Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Shrewsbury Museum enlists volunteers in move
A volunteer at Rowley's House in Shrewsbury
The museum will move to a new venue in 2012

A team of up to 50 volunteers have been helping to catalogue the contents of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, ahead of its move in 2012.

About 200,000 items at Rowley's House will be transferred to the Music Hall, which is currently being refurbished.

Boxes of artefacts are being examined, photographed and labelled.

Volunteer Verena Waterhouse said it was fascinating work: "If we are volunteers it's to do some good... every day when I come I deal with different things."

Mrs Waterhouse, a member of the Friends of Shrewsbury Museum, said she had recently handled roman coins, human bones and bits of medieval leather footwear which in the past people built into their chimneys.

Treasure rediscovered

Adrian Perks, a volunteer supervisor at the museum, said there was a lot of work to do at the museum and the volunteers' contribution was extremely valuable: "With 200,000 items it's not going to move overnight."

He said some volunteers were students or recent graduates looking for experience, while others use the time as a social opportunity.

It's great to get to touch stuff that's normally behind a glass case
Mark Walton, volunteer

The process has already led to the rediscovery of old treasures, including oak shovels used more than 1,500 years ago in the lead mines at Snailbeach.

Mr Perks said the shovels, stored in a box, were in a "magnificent condition", and there were plans to put the them on display when the new museum opens at the Music Hall.

The £5.5m renovation of Shrewsbury's Music Hall began in April 2009 and is expected to be finished in 2012. It will incorporate the Shrewsbury Museums collection, art gallery, an information centre, a café and public toilets.

Volunteer, Jade Cancelliere from Pontesbury, said their contribution would make the move a lot easier: "So when everything's packed up, ready to go into the Music Hall, there's as much information as possible."

Another volunteer, Mark Walton, admitted the task could be tedious at times, but it had its rewards: "It's great to get to touch stuff that's normally behind a glass case."

Council cuts hit capital projects
15 Feb 11 |  Shropshire
In pictures: Converting the Music Hall
18 Jan 11 |  People & Places
Hoard of 10,000 Roman coins found
16 Sep 09 |  Shropshire
Curtain comes down at Music Hall
05 Jan 09 |  Shropshire

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific