CAHMS Annual General Meeting, followed by 'Update on Tiverton Museum' by Sandy Haughton
George Palin was re-elected as chairman and David Nation was elected as secretary. John Heal and Sandra Cooper continue as archivist and assistant archivist respectively.
Immediately following the AGM, over 40 members and friends enjoyed a presentation by Pippa Grifitth, curator, and Sandy Haughton, trustee, of Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life. The museum was established in 1960 and had several addresses until the present former Victorian school building became available. ‘The Tivvy Bumper’ steam engine was relocated there in 1979 and refurbishments took place in 2000 and in 2006 when the Transport Gallery was established.
Paid staff are the curator, part time education officer and cleaners and, as with Crediton, the museum could not function without over 60 volunteers. There are over 13,000 objects in their collection, including an impressive display of agricultural machinery, and over 27,000 photographs and documents. Like Crediton, Tiverton Museum is also Service Point for Devon Heritage Centre, where people can research their family trees.
A major exhibition this year has been ‘Harvesting Memories’, an oral history project involving local school children interviewing people involved in farming since the war, for which a Lottery grant was secured. Another grant enabled the museum to introduce ‘Reminiscence Therapy’, where volunteers visit residential homes etc. to present work helping those suffering from dementia and memory loss.
The emphasis is on making the museum family friendly, providing for children and encouraging people to make return visits. A charge is made for adult visitors, which total around 10,000 pa. The museum’s turnover is around £80,000 and they receive a grant of £27,500 pa from Mid Devon District Council.
Thanking them for their illustrated talk, David Nation added how much Crediton Museum appreciated the help their curator has given them and expressed the hope that the two museums could continue to work together. One reason the museum is important to people in the Crediton area is because there are very many items in their collection that relate to the Crediton area inevitable because Crediton had long been without a museum so people did not think of donating to us.