Photo gallery: Youngsters take over the running of south Norfolk museum

The Teenage History Club with visitors they took on a guided tour of the Ancient House museum. Picture: David Kirkham The Teenage History Club with visitors they took on a guided tour of the Ancient House museum. Picture: David Kirkham

Sunday, May 25, 2014
12:29 PM

Curators are getting younger these days it seems- or certainly the staff at a Thetford museum were when they gave visitors a tour of the Tudor-era building.

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For the Ancient House museum in White Hart Street was taken over by ten youngsters from the town’s Teenage History Club on Saturday as part of Takeover Day in Museums, whereby they were responsible for running the museum, which included helping in the shop and giving the guided tour.

The day was organised by the Kids in Museums charity, which works with museums to help them welcome families, including teenagers and children.

Bestselling children’s author Damian Dibben, who has written the History Keepers’ series, was also present for the launch at the museum, which was selected to start the annual national Takeover Day because it had staged a very good event last year.

Last year, over 300 museums participated, involving 6,000 children and this year the charity was hoping to involve even more children and museums.

Mark Hodgkinson, 14, of Pine Close, Thetford was one of the club members giving the guided tour and said he had learned a lot from his experience of creating the tour and helping to run the museum.

He was particularly interested in the history of the previous occupants of the Ancient House and in learning more about the different artefacts in each of the rooms.

The club had also created a stop frame video of some of the old toys and games at the museum which visitors could watch while walking around.

Mr Hodgkinson said: “It has been a fun experience learning about the artefacts and who lived here. It was also very enjoyable to have been involved with the video as it is the first time I have done an animation.”

Following the tour, Mr Dibben said: “I thought it was fantastic. I am lost for words. I love the Teenage History Club. I love the fact that they are just youngsters who we would not normally be doing this sort of thing, forming a group. They are all friends.

“I just can’t stress enough the importance of history. It is not to do with the past, it is about the present and the future and the more we keep contact with where we came from, the more chance we have in the future.

“It is more than a hobby and it is great to see teenagers engaged in this way.”

To find out more about Takeover Day in museums, please visit www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/takeoverday.

Is it important to learn history? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

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