News Story Wrexham Museum celebrates attendance figures. North Wales Museum doubles in attendance figures after refurbishment. Since modernising the local Wrexham museum back in 2005, it has become a regular tourist attraction. The museum includes a gallery dedicated to showing highlights from the national collections in North East Wales. Karen Teasdale, Learning and Access Officer said: “After refurbishment we have received over 10,000 visitors these past few months. Prior to that it would have taken a lot longer to gain those types of figures so the refurbishment has definitely doubles the museums attendance.” It has been a pleasant surprise for all those involved with the refurbishment of the museum. The building was formerly a police station back in 1996/97 but after it changed into a museum, it was given a fund. The funding came from Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales which contributed £950,000, Cymal at the Welsh Assembly Government and Wrexham County Borough Council. The fund was in order to makeover the building which included a glassed indoor cafe and TV monitors. The demographic of the museum was mainly adults and seniors. But with all the new changes that have been made, the museum demographic has become a lot broader. The main gallery is aimed at families, the second gallery is just for adults and seniors and the third is mainly for school children. To creative standards, this museum is very ahead of its game. There are interactive displays and expanded exhibits downstairs showing scenes from the region’s history. A positively new look while retaining the historic feel of the museum building. By using more of an interactive style in the museum, it can attract a younger audience. Jonathan Gammond, Access and Interpretation Officer a Wrexham Museum said: “With all the refurbishment done, the museum is a lot more fun for people of all ages to enjoy. This is certainly going to be a great place for school trips and other events.” This is just the first phase of the development. The museum wants to increase the size of the display area converting the upstairs to expand exhibitions. And if you take a look around the building, you see that the museum still has a few more adjustments to do. The refurbishment has become a major success for the town. If it is this successful now even before the last adjustments have been made then the attraction figures sure won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Karen Harris, Visitor Senior Manager said: “When we did the refurbishment we wanted to make the most out of the new building and so we expanded the idea of it just being a museum. By doing this we use the quite periods of the year to allow the public to hire out the building for birthday parties and any other events. With the Wrexham library being very close to the museum, surely this will change the public’s perspective on Wrexham being a dull part of Wales”.
Review Wrexham museum is a marvellous place to learn about the history of North Wales. As soon as you walk through you are welcomed by friendly faces at the reception desk who offer any help that you may need. It is plain to see that the Wrexham museum has a very relaxed environment. Before you start off the tour by browsing the museum, you can sit back, relax and indulge in the stylish award winning cafe whilst watching people walk by on the street. The staff is very informative and takes the time out to answer any questions about the exhibit and galleries. With convenient transport nearby by having Wrexham Central railway station is located approximately 230m to the south of the museum within the Island Green shopping Centre. It is an easy to find building. One of the great things about the Wrexham museum is that they value the opinions of the visitors by allowing them to share their views and opinions before they leave. They can do this by leaving a comment in the comment book which is placed by the reception desk by the main entrance. The wonderful thing about this museum is that they cater to all needs. One of the exhibitions was based on the Welsh Wonders. This is the biggest event in the Welsh social calendar, this exhibition tells the cultural story of Wales through historic artefacts and archives from our national collections. This is located in gallery 2. Others exhibitions include, ‘Weighty Matters’, where you can discover how ancestors measured the world around them without the help of modern technology. And ‘To War With Wellington’ which tells the story of a historically important war and includes memorabilia. All on display for families and children to view and both exhibitions are placed in Gallery 3. This could be improved by possibly adding people to rein act these moments in history rather than having it talked about. This will be more interested for school trips and younger audiences. The museum is extremely up to date with modern technology. Instead of the usual museum workers leading tours around, people are able to sit and watch history videos on screen. There is also descriptive audio placed around certain parts of the museum. Visiting a museum shouldn’t be an unpleasant experience. Museums are not shrines where people worship works of art, they are simply a way of learning about ones culture and this museum definitely does it right. In every country there are museums that explain their history and Wrexham museum is a great place for representing North Wales. Overall, this is a great visitor experience for everyone who wants to discover the county borough’s heritage and collections held in the museum and the archives. The museum is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm (last entry 4.30pm), Saturday 10.30am to 3pm (last entry 2.30pm), closed Sundays and Bank Holidays. The Collection Centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 2 and 4pm.
Opinion Piece I often thought museums are boring. When you think about visiting a museum, you often dread the long hours that you will have to spend just hearing about facts that you do not care about. Having visited London museums in the past I remember I had more fun watching people than paying attention to anything in the exhibits. However, the Wrexham museum definitely changed my perception. It is full of Welsh history and it is clear to see that those who work there are extremely passionate about their jobs. I had no idea what to expect at this museum so I arrived with an open mind and curiosity. When we arrived I was surprised to see at how laid back it was. The public eating and drinking coffee at the cafe with the monuments nearby and a little store selling museum souvenirs placed in glass frames. The tour started with a brief lecture on how and when the museum was built. This was provided with slide show images and a talk from the ‘Access and Interpretation Officer’. It was rather interesting, if you count out the irritating and constant fire alarms that would often drown out the sound of his voice. The tour guides really have a way of trying to get you into the story behind an old item by being very enthusiastic about each and every part of the gallery that we visited. The good thing about this museum was the amount of interactivity that is supplied for those who enjoy electronically ways of learning. This is a great way to spend a couple of hours, especially if the weather isn’t too good. Not forgetting that the cost is cheap compared to most museums. The guided tours went on for a while but leading towards the end of the tour, our guide, along with other members of staff really emphasised the fact that they would love for us to all come back and visit again. I wouldn’t mind visiting the Wrexham museum again because it was rather insightful. I would like to take another look at what each gallery had to offer at my own pace. Although you can be taught about the history of Wrexham by your teachers, some of the things you may find out in the Wrexham museum is most likely something that you would not read about in your history school books without forcing ideas up anyone. Other than the Wrexham museum providing a sense of community, it also can provide visitors with an identity of oneself. It was very insightful to be there so I would definitely recommend anybody to visit the Wrexham museum at least once. Wrexham has developed a lot over the years so it was great to see how far it has come. I did learn a lot about Wrexham history and discovered the amazing stories behind the museums objects. Wrexham museum was definitely not a ‘Night at the Museum’ but it certainly does try to bring every part of history to life. And that is something that I can appreciate.