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SHMA museum exchange

Chris Addy shows Kelly Bevan around Hamptonne. Picture: Jon Guegan (21470421).

Australian museum manager sees how Jersey sites work, Jersey Evening Post, 27 May 2018

Kelly Bevan, whose mother Carol was born in the Island, manages the volunteer programme at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, Victoria, which in the 1850s was at the heart of newly discovered gold fields.

She was on a working holiday, catching up with family, and attending a museum conference at the Black Country Museum in the West Midlands.

She also visited other living history museums in England, including Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum in County Durham.

She spent a day at Jersey Heritage, meeting director Jon Carter and staff at Hamptonne and Hougue Bie.

‘We mostly talked about the similarities and differences between our organisations and it was good to learn what Jersey Heritage does and the sites it manages,’ she said.

‘It was particularly good to visit Hamptonne and to see the outbuildings that fit with the period we interpret at Sovereign Hill. It was also good to compare how we manage our volunteers and visitors.’

The Australian gold rush attracted thousands of people from around the world hoping to strike it rich and make their fortunes in a new land.

Sovereign Hill recreates the main street of a gold rush town with working shops, a saloon bar, theatre and schools where volunteers, in period costume, play key roles in day-to-day and special events. There is also a recreated gold mine and a gully where visitors can pan for gold and keep their finds. The site also includes Australia’s Gold Museum.

Jersey Heritage sites manager Chris Addy said meeting Ms Bevan presented an opportunity to exchange information.

‘We discussed operational issues in terms of sustainability, corporate and private hire events and maintaining historic buildings,’ he said.