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Windfall will boost museum's collection

PUBLISHED: 16:59 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 11 August 2010

Mark Watson with a life ring from the Queen Mary

Mark Watson with a life ring from the Queen Mary

VALENCE House museum has been awarded an additional £60,000 to buy historical items that relate to people s working lives. This separate grant from the heritage lottery fund is on top of the £1.8million they gave earlier this month towards refurbishment.

VALENCE House museum has been awarded an additional £60,000 to buy historical items that relate to people's working lives.

This separate grant from the heritage lottery fund is on top of the £1.8million they gave earlier this month towards refurbishment.

A new scheme called Collecting Cultures was set up to help museums buy pieces that will boost research and public interest.

For Valence House the extra cash will be used to procure little pieces of history from Barking and Dagenham industries after 1900.

Items they hope to buy include a Ford car, lifebelts, brass aeroplane instruments and asbestos - all of which were once produced in the docklands.

The museum plans to employ researchers to look into the history of industries in the borough and collect stories from workers.

A huge number of museums applied for the grant and only three in London were lucky enough to receive the money - including Valence House.

Curator of Valence House, Mark Watson said: "I am really pleased that the Heritage Lottery fund has finally decided to award this buying grant.

"It was something that I always thought was missing from collections in museums.

"We knew we wanted to buy things that related to ordinary people, there are several industries that we had missed.

"It will be the researchers' job along with volunteers to find these little hidden pieces of our industrial history.

"And it's a perfect way to get the public more involved in Valence House and give the place a sense of belonging to the local community.

"Visitors will be able to relate their working lives to the museum now - Barking and Dagenham industry is such an important part of heritage here."

Valence house will be presenting their plans at the Dagenham town show; buying pieces for the museum will take place over the next two years.


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