14/07/2011 - Permalink

Shrewsbury museum prepares for move to old Music Hall

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Over 50 local volunteers are supporting Shropshire Council’s museum staff to catalogue and pack 150,000 artefacts as Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery prepares for its move from Rowley’s House in Barker Street, Shrewsbury, to its new home in the old Music Hall late next year (2012).

A major restoration project is currently taking place to conserve the extraordinary cluster of buildings hidden behind the classical Music Hall façade.

So far there hasn’t been much for the public to see, but behind the scenes conservators, model makers, researchers, illustrators, designers and artists are all working hard to create a unique cultural centre in the heart of Shrewsbury.

The new museum is expected to open to the public in early 2013.

A new website will be launched within the next few weeks to tell people what is happening to prepare for the new museum (the building project, contemporary art plans, education programme, artefact conservation, cataloguing, and packing), and also give a flavour of the gallery designs to come.  It will tell people how they get involved through volunteering or by attending events at Rowley’s House and the partners that the council is working with.

In the meantime, one thing that people can now see is a range of new products in the museum shop at Rowley’s House, the proceeds of which will help to support the work of the museum.

The range includes bone china mugs (produced in Stoke-on-Trent), ladies’ and men’s t-shirts and a range of colourful, leather embossed notebooks and bookmarks, both manufactured in the West Midlands.

All bear a series of unique illustrations created by Shrewsbury-based artist Linda Edwards, each inspired by Shropshire and its museum collection.  Her whimsical and light-hearted interpretation has resulted in a fresh and contemporary take on the usual museum souvenirs.

Tim Jenkins, museum manager, said:

“The new museum will be a focal point for both local people and visitors to the town.  We are just beginning to see the fruits of our hard work and Linda’s contribution has been a boost for us to see how inspirational our cultural heritage can be.  The sales of products through the shop really do help us to carry on the work we do and we are pleased with the distinctiveness of developments so far.”

Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, said:

“A large number of people are working extremely hard to restore the old Music Hall, ready for the museum’s move to its new home later next year.  We’re looking forward to announcing more news on the whole Music Hall project over the coming months as work comes closer to completion.”

Andrew Bannerman, Shropshire Councillor for Quarry and Coton Hill, said:

“We are all eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the restored and redesigned Music Hall.  The Square is the heart of Shrewsbury and the Music Hall will reclaim its rightful place there and prove a great attraction.  This should be a big boost to the town centre.”

To see the full range of the new designer museum products visit Rowley’s House Museum and Information Centre in Barker Street, Shrewsbury open every day from 10am to 5pm.

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is owned and managed by Shropshire Council.