Derbyshire Museum packs up ahead of massive refurbishment
We took one last look around, including parts of the collections not usually seen by members of the public.
Experts say packing and moving is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life, so try packing, wrapping and labeling around 30,000 historic items, the vast majority of them can never be replaced.
That’s the task facing the Chesterfield Museum team as they prepare to put away their vast and invaluable collection ahead of a major renovation project at Stephenson Memorial Hall, the building the museum calls home.
“We found items that may not have been what we thought they were until you actually pulled them off the shelf.” said Alyson Barnes, head of tourism, museums and events, who walked us through the parts of the collection that the public don’t usually see.
The Chesterfield Museum closed to the public on Tuesday March 1, so work could begin on packing all valuables, some of which can be done by museum staff, other items require the arrival of specialist teams, including the main attraction, a massive wheel used during the construction of the famous Crooked Spire Church.
“It’s about 750 years old and it’s the only one in the country that’s on display in a museum, most of the others were left where they were found. It was used to build the church, so historically it’s connected to the Chesterfield Spire landmark,” said Ms Barnes, who added that there were only five examples of these wheels left in the country and it would take a man to stand by. inside and turns it like a hamster does to its wheel.
The museum opened to the public in 1994 at Stephenson Memorial Hall and contains thousands of artefacts from the famous borough’s history, but the museum needs more space to display as many of the 30,000 items it has in his collection.
Indeed, before closing, at any time, only about 5% of the collection would be on display to the public.
Renovations to the Grade II listed Memorial Hall, which dates back to 1879, are expected to cost around £17million with additional floors opened up giving the museum more floor space in which to display items from the collection.
Renovations are due to begin in early August, and museum staff hope to have everything packed, labeled and in storage by mid-July.