Volunteers help Great North Museum: Hancock tidy up stores

COMING face-to-face with the long-lost dodo was all in a day’s work for a team of volunteers from a Tyneside paint company.

Heather Beveridge from AkzoNobel at the Great North Museum: Hancock

COMING face-to-face with the long-lost dodo was all in a day’s work for a team of volunteers from a Tyneside paint company.

Staff from AkzoNobel in Felling, Gateshead, helped to clean the stores which house the reserve collections of Newcastle’s Great North Museum: Hancock.

They were trained by the museum’s conservation team to help clean 12 stores housing a range of objects, from precious minerals to animal and bird specimens – including the now extinct dodo. Dr Sarah Glynn, manager of the Great North Museum: Hancock said: “The museum’s store is home to thousands of very special objects – everything from moths and butterflies to huge specimens like grey seals and elephant skeletons.

“Everything has to be cleaned regularly which is a huge task for our conservation team to complete alone. The team of volunteers from AkzoNobel worked so hard that they did two weeks’ worth of work in just one day.”

Andrew Wood, communications manager at AkzoNobel’s International Paint business, said: “This has been another great opportunity to bring our business partnership with Tyne & Wear Museums to life.

“Our volunteers were pleased to help out, and they also learned a lot about this important scientific and educational resource.”

Objects from the Great North Museum: Hancock which are not currently on show are stored in the museum’s resource centre, in the Discovery Museum.

Some of the items were acquired as early as the 18th Century. The stores include artefacts from the world cultures collection, such as a complete Inuit kayak, plus musical instruments and costumes from around the world.

Objects from the museum’s natural history collection are also stored there, ranging in size from insects to animals like sperm whales.

AkzoNobel is a member of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ business partnership scheme, Connect through Culture.

As part of the scheme, members can take part in team building and staff development activities in some of the region’s leading museums and galleries.

For more information about the partnership scheme, Connect through Culture, contact Stef Anderson on 0191 277 2173 or email stef.anderson@twmuseums.org.uk

Free tours of the Great North Museum: Hancock stores are available and school groups can also be accommodated.

Call 0191 222 5121 or email info@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk for more information.

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