Discovering Staffordshire’s past, present and future

Hope everyone had a good Bank Holiday weekend – sounds like the weather was better in Staffordshire than in the North East where we got battered by the wind and rain!

Yesterday I continued my visits to parts of the County Council. In the morning I went to the Staffordshire Records office – they hold a phenomenal amount of information about the County’s past and it was great to see so many visitors using the records and volunteers helping to make the records more accessible. It was also fascinating to see the curators in action preserving many of those records for posterity.

After that I had the pleasure of visiting the Shire Hall Gallery. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went in through the grand entrance, but was amazed by how well they had used the space for the art exhibition. Their next exhibition features local artists and starts on the 14th May, running through to July. I will definitely be visiting that and am likely to be a very regular visitor in the future – it’s a great facility to have in Stafford.

 However, as important as a fixed gallery in Stafford is, it is even more important that we find ways of reaching all our communities. We now have a mobile museum (effectively a cunningly converted bus) that goes to communities and schools and enables more people to have a taste of their heritage. This year the theme is around toys and childhood of the past, and it was fascinating to see and read about what children used to play in the past. I have to say some of the exhibits brought memories flooding back (whoops – in danger of giving away my age!)

 I finished my day with a visit to Newcastle to see how adult social care is using new and innovative technology to help people stay longer in their own homes rather than having to go into care. There were some great examples of how we were working in partnership with health, landlords and the voluntary sector to hugely improve people’s lives. My Dad lives on his own in the North-East so I might well nick some of the great ideas to help him (I’m never one to miss an opportunity…)

 Well that’s it for now – more visits later this week to libraries and other sites around the County – more of that later!

Bye for now

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