Agenda item

To consider the King’s Lynn Museum Report.


The Assistant Head of Museums and Curator, Lynn Museums and Curator, Lynn Museums presented the report which provided information on the King’s Lynn Museum activities for the period from June 2019 to August 2019.


The Operations Manager, NMS tabled the visitor numbers up to 31 August 2019 and it was highlighted that for Lynn Museum the figures reported were close to the previous year (2% deficit) but it was anticipated that the total visitor number for the end of the current financial year would be promising.  The Operations Manager reported that the retail income had increased by 12% and the admission income had increased by 15%.


The Assistant Head of Museums reported that for the year to date, Stories of Lynn (which included school visits), the visitor numbers had increased by 4,000 from 2018.


The Assistant Head of Museums and Curator responded to questions and comments relating to:


·        Current exhibition at Lynn Museum – Journeys, People, Place and Pilgrimage.

·        Baines Calendar 2020 – the Curator undertook to discuss the opportunity with the NMS Retail Manager.

·        The Museum shop.  Reference was made to replica Torc bangles previously being on sale and the question asked if it would be possible to source and sell the item in the future.  The Curator undertook to discuss the suggestion with the NMS Retail Manager.

·        Wednesday afternoon talks.  It was confirmed that the talks commenced at 2.15 pm for approximately 45 minutes.

·        Norfolk Day 27 July 209 – 107 people visited the museum.

·        Review/Inspection of Museums.  The Curator explained that the Museums Association had a regular monthly journal which provided an opportunity to invite a reviewer.  The Assistant Head of Museums provided an overview of awards which the NMS could be nominated for, together with independent reviews undertaken.  The Committee was also confirmed that a mystery shopper exercise was also undertaken at no cost.  Feedback was also received from visitors on their experience at the Museum.

·        Archaeology – The Committee was advised that archaeological events had been held as part of a roadshow to highlight the importance of archaeology.  Officers could examine the potential to hold a future archaeological event.  The Chair explained that Norfolk County Council had a strong relationship with metal detectorists.  Meetings had been held with metal detectorist clubs and recorded the finds.

·        Free admission for children in care/carers.  It was explained that the NMS worked with colleagues at NCC to build on existing contacts and link to appropriate projects and develop key priorities.

·        Stories of Lynn Learning and Engagement Officer.

·        Custom House.  The Chair referred to the last Full Council meeting where a response had been given to Councillors.

·        Pop-up venue for recitals during the King’s Lynn Festival in July each year.

·        Promotion of Lynn Museum Gift Shop.  The Curator undertook to see if the shop could be promoted by signs displayed on the Museum windows and on the A boards which were placed outside the Museum.


The Chair informed the Committee that she had attended the Green Pilgrimage Interreg project partner visit to Norfolk on 11 September 2019.


Councillor Tyler commented that he had attended one of the coffee mornings with an adult with learning difficulties and explained it was well attended.  Councillor Tyler also expressed his thanks to Rachel Williams, Stories of Lynn Learning and Engagement Officer for going the extra mile to support those with learning difficulties.


Councillor Kemp commented that an article be published in the KL magazine advertising gifts for sale, particular for Christmas at the Shop in the Lynn Museum.  In response, the Curator undertook to liaise with KL Magazine.


The Chair explained that there was a good working partnership between the Norfolk Museums Service, County Council and the Borough Council, in particular, the Service Level Agreement which offered free admission during the winter period to encourage local people to visit the museum.


Councillor Tyler referred to the Ancient House Museum in Thetford and its connection with TV companies and asked if there was a potential to link King’s Lynn to TV companies.  The Curator made reference to the filming of David Copperfield in King’s Lynn and commented that there may be an opportunity to promote the heritage in King’s Lynn.


In response to a question from Councillor Kemp and the Turner painting coming to the town, the Assistant Head of Museums explained that it had been unveiled at Norwich Castle recently and there was a commitment to tour venues.  It was highlighted that if the painting came to King’s Lynn a supplementary event would be arranged.  Further details would be available at the next meeting of the Committee.


Learning and Outreach


The Museum Trainee, Paula Murphy provided an overview of the learning and outreach work she had been involved in at both Lynn Museum and Ancient House Museum, Thetford and set out in section 5 of the report.


The Museum Trainee explained that the display case in the reception area currently contained a painting by Samuel Gurney Cresswell.


It was noted that the current Museum Traineeship will come to an end in March 2020.


Friends of King’s Lynn Museums


The Chair of the Friends of Lynn Museum provided an overview of the activities from the group and highlighted that 2020 was a celebration of 25 years and events would be scheduled for the town and could provide an opportunity to link in an archaeological day via partnership working.  The Chair of the Friends informed the Committee that she had attended the recent meeting of the British Association of Friends of Museums at Norwich Castle.  As reported at a previous meeting of the Committee, the Chair of the Friends explained that the Friends had been left a legacy.  It was noted that the legacy would be used to purchase an item and would therefore be used to purchase a display case and plaque for the Lorenz Beha clock which was in the store at Aickmans Yard.  The Curator advised that the Conservator would be assessing the Lorenz Beha clock.


The Committee was advised that the Annual General Meeting of the Friends would be held on 7 October 2019.


At the end of year 2019 it was reported that there were 69 paid members.


A Christmas evening for members would be held on 2 December 2019.


Councillor Bubb suggested that the Friends contact all Parish Councils asking if they would place an article in their parish magazine inviting residents to become a Friend of Lynn Museum.


The Chair thanked officers for presenting the reports.


AGREED:  Christine Marsden from NMS Kick the Dust project be invited to attend the next meeting of the Committee to provide an update.


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