Waterway Museums to strengthen their local focus
16th April 2010
Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust who are responsible for the operation of the three museums, explained: "Over the past twelve months we have worked very closely with volunteers and a range of other partners at each museum site. Each museum is now operated as a partnership between museum staff and volunteers, and this has helped to bring about a new direction and focus for each location.
"After discussion with local partners it has become evident the museums at Gloucester and Stoke Bruerne should have a stronger focus on the 'local' story. Visitors want to know about the canal that they can see and its relevance to the locality, and from this perspective the connections to the waterways network. At Ellesmere Port, we have a substantial site where we can tell the broader national story on how waterways have influenced life over the last 200 years - in relation to social development, technology, the environment and economy, as well as providing information on the local waterways, the Shropshire Union Canal and Mersey Ship Canal.
"Visitor numbers are continuing to increase at all our three waterway museums and this new direction is already drawing on the strengths and knowledge of our volunteers and staff at each location and providing visitors to our museums with the best visitor experience.
"The first step on this road is the change of name. As funding becomes available we will then start to re-focus the story and collection to celebrate the local heritage."