Category Archives: News

Mark your calendars! The Forum’s AGM 2020 is set for 24 November

Join us for our next meeting, the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum AGM 2020, which is scheduled for Tuesday, 24 November 2020 from 1-3pm online. It’ll be the first time our meeting will convene virtually, and we’re looking forward to catching up with one another after such a long gap between meetings.

Members and non-members alike are welcome, and along with the usual AGM agenda items, we’ll be hearing from Nottingham Castle staff about the castle development. Hope to ‘see’ you at the meeting!

Book your free place today on Eventbrite at:

Booking closes 20 November 2020 at 12.00 noon.

For further information, contact the Forum on email:

Summer Social 2020 cancelled

The Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the Forum’s Summer Social, which had been scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 8th September 2020 from 2-4pm at Bestwood Country Park.  Unfortunately, the venue within the park that we had been planning to use remains closed, and considering other factors such as social distancing, Covid-secure requirements, and many of our members still on furlough or their sites remaining closed or operating at reduced capacity, the Forum felt that cancelling the event was best.

We had looked forward to seeing everyone again – and welcoming new faces – at the event, but we look forward to the day when we will be able to reconnect in-person.  Until then, please keep checking our Forum Facebook page – and Forum Members’ Facebook Group page (a more personal space to share news, opinions, thoughts and ideas) – and our website for updates and future events.

Forum update

To our Forum,

We hope you are keeping well during these very uncertain times.  Firstly, our thanks on behalf of the Forum Committee for your understanding of delays in responses to emails sent to the Forum email account and postponements of our meetings during what has been a particularly chaotic time in co-ordinating Covid-19 responses within our wider respective organisations.

We were pleased to partner with Museums Development East Midlands (MDEM) on the recent ‘Re-opening the Region’ online session on 26th June, which detailed a range of information and resources available to support museums, galleries and heritage sites in re-opening once museums, galleries and heritage attractions are allowed to open in England from 4th July.  It was good to connect with members again and we will share news of future sessions planned and updates as received.

To help keep members in touch in what can feel a lonely and distant time, we set up a Facebook group for active forum members.  This can be accessed by following the link that follows and completing the membership questions to join:

It was with regret that the Committee had to take the decision to postpone the 19th May 2020 AGM meeting, which was scheduled to take place at Trent Bridge Cricket Club.  It is likely that this postponement, as a result of extenuating circumstances caused by Covid-19, will take this year’s AGM into the summer or early autumn months.  We are currently exploring options around alternative dates, or the possibility of hosting an online meeting if necessary.  In the meantime, our existing Committee, including those who came to an end of their existing term in May 2020, will continue to support the Forum. 

Lastly, the Committee made the decision to postpone membership dues (2020-2021) until further notice and to cancel the proposed 2020 Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards, and is currently in discussion with MDEM as regards the future format for the awards.

In the meantime, we’d like to take this opportunity to send very best wishes to all our members during this difficult time.

– The Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum Committee 

‘Re-opening the Region’ session a success

A big thank you to Museum Development East Midlands (MDEM @MusDevEM) for the very useful ‘Re-opening the Region’ partnership event (online on Zoom) on 26th June with the Forum. It was great to see so many Forum members and to share experiences and resources as we prepare to re-open our sites in line with Covid-19-secure guidelines.


If you weren’t able to join in the session, some of the information that was referenced during the workshop includes:

MDEM will be working with the Forum to run another session a few weeks after some organisations have reopened, to hear how things have gone and share experiences, so watch this space.

In the meantime, if you have any resources you’d like to share, please do send these to the Forum group as a whole – either on the ‘Nottingham Heritage Forum Members Area’ Facebook page (join at: or in an email to the Forum (and we will in turn forward to the rest of the Forum), as it would be great to see what everyone is getting up to and support each other further.

Who were the Winners at the Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards 2018!?

