Volunteers honoured for helping chronicle South Tyneside’s past

Assistant Keeper of History at South Shields Museum, Adam Bell, presenting Phil Haswell with his award.
Assistant Keeper of History at South Shields Museum, Adam Bell, presenting Phil Haswell with his award.

VOLUNTEERS at a South Tyneside museum have been honoured for their dedication.

The pair have been presented with North East Museum Volunteer Awards in recognition of the time they give up for free at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

David Hiscocks was given an award for outstanding contribution by a volunteer under the age of 25, and Phil Haswell was commended in the category for contribution to collections.

The awards, handed out by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, recognise the contribution of volunteers to cultural venues across the North East.

Phil, 61, of South Shields, was praised for his work in photographing the collections at the Ocean Road museum, snapping 747 artefacts to date.

His images are said to have had a significant impact on enriching the collections, being used in press releases, learning resources and exhibitions.

Phil, a member of South Shields Photographic Society, said: “It’s always good to give something back. To see what is behind the scenes of the museum is a great privilege.

“I remember going to the museum with my late mother in the 1950s and 1960s, and it’s great to witness the changes in how history and exhibits are displayed as time rolls on.”

David’s contribution was recognised for transcribing over 37 hours of oral history recordings now being used at the Ocean Road museum for exhibition research, quotes in display text and excerpts available to visually-impaired visitors in the form of large print guides.

David, 24, of Newcastle, said: “I’m motivated not only by the enjoyment of learning about the past, but also the fact that I am contributing to the museum service.

“It is fantastic that we have a museum service such as this that wants to record and preserve the memories of the community it is based in, and I think that is really important.”

Adam Bell, assistant keeper of history at the museum, said: “David and Phil’s versatility, experience, enthusiasm and determination to give their best make them great volunteers, and they definitely deserve these awards.”

They picked up their accolades at a ceremony at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki