Staff and volunteers at Tiverton Museum held a special tea party recently to thank two long standing volunteers who are retiring from their roles. Eileen Voce has volunteered at the museum for over fifty years, and Bert Demellweek volunteered for over seventeen years.
Eileen and Bert with Chairman of Trustees Andrea Rowe and Director Pippa Griffith
Eileen, and her late husband Alan, has been involved with the museum from its very early days in its current home in the old National School. Alan was Honorary Curator at the museum for a number of years, and Eileen was instrumental in setting up the museum’s Research Library which is a very popular resource for people studying family or local history. The Research Library deals with regular enquiries from as far afield as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is open on Monday afternoons and all day on Wednesdays. Eileen has also written a couple of fascinating books on the history of Halberton which are available in the museum’s shop.
Bert has welcomed countless visitors to the museum through his regular work on the museum’s front desk, and shared his knowledge of working on the Heathcoat lace machinery on display in the museum. He also assisted the museum’s Education Department, recounting his wartime evacuee experience to many local school children as part of the popular World War Two workshops. The museum is planning to fundraise to film Bert so that his experiences can be added to the World War Two displays, and school children can continue to hear his story.
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, says ‘We can’t thank Eileen and Bert enough for the time and support that they have given the museum over such a long time. It’s very special when people become so passionate about an organisation that they are willing to give up so much of their time to support it. We are totally dependent upon our volunteers who are involved in all aspects of running the museum.’
If you are interested in volunteering at the museum, please contact Carrie Thomas on 01884 256295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org