‘Celebrating creativity and innovation across Nottinghamshire’s heritage sites’

The Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards 2018 took place on Thursday 14 June, providing the opportunity to celebrate excellence across the county’s museums, historic houses and heritage sites. The awards, arranged by the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum, recognised innovation, creativity and sheer determination, featuring award entries from organisations across the county.

The awards ceremony took place at Nottingham Trent University’s Pavilion Building at the Clifton Campus on Thursday 14 June. More than 60 guests attended the evening awards ceremony to celebrate the many achievements of Nottinghamshire’s heritage sites over the past two years, as part of the biennial awards.

The 2018 awards received 28 award entries, made by 16 individual heritage organisations- all hoping to scoop an award from a total of 8 award categories. The entries were made by heritage organisations both large and small- from all corners of the county. All of the entries demonstrated the outstanding innovation, hard work and creativity taking place in heritage organisations across Nottinghamshire. The awards were judged by Jayne Nightingale- Partnerships Manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, Rebecca Morris-Buck Alumni Relationship Co-ordinator at Nottingham Trent University and Dr Katharina Massing- Lecturer in Museum and Heritage Studies at Nottingham Trent University. The judging panel were particularly impressed with the variety of entries, many of which benefited local community audiences, and showcased new ideas for engaging visitors of all ages. Tough decisions were made by the judges, from applications, plus supporting photographs and feedback put forward by entrants.

John Holmes of BBC Radio Nottingham presented a celebratory awards ceremony, which showcased a snapshot of each of the award entrants’ projects and provided a broad and inspirational picture of the fantastic projects undertaken across the county over the past two years.

The awards ceremony was preceded in the day by the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum Conference 2018, which was attended by many of the entrants, as well as wider heritage organisations, and concluded with a light-hearted Nottinghamshire Heritage Quiz before the evening awards ceremony.

This year’s awards featured a total of eight award categories, plus two judges’ special awards. Each of the award winners received a trophy. The Winners were…

Surviving and Thriving Award:
Winner: Canalside Heritage Centre Trust

Volunteer Power Award:
Special Commendation: Canalside Heritage Centre Trust
Winner: Green’s Mill and Science Centre

Best Event:
Winner: Mansfield Museum

Best Exhibition:
Special Commendation: National Justice Museum
Winner: Mansfield Museum

Collections Development Award:
Winner: Bassetlaw Museum

New Audiences Award:
Winner: Mr Straw’s House (National Trust)

Best Nottingham Trent University Student Poster:
Alexandra Gregory

Nottinghamshire Heritage Site of the Year 2018:
Winner: Mr Straw’s House (National Trust)

Judges Special Awards
Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum: For Achieving Arts Council England Accreditation:
Clumber Park: For Creative Volunteer Engagement:

The awards, organised by the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum, would not have been possible without sponsorship from Nottingham Trent University and Museum Development East Midlands, plus the generous assistance of John Holmes of BBC Radio Nottingham and this year’s judges Jayne Nightingale of Visit Nottinghamshire and Rebecca Morris-Buck and Dr Katharina Massing of Nottingham Trent University. The awards were organised in conjunction with support from Culture Syndicates CIC.

Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards and Conference 2018

It’s time to book your FREE tickets for the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum Conference and Awards, celebrating the achievements and excellence of heritage sites throughout Nottinghamshire.



Thursday 14 June 2018 2-8pm

At Nottingham Trent University,
Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS
Free Entry Free Parking

Kindly supported and funded by Museum Development East Midlands and Nottingham Trent University

The 3rd Biennial Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum Conference ‘Let’s Dress Up’ explores themes of playfulness, experiential engagement and role play in Heritage.

Conference talks and practical workshops will explore how enabling visitors to take a step closer into the lives of others via creative interpretation and interactives can inspire people within heritage themes and provide opportunities to connect with new viewpoints and stories.

2:00pm Arrival and Welcome

2:10pm Keynote Talk: Alison Oddey:
‘Working with Heritage Sites to Produce Interactive Performances’

Option 1) Workshop: ‘Exploring the Dressing Up Box’ Top tips from a panel of professionals on the practicalities of costumed interpretation and how to get started.

