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Tales of Antiquarian Adventure

Our Bicentenary exhibition was very successful and popular with visitors of all ages. Our two events for children over February half-term each attracted over 400 participants, and the Celebration Picnic and treasure trail round the Great North Museum on 28 May had nearly 900 participants. The GNM recorded 95,000 visitors in the ten weeks our exhibition was open. Over 20,000 visitors were welcomed over the half-term week alone, despite the weather.

The lecture series associated with the exhibition attracted a total audience nearly three hundred people over the six lectures. Thanks are due to Rob Collins, Jenny Proctor, Paul Bidwell, Dave Heslop, Andrew Parkin for their excellent and well-judged talks.

Thanks are also due to Kim Bibby-Wilson, David Breeze, Derek Cutts, Chris Fowler, Sarah Walter and Sally Bird for helping to decide which of our many artefacts should go on display and for assistance with the label writing; Graeme Stobbs , Liz Liddle, Georgina Ashcroft, Sue Ward and Eric Carter for their help in putting the exhibition up; Ian McVicar, Cynthia Campbell, Frances McIntosh, James Gerrard, David Breeze, Mark Jackson, Ian Haynes, Andrew Parkin, Freda Thompson, Georgina Ashcroft and Jennie du Cane for their excellent podcasts, which we hope to make available on line in the next few weeks; Freda Thompson, Pauline Allen, Joy Rutter, Peter Coppack, Violet Rook, Cynthia Campbell, Joan Douglas, Ian McVicar, Rosie Serdiville, Chris Calver, Rob Jones, Derek Cutts, and Ken Hutchinson for stewarding the exhibition. All those involved worked very hard, had a great time and often discovered skills they didn’t know they had!

Thanks also to  those organizations which allowed us to disrupt their lives by borrowing material back: Bellingham Heritage Centre, Discovery, Beamish: The Living Museum of the North, The Bagpipe Museum at Morpeth Chantry, School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University and Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives, as well as  the staff of Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives, particularly our member Gill Scott, for hosting the exhibition and ensuring it was the success it undoubtedly was.

In the future, don’t forget your past