Today offers the last chance to take a look round Newark’s Millgate Museum, before it closes its doors for the final time.
Mr Glyn Hughes, Newark and Sherwood’s assistant museums and heritage manager, inside a telephone kiosk, part of a street scene display. (191012TM1-31)
Visitors can talk to staff about the museum collection and what is happening behind the scenes.
Millgate Museum has been open almost 40 years.
Mr Glyn Hughes, Newark and Sherwood’s assistant museums and heritage manager, started work there more than 20 years ago as a documentation assistant.
“The museum has changed and developed over the years,” he said.
“One of the best things has been meeting people who have brought objects for the museum or come to tell their stories.
“It has always been a social history museum, looking at the trading, the agriculture and the shops in Newark.”
One of the most popular displays was its street scenes.
Mr Hughes said he had mixed feelings about the closure of the Millgate Museum but that its replacement — a new museum and Civil War centre due to open in 2014 — would be a fantastic asset and a great tourism opportunity.
Business manager for museums and heritage Miss Melissa Hall has also worked for the district council museums service for more than 20 years.
She started as an assistant curator with Mr Vernon Radcliffe at Appletongate Museum and when he retired she became more involved with Millgate.
She said: “It started life as a folk museum with the aim of telling the story about local people. Eventually the folk title was dropped but the focus has always very much been about how local people lived and worked.”
Most of the Millgate exhibits will be taken to the council’s resource centre on Brunel Drive.
Some will be loaned to Newark Town Hall and Hardwick Hall and others displayed at community venues.
“Millgate Museum is in a lovely location by the river but the new project will give us a museum fit for the 21st Century,” she said.
Museum visitor Mr Richard Firth, 70, of Meadow View, Southwell, said it had an evocative feel about it.
“It’s well-preserved, has an old-fashioned atmosphere, and it’s nice to be here when it’s quiet and just let the mind wander,” he said.
Mr David Rowe, 64, of Mill Lane, Aslockton, said: “I think the new Civil War museum will be good. Newark played a big part in that war so it’s important the museum recognises that.”
His wife, Mrs Sarah Rowe, 63, said: “It takes me back to my childhood, seeing the domestic collection especially reminds me of when I was younger.”
Nicola Finch, 35, of Century Street, Newark, was at the museum with her daughters Summer, 3, Holly, 7, and Lucy, 9, She said they were regular visitors and would miss it.
She said: “The children love doing the trails and there aren’t many places as good as this museum with free entry, so for me with three children it’s really good to come to.”
The district council cabinet member for leisure, Mr Roger Jackson, said Millgate Museum had served its purpose, but had become tired.
He said the Civil War centre would help attract more tourists to the town and in turn do a lot for businesses in Newark.
Mrs Jill Campbell, the secretary of Newark Archaeological and Local History Society, said the closure would have a big impact on them as it was their meeting place.
She said although they supported the new museum project they felt to be without a museum for two years until the new one was ready would leave Newark in limbo.
“We only hope that people will come back when the new museum opens,” she said.