02 February 2010>
The Winding House in New Tredegar has welcomed its 14 000th visitor after a busy and successful 12 months since its official opening in January 2009.
The new museum for Caerphilly County Borough has hosted a series of fun-filled events throughout the past year, as well as launching a new and extremely popular exhibition, attracting many people from both within the borough and much further afield. A large number of schools and community groups have also visited over the last 12 months, making full use of museum's exhibitions and facilities – and have even had the chance to see the historic winding engine in action.
Events in 2009 included a weekend of Mediaeval Merry-Making over the Easter period, which attracted nearly 500 visitors. Children made their own mediaeval hats, shields, manuscripts and medicine and visitors also had the opportunity to meet with a mediaeval gentleman.
The May Bank Holidays saw 300 visitors enjoying Springtime crafts, traditional games, puppet making and even Maypole dancing! In July, nearly 400 people took part in the free "Archaeology Detectives" activities to discover more about their past. They tried their hand at excavation and uncovered mystery objects, reconstructed Neanderthal heads with modelling clay, rebuilt a skeleton and made their own Bronze Age style pots. Some even had the chance to try on some Roman armour!
A series of fascinating and informative talks on industrial heritage and local history in March and June also proved to be very popular.
Throughout the summer holidays, there were further attractions for visitors – with a new holiday club every Wednesday which saw children taking part in crafts, games and a exciting hands on activities – from watercolour painting to code-breaking!
The Winding House Young Friends and Volunteers group also met throughout the summer and were involved in the development of the exciting new exhibition, "Caerphilly County Borough and the Second World War", handled real Wartime objects and found out what life was like during the 1940s.
"Caerphilly County Borough and the Second World War", opened over the August Bank Holiday, with a special preview for the Winding House Friends and Volunteers and all those who had loaned or donated objects for the exhibition. The Winding House was thrilled to see the launch featured on the BBC Wales website as well as on ITV Wales.
The new exhibition has proved to be a resounding success with very positive feedback from visitors and school children. In fact so popular has this exhibition been that it will be extended, to remain open until May 3rd.
In October, nearly 600 visitors took part in the 4-day Creepy Crafts event, studying bugs through a microscope, finding out what creepy critters like nibbling on museum objects, made spooky spider masks and designed their own beautiful artworks based on creepy crawlies pictures.
The year rounded off with a day of Festive Fun in early December, and another 100 visitors enjoying their day at the Winding House!
Principal Museums and Heritage Officer Helen Willson says, "We have been delighted to have received so much support from the local community – and from visitors from further afield – over the last 12 months. We have been thrilled to see so many familiar faces returning to our events and exhibitions throughout the year, as well as some new ones! It has certainly been a busy year and we couldn't have done without all the hard work and support of the Winding House Friends and Volunteers. We are currently finalising details for our new events programme for this year – as well as planning for our new exhibition on Sport in the county borough – and hope we can build on the success of last year to welcome even more visitors to the Winding House in 2010."
For more information about the Winding House, please ring 01443 822 666, or visit the Winding House website.
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