GREAT YARMOUTH AREA MUSEUMS COMMITTEE 15 January 2004 – 3.45 pm PRESENT: Councillor Collins (in the Chair) and Councillor Stone (Great Yarmouth Borough Council) Councillors Carttiss and Taylor (Norfolk County Council) R Kirk (Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service) S Earl and T Jones (Great Yarmouth Borough Council Officials) A Carr (Great Yarmouth Borough Council) attended by invitation. 1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Batley and Lawley (Great Yarmouth Borough Council), Councillor Clayton (Norfolk County Council), S Daniels and N Pownall (Friends of the Maritime Museum) and V Trevelyan (Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service). The Committee sent their best wishes to Mr Daniels for a speedy recovery. 2. MINUTES The minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2003 were confirmed. 3. MATTERS ARISING There were no outstanding matters arising. 4. PROGRESS REPORT The Committee considered the Area Museums Officer’s report on the following items: (a) Tower Curing Works It was reported that the building work was progressing well and that items such as lifts, staircases, windows and doors were being installed and final finishes such as decoration and flooring were being completed in some areas of the building. The Committee was informed that the work was on schedule and to cost. The Area Museums Officer reported that the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust would take charge of the building in February 2004 and collections would be moved from the Maritime Museum and other NMAS sites to the new museum in late February 2004. It was suggested that the Committee delay their visit to the site until March to allow works to be completed. The Area Museums Officer reported that the display drawings for all areas of the museum had been completed and costs for construction and other display elements had been obtained and work commissioned to ensure that the placement of objects should be completed by the beginning of May. Members were informed that the recreation of the Row had begun and the area had been transformed into an atmospheric and effective display space reminiscent of an old Great Yarmouth Row. It was reported that a local company had been contracted to undertake the development of the audio-visual display elements including a film showing the herring curing process, made with the co-operation of HS Fishing. The Committee was informed that due to the huge task of moving the collections from the Maritime Museum to the Tower Curing Works, additional temporary staff had been provided by the Conservation Department at Norwich Castle to help support the relocation. Marketing plans for the museum had begun which included the booking of poster sites and AA signs. It was reported that Shorthose Russell had completed consultation on the most suitable name for the museum and had worked up designs using the preferred name, strapline and visual identity. A shortlist of proposals had been taken to public consultation and the Committee was reminded that at their meeting on 8 December 2003 they had suggested their preferred option of Great Yarmouth Story, Living with the Sea with a three-sail logo (sample copy attached). The results of all consultations were fed back to the Project Board who approved Time & Tide, Museum of Great Yarmouth Life with a logo of seven black and white fish (sample copy attached). Time & Tide was a popular name in the consultations both for thematic and visual effectiveness and it had been decided to use the fish logo as it was a strong image and could be used both in black and white, colour and other media. Concern was expressed over the use of “museum” at an earlier meeting but it was explained that without the word “museum” in the title, expectations of the non-museum or traditional museum visitor would be disappointed. The Committee stated that they were happy with the approved option and felt it presented a strong image for the new museum. The Area Museums Officer explained that it was decided not to use Great Yarmouth Story as it risked missing the target audience but the line would be used for publicity purposes. The Committee agreed that the reworked design to show their preferred option was weak and that the sails logo was ineffectual. It was explained that photographs of the sail-style canopy over the courtyard would be used in publicity so an image evocative of sailing would be a prominent visual tool for the museum. A suggestion was put forward to naming parts of the museum after prominent persons in the area. It was explained that it would be difficult to name any of the gallery or display spaces for a person because of the requirement to move people around the museum in a structured way and to place an abstract name on a gallery would create confusion. The Committee decided to leave the idea at the Area Museum Officer’s discretion for future consideration. (b) The Elizabethan House Museum and Tolhouse Museum It was reported that although both museums were closed for the winter, school visits had taken place at both sites, including a 3-day costumed Tudor event at the Elizabethan House Museum in December 2003. Members were informed that it was planned to provide a full programme of events for the forthcoming season. (c) English Heritage Houses Members were informed that English Heritage had confirmed that they would open their properties, Row 111 and the Old Merchant’s House for this season on Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm as self-guided attractions. It was commented that this would mean that visitors would no longer have to wait for tours and it was hoped that this would improve visitor numbers. (d) Nelson Museum The Committee was informed that the Curator had reported that the museum had achieved its visitor number target of around 4,000 visitors in the 2003 season. The Conservation Officer reported that work had begun on the first link of the Heritage Trail with improvement to the space and car park next to the Museum. It was reported that progress with the project onto King Street, Blackfriars Road and the seafront should take place in the very near future once consultation had been