Nottinghamshire STARS best visitor attraction – DH Lawrence Heritage
Sally Nightingale from DH Lawrence Heritage gives an insight into what it’s like behind the scenes:
We were absolutely delighted to have been awarded the title of ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ at the Nottinghamshire STARS awards recently. It is recognition of the dedication, passion and knowledge of our staff and the hard work that takes place front of house and behind the scenes.
D.H. Lawrence Heritage is a twin visitor attraction, run by Broxtowe Borough Council, based in the Nottinghamshire writer D.H. Lawrence’s hometown of Eastwood. The attraction brings together the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum and the D.H. Lawrence Heritage Centre along with a Bistro, art gallery, a self guided walk called The Blue Line Trail, two gift shops, an education programme, meeting room, and is a licensed civil wedding venue.
We are proud of the personal visitor experience we offer. Although our staff deliver a standardised guided tour of the museum, they are flexible in their approach in order to adapt to the needs and interest of our visitors. We encourage them to learn as much as they can about the life and works of D.H. Lawrence and the social history of the time. Our wonderful visitors ensure that no tour is ever the same, from stories of being expelled from school for reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover, to a child on our weekly Family Friendly tours, asking where the Lawrence family went to the toilet – there is never a dull moment!
This year we have undertaken our most ambitious annual events and exhibition programme to date with over 100 events and exhibitions taking place to December 2012. In the next few months we have a late night openings, two film screenings for our Friday Film Club plus 12 days worth of family events and activities throughout the summer holidays including a Pirate and Princess Day, Wildlife Workshop, Punch and Judy shows and a teddy bears picnic event.
One of most intense but rewarding times of the year is the annual D.H. Lawrence Festival. Now in it’s 9th year, the 2012 Festival will include over 60 events and activities throughout the two week celebrations which take place 6-19 September. The Festival takes months of detailed planning but helps to attract thousands of visitors, of all ages, to the town each year many exploringLawrence’s life and works for the first time.
One of this year’s festival highlights is an exhibition entitled ‘Controversy on Canvas: The Warren Gallery, London, 1929’, curated by our Museum and Collections Officer, which will see D.H. Lawrence’s infamous exhibition of paintings recreated. The exhibition will show 25 images, many of which at the time were seen as controversial and challenging as his writing, with 13 of them seized by police for being obscene.
Last year a two year funded partnership was signed between D.H. Lawrence Heritage, Broxtowe Borough Council, and the University of Nottingham, with the aim to support D.H. Lawrence Heritage financially and also to work together to secure a long term future for D.H. Lawrence Heritage, reaching out into the community and engaging with new and existing audiences.
We have already delivered a successful reading group, poetry workshop and drama workshop all lead by literary experts from the University. The results of the drama workshop, which involved a small group of students from Eastwood Comprehensive, will form part of the programme for the D.H. Lawrence Festival evening Gala on the 19th September. The partnership has also enabled us to reach out into the community to schools acrossNottingham through a programme of subsided travel.
We are always looking for ways to improve our site and services. We’ve just introduced a brand new tour of theD.H.LawrenceBirthplaceMuseumexploring the childhood of the writer D.H. Lawrence, following his story room by room in the Victorian miner’s cottage he grew up in. Over the next few months we are also looking forward to the launch of a new website, delving into the world of Twitter and expanding our Museum tours to meet the demands of special needs groups.
Throughout July D.H. Lawrence Heritage will be joining thousands of attractions across the country in offering the special discount as part of VisitEngland’s GREAT campaign, with 2 for 1 admission (by quoting the ‘VE2012’ offer code), So, if you’ve never visited D.H. Lawrence Heritage before then there has never been a better time to discover this hidden gem!
- Visit www.dhlawrenceheritage.org
- Telephone 01773 717353
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/dhlawrenceheritage
- Twitter: @dhlheritage (launching soon!)
Annual D.H. Lawrence Heritage membership is priced at just £10.00 for Adults, £7.50 Concession and £5.00 for children and offers great value for money with unlimited annual, access to D.H. Lawrence Heritage and free admission or discounts to all D.H. Lawrence Heritage events. Gift packs available.