On a bright and sunny Monday morning, Jennifer Vickers (Research Associate) and myself were at Rochdale Town Hall, at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Museums Group (GMMG), to introduce the ‘Coming in from the Cold‘ project.
The ‘GMMG is a partnership of the ten local authority leads for museums, galleries and heritage in Greater Manchester, plus a representative from Museum Development North West’ (GMMG Website). These ten local authorities represent Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
It was a worthwhile opportunity for Jennifer to present about the ‘Coming in from the Cold’ project, by spreading the word, and seeking the cooperation from these local authorities in the research for phase one. She had a time slot after a brief presentation about the tour of Dippy the dinosaur by the Natural History Museum and how the GMMG will be involved. Number One Riverside in Rochdale will be Dippy’s temporary home from February to June in 2020. For Jennifer, she also wanted to engage the support of GMMG, by reviewing the lists of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) projects for each borough. These lists were developed by her and Marzuqa Iffat (Project Intern) from initial research findings.
My duty at the meeting was simply documenting the proceedings during the presentation. This was an opportunity for me to not only see museum professionals at work, but also how projects like ‘Coming in from the Cold’ fit within the dynamic of their function and service. I believe that my involvement in the project through the work placement provides an understanding of museum practice in a region like Manchester.
It was overall an informative trip. Jennifer being very knowledgeable about the work we do at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, and the history of parts of Manchester made the journey to and from Rochdale worthwhile. We took a little time after the meeting to explore Rochdale with Jennifer being my unofficial tour guide.
We are set to attend other meetings to garner the support of more museum professionals in the North West, as we progress with the research for the ‘Coming in from the Cold’ project.