The Stained Glass Museum in Ely has won a prestigious award at the inaugural Museums in Cambridgeshire Awards 2019.
The museum, located in the south triforium of Ely Cathedral, was the overall winner of the ‘New for You’ award category, for its new free 15-minute ‘Spotlight’ and 20-minute ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Tours.
Since their introduction in May 2019, these free tours have enabled 340 paying visitors to have a much deeper engagement with the museum’s collection. Their interactive and informal nature encourages visitors to ask questions or explore themes or objects of particular interest to them. The short duration of the tours make them attractive as introductions to the museum.
Held thrice weekly between May and October, each ‘spotlight’ tour is unique, led by a staff member on a theme or subject of their choice. These tours are free to paying visitors, and bring to life the people, places and stories associated with the stained glass windows in the museum’s collection. Held monthly, the Behind-the-Scenes tours led by the museum’s Curator provide visitors with a chance to see the museum’s stored collections and get up-close with new acquisitions or works not on public display.
Visitor Services Assistant, Jane Fellows, one of four members of staff who have been leading Spotlight Tours, commented: ‘Visitors appreciate the flexible, personable and informal nature of these tours, and the opportunity to ask questions, as well as see some of our stained glass windows which are not on public display. Our collection is really special and we want to share our enthusiasm and knowledge of stained glass in engaging ways and enhance visitors experience of the museum’.
The Stained Glass Museum was the overall winner of the five museums nominated in this category, which acknowledged new ideas, initiatives and projects in local museums. Burwell Museum and Windmill and Flag Fen (Vivacity) came Highly Commended, for their respective Arts Awards programme and Forest School inspired activity for schools. Representatives from across the county attended the inaugural Museums in Cambridgeshire Awards Ceremony, held at the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge on Monday 4 November 2019.
Image: Representatives from The Stained Glass Museum with their award at the Award Ceremony, held at the Museum of Zoology, Monday 4 November 2019. L to R: Jasmine Allen, Emily Allen, Jane Fellows
Press release from The Stained Glass Museum