(Option 2) Talk: ‘Fighting for Our Heritage’
Find out more about the WW1 projects undertaken across Nottinghamshire as part of the Fighting for our Heritage HLF funded project

3:10pm Tea & Coffee Break

(Option 1) Workshop: Ian Rowson
‘Making Collection Catalogues on a Budget’
Cost effective options for collection catalogues.

(Option 2) Talk: ‘Fighting for Our Heritage’ TBC
A second chance to find out more about the WW1 projects undertaken across Nottinghamshire as part of the Fighting for our Heritage HLF funded project

4:00pm The Great Nottinghamshire Heritage Quiz

5:00pm Close

Followed by a buffet and the Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards 2018 Ceremony at 7pm

Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum are delighted to welcome:

Keynote Speaker: Alison Oddey- ‘Working with Heritage Sites to Produce Interactive Performances’
Alison Oddey is a distinguished academic of over 30 years’ experience in Visual Culture, the Arts, Contemporary Performance, Film and Heritage. Alison is currently Visiting Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy; Visiting Professor of Visual Culture and Contemporary Performance at the University of Derby, UK and Reader in Visual Arts & Health at Nottingham Trent University.
Alison has published seven books, designing, writing and producing work for a variety of contexts. She will be speaking about her latest works, which are interdisciplinary and international, but with the key aim of exciting and engaging new audiences to think about life with renewed vigour and perspective.

Workshop: Ian Rowson – ‘Making Collection Catalogues on a Budget’
I’ve been working in and around the heritage sector for around 20 years, after spending the early part of my career in various technical roles in commercial companies.
My museum experience is primarily in applying ICT to the field of collections management and public access, hence my current position working for the main software company in that arena. I am particularly interested in social and industrial history, and have been a trustee for a local industrial museum for the last 18 months. My undergraduate study was in Photography, where I specialised in digital imaging. I then later went on to complete a Masters in Heritage Studies at Nottingham Trent University.

Workshop: Exploring the Dressing Up Box
Top tips from local professionals on how costumed interpretation can help bring heritage sites to life, with cost effective ways to get started and ideas to take away. The workshop will be delivered by Naomi Garnett, Learning and Access Manager at the National Justice Museum, Carol King, Assistant Business Manager (Interim), Heritage, Culture & Visitors in Newark and Eleanor Baumber, Collections Development Manager at Lincolnshire County Council

Fighting For Our Heritage Talks
Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum’s ‘Fighting for Our Heritage’ project works with heritage organisations across the county to engage non-traditional heritage audiences to look at how the First World War and its aftermath affected life for people in the County. The project is facilitated by a £23k grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Now in its 2nd year, a selection of the 6 organisations involved speak about the exhibitions, events and resources they have been developing. Organisations include The Museum of the Mercian Regiment (WFR Collection), Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum, Newark Town Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Mansfield Fire Museum, Radcliffe-on-Trent Local History Society and Gringley History Club

PLUS, The Great Nottinghamshire Heritage Quiz
The conference will conclude with a light-hearted heritage quiz, with prizes and a trophy to be won. We will be asking teams to sign up during the day, for a chance to win the most prestigious award Champions of the ‘Great Nottinghamshire Quiz 2018’! Rounds include:
• Pictures – Can you tell your Stonehenge from your Seahenge?
• Music– Not featuring King Crimson’s ‘The World’s My Oyster Soup Kitchen Wax Museum’
• Film– Museums in film, for those nights in where you can’t escape work.
• What the heck is it? We all have them: name that object.
• Creative- Find out if you’re the next Henry Moore.

Awards Webpage


Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards 2018

We would like to invite you to enter the Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards 2018.

Entry is free for members and they are a great opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work and outstanding achievements in your museums, historic houses and heritage sites across the county.

Entry for non-members is £25 and includes membership to the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum.

