Hrh The Prince Of Wales To Visit The Bowes Museum And Barnard Castle Emergency Services Station

Thursday 15 February 2018

On arrival at The Bowes Museum His Royal Highness will be met by local dignitaries and Museum Trustees, after which Sir Mark Wrightson, Chairman of the Trustees, and Museum Director Adrian Jenkins will escort the Prince on a tour of the galleries.

Curator of Fashion & Textiles, Joanna Hashagen, will give a brief overview of the Museum founders, John and Joséphine Bowes, before Jane Whittaker, Head of Collections, invites His Royal Highness to view the refurbished ceramics galleries and to examine the botanical cabinet of Mary Eleanor Bowes (John Bowes’ grandmother).

Mr Jenkins will then introduce the Prince to key items from the paintings collection, including a recent acquisition by Gainsborough; a portrait of John Joseph Merlin, the inventor of the Museum’s famous Silver Swan musical automaton mechanism.

Representatives of Arts Council England will then be presented, alongside a group from the Museum’s Friends, whose patron for 40 years was the Prince’s grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. His Royal Highness will then be invited to watch a performance of the aforementioned Silver Swan, after which he will meet a group of the Museum’s volunteers.

Sir Mark Wrightson will give a short speech and invite the Prince to unveil a plaque to mark his visit to The Bowes Museum, after which he will be presented with a gift for Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall before signing the Visitors’ Book. 

Mr Jenkins said: “We are delighted to have the pleasure of welcoming the Prince of Wales to the Museum during this, our 125th anniversary year, and to have the opportunity to introduce His Royal Highness to the collection enjoyed by the Queen Mother during several visits, along with some of our more recent acquisitions.”

The Barnard Castle Emergency Services building is shared between County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS), Durham Constabulary, North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.

The build began on Wilson Street at the site of the old fire station, in February 2016 with CDDFRS moving in on 10th March 2017.  They were closely followed by the others who were all moved in by the end of April.

£3.78m was awarded by the government to CDDFRS to build the station, which will be the first of its kind in the country.

On arrival at the emergency services building His Royal Highness will be met by Chief Fire Officer Stuart Errington who will introduce him to some of the staff from all four emergency services who work at the station as well as some of those involved in the planning and construction of the building.

The Prince of Wales will then be invited to unveil the official plaque commemorating his visit to the station.

Chief Fire Officer Stuart Errington said: “It is a great honour and privilege to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to our new emergency services building which is the first of its kind in the UK, and to showcase some of the fantastic work we do in Barnard Castle to help keep the community safe.”

NEAS chief executive Yvonne Ormston said: “Bringing our emergency services together in this way is a model which could potentially be replicated in other regions. We are incredibly proud to be able to demonstrate how breaking down the boundaries between the separate services could make a difference to our services as well as the communities we serve.”

Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “This is a great example of emergency services working together to provide upgraded facilities and services to the public whilst also saving money.”

Steve Owers, Team Leader said “Our Team is 50 years old this year and welcoming His Royal Highness to our new Emergency Services Station will be one of the biggest highlights."

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Notes to editors:

·         The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes.  Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in.  The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods. 

·         The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England.

·         The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.

·         The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 0191 301 8531, www.discoverdurham.co.uk

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