Our Biggest Year Yet!

Our 2013 strategic goal for attendance was a 5% increase on the 2012 attendance (which was 10,843). My personal goal has always been to crack the 12,000 mark, but alas in the past we got close but never went past that pinnacle. To the end of October there has already been a 17% increase on last year’s total visitors (as of 29th October 12,670 visitors)… we should top 13,000 this year the way we are going… Very excited!! Should we aim for 14,000 next year??   Abbey Museum's Popular Archaeological Dig Program     This increase is primarily due to the change in the national school curriculum and the introduction of the study of ancient history in year 7. Our previous archaeological school programs needed to be modified to accommodate larger numbers of students and it is thanks to the education staff and volunteers that this has been incredibly successful. Our archaeological dig program is now accompanied by either a presentation on the Ancient Roman soldier or instructions in the art of Ancient Egyptian mummification. The latter is always extremely popular. It may be that the thought of removing the brain and organs of a classmate before wrapping them completely in bandages excites the imagination of these young students.   The other major reason for the increased visitor numbers to the Museum this year was the introduction of school holiday programs. This was a strategic move for the Museum as it was noted that holidays were often our slowest time of the year and also the Museum was not attracting parents with young children. We knew from the feedback from parents attending our Kids Medieval Fun Day and “Dig It” Archaeology Kids Day that there was a market for historically based activities for children. This year we ran an Ancient Roman themed holiday program in January, Stone Aged theme at Easter and focused on general Archaeology in the September holidays. Each was very well attended and successful thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers who give their time and enthusiasm so willingly!