By entering for an Award you can:
• Showcase your progress and successes, raising your public profile and recognition.
• Recognise the hard work of your staff and volunteers.
• Share best practice across the heritage and museums sector.

The Awards are organised by the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum, Nottingham Trent University, and Culture Syndicates CIC.

There are six award categories:

• Best Exhibition
This award will recognise best practice in exhibition design and delivery. The exhibition can be temporary, permanent or digital and delivered at your venue or as an outreach event.
BEST EXHIBITION- Download Application Form Here

• Best Event
This award will recognise innovative and outstanding heritage events.
BEST EVENT- Download Application Form Here

• Collections Development
This award will recognise outstanding work in developing your heritage organisation’s collection and public access to that collection.

• New Audience Award
This award will recognise the successful development of new audiences within your organisation.
NEW AUDIENCES AWARD- Download Application Form Here

• Surviving and Thriving
This award will recognise projects and initiatives that improve the sustainability or growth of your heritage organisation.
SURVIVING & THRIVING AWARD- Download Application Form Here

• Volunteer Power
This award will recognise best practice within a heritage organisation that is run by volunteers.
VOLUNTEER POWER AWARD- Download Application Form Here

• Heritage Site of the Year
This award celebrates exceptional achievements by heritage organisations in Nottinghamshire. It will recognise organisations which have provided the very best heritage engagement opportunities for visitors, volunteers and staff.
HERITAGE SITE OF THE YEAR- Download Application Form Here

When deciding which category to enter, think about all the different projects, exhibitions, outreach, events and other work you have been doing between April 2016 and 30th April 2018 (but not necessarily for the whole period of that time).

What has worked really well for your organisation and your visitors? These could be open days, events, new exhibitions, community work, research, talks and lectures, collections projects, or work with schools or other projects with children and young people.

The culmination of the Awards will be a presentation ceremony which will take place at Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus on Thursday 14th June 2018.

The ceremony will be a great opportunity for all those involved in museums and heritage across Nottinghamshire to catch up with friends and colleagues and celebrate all the fabulous work taking place.

5pm on the 30th April 2018.

To apply send your completed entry form and supporting material to:

Entry forms can be downloaded under the award titles below.

If you have any queries please contact Neville Stankley on or telephone 0115 848 3389.

Good luck and we look forward to receiving your entry!

Carol King
Chair – Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards

Heritage Picnic at Rufford Abbey

In conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council the Forum is inviting heritage organisations from across the county to participate in a WWI Heritage Day at Rufford Abbey Country Park on 11th July 2018.

This high profile event commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War and offers an excellent opportunity for Nottinghamshire Heritage organisations to showcase themselves and their WWI stories.

Visitors will be of all ages and will include a series of invited local schools.

Stalls are offered FREE to heritage sites, access to the site will be from 9.30am with free parking for up to two cars per organisation and a small bursary for travel if required.

To express your interest in attending as a host organisation please complete the expression of interest form below and return by Friday 8 June 2018.

WWI Heritage Day Booking Form

Don’t miss this great opportunity!


EASTWOOD’S D.H Lawrence Birthplace Museum has been awarded a VisitEngland Hidden Gem Accolade, received as part of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme.

Assessors who visited praised the Museum for its exceptionally interesting tour, the outstanding knowledge and enthusiasm and great visitor care displayed by the staff, the intriguing human interest information provided and the overall high level of presentation and maintenance of the museum.

Councillor Shane Easom, Chair of the Leisure and Environment Committee said: “We are delighted with this accolade and it’s a credit to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes that ensures that visitors have a great experience when they visit.”

“It takes a dedicated team working on collections management, interpretation, research, visitor engagement, not to mention a museum, exhibitions space and a gift shop. It is evident that you don’t have to be a fan of Lawrence to enjoy a visit and receiving the accolade helps to confirm this. We hope this accolade will encourage more visitors to seek out this place of significant cultural interest.”

The museum is tucked away on a neatly cobbled street, behind the main shopping area of Eastwood and so is somewhat ‘hidden’.

