The Heritage Awards are organised by the Forum, and are a chance to celebrate the achievements of museums and historic houses across the county. The Awards both reward achievement and promote the variety of work undertaken by museums and historic houses during the year. They are also a chance to recognise the hard work of volunteers and staff.

This annual event showcases the heritage of the county and is an opportunity to bring members of the museum, historic house and heritage sector in the county together. Winners of the award ceremony in 2010 went on to win in the regional awards.

Entry to the awards is open to all members of Northamptonshire Museums and Historic Houses Forum irrespective of size or how the organisation is funded. The judges look for well-run projects using the resources available, so all the organisations within the Forum have the same opportunities irrespective of their size.



Thursday, 5th July

Awards Celebrate Best of Northamptonshire's Heritage

Photograph of the 2018 winners below at Althorp House

Neville Stankley - Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University
Dr. Caroline Nielsen - Senior Lecturer in History at Northampton University
Jannette Warrener - Lincolnshire Heritage Forum Ambassador
Dr. Paul Jackson - Senior Lecturer in History at Northampton University

     Best Exhibition:
     Kettering Borough Council - Kettering Museum & Art Gallery

     Best Event:
     Brackley Town Hall Restoration Project
     Baa Baa Brackley
     with Highly Commended
     Sywell Aviation Museum
     "The Night of Infamy", the Centenary Commemoration
of the Zeppelin raid 19 October 1917

     "Hindsight" Award for Best Published Work:
     Maureen Williams
     Photographic Memories of Hackleton, Horton, Piddington
and Preston Deanery
     with Highly Commended
     Irthlingborough Historical Society
     "A year's journey" - Through the history of Irthlingborough

     Best Volunteer Project:
     Oundle Museum
     Farming Now and Then
     with Highly Commended
     Brackley Town Hall Restoration Project
     Digitisation Project

     Best Special Project on a limited budget:
     Northamptonshire Studies, Northamptonshire Libraries
& Information Centre
     Local Knowledge Badge - 1st Irchester Scouts

     Best Special Project from 2013 onwards:
     Kettering Civic Society
     The Community making a difference at Kettering Railway Station
     with Highly Commended
     Rockingham Forest Trust
     Trading Places - The Victorian Skills that shaped the Nene Valley

     Community Award:
     Whilton Local History Society
     Celebrating Courage: Captain Henry Reynolds VC MC
of Whilton & East Haddon

     Heritage Organisation of the Year 2018:
     Sulgrave Manor

     BBC Radio Northampton - People's Choice Award:
     Rushden Museum


Northamptonshire Heritage Awards held at Althorp
On Thursday evening, 5th July 2018, the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum held their tenth annual awards ceremony. This year we were the guests of our Patron, Earl Spencer at his beautiful home at Althorp. One of the finest houses in England, Althorp looked magnificent in the golden evening sunlight, and provided the perfect backdrop for the gathering of the supporters of Northamptonshire's heritage.

Members of the Forum are invited to submit entries for as many categories as they wish. A panel of heritage specialists judges the entries and chooses a winner for each award, with a highly commended certificate for worthy runners up. The panel then chooses the organisation which has most impressed them overall. This is awarded the grand title 'Northamptonshire Heritage Organisation of the Year 2018'. This year the award went to Sulgrave Manor, now under the leadership of Alison Ray, for their thoughtful and innovative total redevelopment of their visitor offering.

There is one award which is not judged by the panel, but rather by the public. This is the 'People's Choice Award', supported by BBC Radio Northampton. This year the award was won by Rushden Museum, a great example of the high standards that can be reached by an all volunteer team.

The evening was presented by John Griff of BBC Radio Northampton. John has long been a supporter of the county's heritage, and this year was his tenth award ceremony. John was himself recognised and awarded a plaque for his contribution. This was both for his work as presenter for the ceremonies, and also for his work in promoting the People's' Choice Award, broadcasting interviews with all the candidates over the 4 weeks prior to each award ceremony.

Jane Baile of Prebendal Manor, and chair of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum offered her closing remarks. She thanked all the members for their enthusiastic participation, as the Forum is considered to be one of the best supported and most innovative in the country. Claire Brown and Sarah Hartshorne from Museum Development East Midlands were thanked for their continued support, both financial and technical. Jane pointed out that the biggest thanks need to go to the 2000+ Northamptonshire volunteers who make up most of the workforce in the heritage sector. Finally thanks were given to Sarah Peacock and Carole Bancroft-Turner for their hard work in organising the event over many years.

About the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum?In a county rich with history and heritage, the Forum was created in 2002 to provide a unified voice for its members. The Forum is run by a committee of volunteers dedicated to supporting and promoting the membership, who include museums and galleries, historic houses, battlefields, transport heritage museums, history societies, heritage centres and individuals. The Forum provides advocacy and advice, access to grants and training, joint marketing and promotion, and the opportunity to meet and share with likeminded people. The Forum meets at least 4 times a year, including the annual Heritage Awards. It also produces 'Hindsight' magazine, a publication featuring original historical research contributed by members. Current membership includes around 130 organisations and individuals.

Northamptonshire Heritage Forum is financially supported by Museum Development East Midlands.

The patron of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum is Earl Spencer.