The Green Howards Museum will be at the centre of a whole weekend of events to celebrate its official reopening.
The tourist attraction, in the middle of the market place, was closed for much of 2014 whilst a £1.7million redevelopment project transformed the building and the way its extensive collection of military objects and personal items is displayed.
A wide ranging timetable of events involving former members of the regiment as well as local people and visitors to the town is planned for Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May.
“We have been very well supported throughout the redevelopment and since we opened our doors again to paying visitors at the end of last year,” explains The Green Howards Museum’s Director and Curator, Lynda Powell. “Our weekend celebrations will not only showcase what a brilliant museum we have right here in the centre of the town, but encourage people into the building who may not yet have had the chance to visit, and make everyone aware of the exciting schedule of events we have planned for the rest of 2015.”
A green tented camp is being created around the outside of the museum on Saturday 9 May and a variety of activities spanning the centuries of the regiment’s story will be on offer between 10am and 3pm. A team of re-enactors will give a glimpse of Army life during the Crimean period, whilst a World War One soldier will be on hand to talk about what life was like 100 years ago. The Yorkshire Regiment will bring the story right up to date with their display of modern equipment. Richmond Jam will be providing musical entertainment with sets throughout the day.
“There’ll be lots for children and families to really get hands-on with; some lovely things to make and do – all linked to our wonderful collection,” says Community Liaison Officer, Virginia Arrowsmith. “As well as being able to handle some of the museum’s historic objects, our younger visitors will be able to try out our brand new museum trail. We need their feedback before we launch it officially at half term.”
On the day, there’s free entry for children into the museum, with ‘Buy One Get One Free’ on adult admission.
Inside, visitors will be able to see a brand new exhibition – Changing Spaces: One Building, 1000 years, which charts the various uses of the museum building over the centuries; looking at the communities it has served in its many different guises. The exhibition has been created in partnership with keen volunteer historians from the U3A (University of the Third Age).
The museum moves into more formal mode the next day (Sunday 10 May). Former soldiers will gather in the town for Green Howards Sunday; a day of meeting old comrades, wreath-laying at the regimental war memorial at the top of Frenchgate, a church service and parade through the town. This year’s spectacle will end in front of the museum just before 1pm, where the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE, ADC, will perform the official ribbon cutting duties and declare the museum officially re-open!
“It’s going to be a fantastic weekend of events, both celebratory and commemorative,” says Major General Andrew Farquhar, Chair of The Green Howards Trust. “The war memorial has been cleaned, hundreds of former servicemen and their families will be visiting Richmond, and we’re ready to remember old friends and look to the future with the new museum; a marvellous town asset and a tribute to The Green Howards and The Yorkshire Regiment.”
Amended opening times will apply on Sunday 10 May. The museum and shop will be open between 8am and 10.30am and 2pm and 4.30pm.