The authentically restored Victorian house in which D.H. Lawrence was born and lived until he was two years of age is much bigger inside than first assumed. In each room there is meticulous attention to the style of the period, nothing is roped off and combined with the fully guided tour visitors receive an immersive experience of life in a Victorian household. D.H. Lawrence is one of the most famous and often controversial writers of the 20th century and if you are a fan, then a visit to the museum and the area is a must.

The museum is also a starting point to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside, which inspired so much of Lawrence’s work, and the Blue Line Trail; an urban walk taking you by other points of interest relating to Lawrence.

The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is an award winning visitor attraction in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire (not far from junction 26 of the M1 and the IKEA retail park). It combines D.H. Lawrence’s authentically recreated childhood home, with an exhibition space celebrating the author’s life, work and humble beginnings. From here you can also explore the surrounding countryside, which inspired his work.

The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. For more information, please contact the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum on (0115) 9173824, email or visit Facilities include a charming gift shop, tea and coffee, and a picnic area.

NHF launches commemorative experience on centenary of Battle of the Somme

The Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum has conducted a commemorative event in conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council to mark the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The civic event, held at Nottinghamshire County Hall, was attended by Leader of the County Council Alan Rhodes, Armed Forces Champion Cllr Ian Campbell, Chairman of the County Council Yvonne Woodhead and various other distinguished guests.

There were also representatives from local museums and the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum in attendance, who were dressed in traditional garments of the time as part of the experience. The Heritage Forum provided a variety of displays and a special showing of a World War One propaganda film which were seen by attendees.

The event was the first of a series for the Heritage Forum, with the film set to be shown at six venues across the local area in the coming months, the next of which is in Nottingham Castle on 23rd July.

Visitors enjoy the Somme exhibitionThe fascinating displays included exhibits from Clipstone Camp showcasing the area’s impact on the War, the Museum of the Horse in Tuxford who provided Wartime cavalry equipment, information from Radcliffe-on-Trent detailing how the war affected the local area and its people, and a display by the Heritage Forum with artefacts from Bilsthorpe Heritage Centre, Flintham Museum, Ruddington Village Museum and the National Civil War Centre.

The day began with a military service in front of the Memorial Plaque at the front of County Hall, with the County Council Choir singing several wartime songs and readings being given by various military and county personnel.

Over a million people are thought to have died over the course of the Battle of the Somme, one of the most deadly battles in British history, with the British sustaining roughly 60 000 casualties on the first day alone. Two minutes of silence were observed at 11am to commemorate these losses.

Attendees were then invited inside to view the displays and exhibitions, with the captivating information entertaining all in attendance.

Skye Barrett and Caitlin Peck introduce the Somme filmSkye Barrett and Caitlin Peck, MA Heritage students at Nottingham Trent University who helped setup and organise the event with the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum, then introduced the gripping film from 1916. The film showed various aspects of life on the frontline, as well as some footage of troops in action on 1st July 1916.

The enthralling film was originally viewed by a staggering 20 million people within just six weeks of its release, and at one point Nottinghamshire locals raised concern over the fact that children could be admitted to the cinema to see it for a penny on weekends. However, the film proved so popular that this concern was ignored.

Members of the Western Front Association and Neil Bettison, Community Development Officer, gave specialist insight into the images being shown, adding absorbing knowledge to the film.

Councillor Woodhead brought the event to a close by stating that “The statistics barely show the horror or the heroism.”

She went on to say that “Our worst day was also our best day,” and that we must work to “reconcile the past moving forward.”

Skye Barrett said of the event; “It was really nice to be a part of the project right through its development. It’s really increased my sense of community.”

Caitlin Peck echoed her sentiment. “It’s been great to see the project grow from its beginning. And it’s been nice to engage audiences who don’t normally go to museums – it’s been very rewarding to connect with people in the county.”

The film experience, complete with compelling displays, will next be shown in Nottingham Castle on 23rd July.