completed with all the relevant stakeholders including the HLF, Town Centre Partnership and Seafront Partnership. It was hoped to have the first pilots completed in time for the Maritime Festival in September. (e) Marketing The Area Museums Officer reported that the Great Yarmouth Heritage Partnership Marketing Group met in December 2003 to consider joint publicity opportunities for the 2004 season. The Partnership had agreed to continue to produce a joint Historic South Quay leaflet which promoted all sites and would include the new museum. It was stated that the vouchers given to full paying visitors which offered a discount on admission prices at other quayside museums had been very effective in encouraging visitors to visit more than one site and would be used again for the forthcoming season. (f) Education and Outreach Worker The Committee was informed that the Outreach and Audience Development Worker had been consulting with schools and community groups regarding the new museum and how they would like to make use of the collections. The local schools had also been invited to take part in an activity to identify a suitable name for the Education Suite. It was reported that she was working with the Great Yarmouth Education Officer to develop school and other educational programmes. (g) Nelson’s Monument It was reported that Katrina Siliprandi, NMAS Head of Education and Access and the Area Museums Officer were in the process of preparing an Access Plan for the project in liaison with Michael Knights, Project Leader. Members were informed that an Access Plan was a condition of the HLF’s grant and would provide details of the proposed physical and intellectual access to the monument. It was envisioned that there would only be limited access to the top of the monument because of safety issues and the time it took to climb and descend. The Chairman emphasised that it would be important for all works to be completed before the Trafalgar Day celebration in October 2005 and that it was hoped to include the monument in an event during the commemoration. It was suggested that the descendents of Horatia Nelson could be invited to take part in any of the ceremonies. It was suggested that Michael Knights be invited to a future meeting of the Committee to give a progress report on the project. (h) Norfolk Museums and Heritage Package : Objective 2 Bid It was reported that the bid had been successful and that Great Yarmouth would benefit from two projects: - Great Yarmouth Maritime Initiative. It was reported that new posts would be created and exhibitions staged which would establish the area as a centre for maritime excellence and build on what Time & Tide could offer. The agency would be able to offer advice and support to both national and local maritime initiatives. - The creation of an Archaeological Database which would map archaeological sites in the Borough. This would be helpful for developers and of general interest to public. It had not yet been decided how or where this information would be available. (i) Fine Art The Area Museums Officer reminded Members that approximately three years ago a number of paintings from the Great Yarmouth Museums collections were hung in the function rooms at the Town Hall on the understanding that these paintings would be moved to the new museum in May 2004, as they would form key elements within the Fishing, Wreck and Rescue and Seaside Holiday display areas. It was reported that the Curator had identified a number of possible replacements for the Council Chamber, Supper Room and Mayor’s Parlour. The Committee was informed that certain paintings would require minor conservation work before being able to go on display and Councillor Stone confirmed that funding would be available for this work, upto a maximum of approximately £3,500. Members were reminded that the existing paintings were due to be removed in March and due to the specialised equipment and expense involved in removing and hanging paintings, it would be beneficial to carry out this work all at the same time. The Committee was given the following choices: Four paintings for the Mayor’s Parlour, of which two had to be selected: Yarmouth Racecourse by MM Bacon, c.1970 Haycutting on Norfolk Marshes by Arnesby Brown Panoramic View of Nottingham by Arnesby Brown Willows Burgh Castle by Campbell Mellon It was decided to select Yarmouth Racecourse and Willows Burgh Castle. Only one suggestion was put forward for the Supper Room, Mending Nets on the Beach by Rowland Fisher, which was agreed to by the Committee. Five suggestions were made for the Council Chamber, of which three could be selected: Portrait of Sir James Paget, after J E Millais Portrait of Wm. Taylor, (Mayor 1775?, 1783, 1794) Unknown Portrait of Gentleman, c.1880 Unknown Portrait Gentleman, c.1800 Unknown Portrait Young Boy by John Ives The Committee agreed to accept the Portrait of Sir James Paget but were not greatly in favour of the other paintings selected by the Curator. The Area Museums Officer explained that these paintings had been selected because of scale, suitable subject and the condition of the piece. She agreed to approach the Curator to investigate whether any other pieces were available and the Committee delegated the power to make the final selection to the Chairman and Councillors Stone and Taylor. The Committee thanked Councillor Stone for his past efforts in obtaining the art works for the ceremonial rooms. RESOLVED: (i) That the report be noted. (ii) That a visit to the museum at the Tower Curing Works be arranged for 2.30pm on Thursday 18 March. (iii) That Michael Knights be invited to a future meeting of this Committee to give a progress report on Nelson’s Monument. (iv) That the selection of the additional paintings for the Council Chamber be left to Councillors Collins, Stone and Taylor after further consultation with the Curator and Area Museums Officer. 5. DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING RECOMMENDED: That the next meeting be held on Thursday, 18 March 2004 at 3.45 pm in the Council Chamber. The meeting will follow a site visit to the Tower Curing Works scheduled for 2.30pm. 6. CLOSURE OF MEETING The meeting ended at 5.00 pm.