The official opening of Porthcurno’s newest building marked the completion of the first phase of the Telegraph Museum’s development project, and an opportunity to look forward to the next chapter in its transformation.
The award-winning museum has temporarily closed to the public whilst it continues with building work; the museum will re-open in summer 2014 with new visitor facilities; including a new cafe; and exciting new exhibitions.
“We’re not closing completely. The new Clore Learning Space will be open on special days for family events and activities, as well as our regular evening talks. We will continue to welcome school and college groups for workshops and we’ll be holding community consultation sessions in the new space too. Researchers who want access to Porthcurno’s archive are already benefitting from fantastic new facilities including a brand new search room and digitisation facilities.”
– Rachel Webster, Communications Officer, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
A growing museum
Porthcurno is home to an award-winning museum and heritage attraction. Porthcurno’s training college finally closed its doors in 1993, but the original telegraph equipment once used to train young engineers now attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. In our age of constant connectedness, Porthcurno’s story has become more relevant than ever.
It is fitting that Lord John Dennison-Pender, the 3rd Baron of Porthcurno and great-great-grandson of telegraph pioneer John Pender, should unveil the commemorative plaque at the entrance to the museum’s new Archive and Clore Learning Space. His ancestors’
portrait hangs in the brand new climate-controlled archive facility which houses over 18,000 records.
The museum’s project to develop for a growing and diverse audience has attracted funding from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund, the Clore Duffield Foundation and Cornwall Council, amongst others. Heading up this support is the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who awarded the museum a grant of £1.44million in early 2012.
The opening of the new building also provided an opportunity to welcome the museum’s first Chief Executive, Mark George, newly in post. Relocating to west Cornwall to take up the new position, Mark recently headed the Heritage Lottery funded development of Chedworth Roman Villa and has spent 16 years in various roles with the National Trust. His role will be to lead the organisation, working alongside the Project Development Team, to secure the long term sustainability of the site.