219009

The museum was officially reopened at 10.30am on Saturday, where a large crowd gathered outside and were welcomed by the mayor of Warwick Christine Cross and Warwick town crier Michael Reddy.

Elizabeth Gayler and Robert Martin from Westgate Primary School cut the ribbon to formally open the museum.

The mayor of Warwick Christine Cross said: “The opening of the Market Hall Museum on Saturday morning was amazing. I was asked to make an opening speech and then Elizabeth and Robert had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

“The Market Place was buzzing and people of all ages just poured through the doors. The café was doing a roaring trade and of course we had to sample the cake.

Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.
Peter Optical was drumming up customers.
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Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick. Peter Optical was drumming up customers. MHLC-18-02-17-markethall NNL-170218-212407009

“I am sure the museum which has now been brought into the 21st century in terms of technology will be a tremendous success and a real asset for Warwick.”

The work done to the museum included installing a platform lift so that it could accessible to all visitors.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to have supported the redevelopment of Market Hall Museum and it’s brilliant to see its doors open this month.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, more people will get the chance to see the museum’s fascinating collection and to contribute their own stories, adding to the county’s rich heritage and cultural identity.”

Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.
Inside the new-look museum.
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Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick. Inside the new-look museum. MHLC-18-02-17-markethall NNL-170218-212257009

Over the course of the day, visitors enjoyed the various facilities and activities ranging from art and craft activities to alternative theatrical tours.

Locally based theatre group Talking Birds produced a bespoke theatrical MusGuided Tour for the event.

Old favourites returned to the museum, including the iconic Giant Irish Deer skeleton, the Sheldon Tapestry, the Warwickshire Bear and the live bee hive.

Several new features and exhibits were also added to the museum including community artwork, the Warwickshire Dinosaur, costume pieces and interactive pieces.

Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.
Inside the new-look museum.
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Reopening of the Market Hall Museum in Warwick. Inside the new-look museum. MHLC-18-02-17-markethall NNL-170218-212510009

The Market Hall Museum will be open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and the cafe will be open 8am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.