PRESTON Park Museum has enjoyed a record summer with the highest number of visitors since reopening in 2012 following a multimillion pound Heritage Lottery Fund redevelopment project.
The museum attracted over 50,000 visitors during the school holidays and this success has been attributed to the new exciting events programme delivered by staff and volunteers. One of the main attractions was a 40ft pop-up beach complete with vintage beach huts, deck chairs, hook-a-duck, donkey rides and a coconut shy, all kindly sponsored by Kyle Travel Services, Persimmon Homes and Tarmac.
With different activities taking place every day throughout the six week break, including events such as ‘The Great British Holiday’ and ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, as well as five outdoor theatre performances, it was the museum’s most ambitious programme to date.
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Preston Park Museum which highlights the important role that culture has to play in our Borough.
“The activities and events offered in the park itself next to the museum also attracted a huge number of visitors. There’s an expanding range of things to do there such as making use of Rivershack’s rowing boats, the great skate park and the ever popular Butterfly World.
“The fantastic events programme delivered by staff and volunteers demonstrates the importance of putting the customer at the heart of everything we do and the need for museums to find new ways to become more accessible and enjoyed by as many people as possible.”
Success looks set to continue for the museum in Eaglescliffe as it announces plans for a ‘Harry Potter’ inspired October half term break with the Victorian Street being transformed into a likeness of the wizarding world’s Diagon Alley. Plus, the popular ‘Walled Garden Feast: Food for Thought’ in partnership with The Waiting Room will return on Sunday 2 October and the ‘Christmas Bazaar’, a festive traditional market, arrives on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December.
There’s also a last chance for members of the public to see the thought-provoking First World War exhibition ‘Spence-The Art of War’ and to take part in a series of free WWI talks.
For more information and to view the full calendar of events taking place at Preston Park Museum and Grounds, visit www.prestonparkmuseum.co.uk