Heritage heroes make splash at museum Oscars

VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR: The RNLI Henry Blogg Museum in Cromer were presented with the award by comed

VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR: The RNLI Henry Blogg Museum in Cromer were presented with the award by comedian and TV personality Marcus Brigstocke. Photo: Simon Callaghan - Credit: Simon Callaghan

A team of volunteers who worked round the clock to keep their museum open after it was hit by a staff crisis have been hailed heritage heroes after receiving a prestigious award in an awards ceremony dubbed the Oscars of the museums and heritage sector

Victor Brett and Katie Smith.

Victor Brett and Katie Smith. - Credit: Submitted

The group of volunteers at the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum in Cromer, were named 'Volunteers of the Year' in the national Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence.

The accolade is awarded by industry body the Museums and Heritage Show and recognises the innovators and leaders of the UK and Europe's diverse museums, galleries and visitor attractions.

The RNLI Henry Blogg Museum illustrates the history of Cromer's lifeboats and explores the legacy of the eponymous hero who, for 37 years, served as coxswain at Cromer RNLI and helped save 873 lives.

The volunteers were nominated by Katie Smith, RNLI Heritage Engagement Manager.

She said: 'During 2015, the museum manager needed a substantial amount of time off for personal reasons, which obviously had the potential to impact on the smooth running of the museum.

'However, our volunteer team went above and beyond in so many ways, becoming emergency key holders, managing the volunteer rota, running education sessions and the shop, supporting a temporary museum manager and enabling us to carry on with 'business as usual'.

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'The commitment from the volunteers was remarkable and their efforts even helped us become the Trip Advisor number one 'thing to do' in Cromer and win Visit England's 'Best Told Story' accolade for two years in a row.'

Four members of the wider volunteer team were presented with the award by comedian and TV personality Marcus Brigstocke in a ceremony which was held in central London on May 18.