The museum closure invokes fond memories and emotions in each of us, whether as a volunteer or staff member. It is a sad occasion, especially for many of us time-serving volunteers, but looking back over the years, as I’m sure a few of my colleagues are doing, many pleasant and memorable events are treasured. This one is for Sally who brightened a cloudy day.
The photograph shows an uninteresting rear of a cottage. It could be anywhere or anytime but for me it forged my first step in volunteering.
It is 2003. Fresh from my successful interview with Jane Hill, the museum’s resident archaeologist, I ring the bell on the green door of the cottage. Manager Nick Goeff opens up and shows me the way to Jane’s office. I pass the noisy copying machine; up the creaky stairs and take a left turn at the top of the landing. Now I get the first glimpse of my workplace for the next few years: a small converted bedroom with, against one wall, shelves of reference books. In the corner is the computer desk and then, my first shot of realism, alongside the PC is a tiny table covered with plastic bags of things. “Is this it? Is this where I work?” I say incredulously. (I expected a workbench full of the latest scientific tools and gadgets). “Welcome to my world” says Jane impishly, handing me gloves and goggles!
Jane explains my work on accreditation is an essential part of every museum, and the importance of accurately recording the artifacts passing through my hands will ensure the museum is professionally managed. I start with the Tesco car park excavation…….