26 APRIL 2017, CUMBRIA – After eighteen months of painstaking restoration work following the floods of 2015, world- famous art materials brand Derwent is delighted to announce the re-opening of the Derwent Pencil Museum, Keswick, Cumbria. The newly refurbished museum will open on Friday 26th May, showcasing a bold new look and enhanced visitor experience.
The museum opened in 1981 and quickly became a key tourist attraction for those visiting the beautiful Lake District region in the North of England. Renowned for housing the largest coloured pencil in the world, the museum was gutted by flood water, which accounted for some artefacts from Derwent’s prestigious archives being ruined. Many other items were rescued from the devastation including the Austin Morris 1952 van which delivered pencils throughout the area.
Dawn Walker, Museum Manager has led a development plan for the museum, an enriched visitor experience being the key focus.
New interactive areas have been created to sit alongside the surviving collections that were in place before the floods hit. A customised drawing facility has also been developed, which will give visitors the chance to take part in art classes and workshops throughout the year. A full week of drawing activities is scheduled from the 26th May – 4th June. Invited artists will be on hand to demonstrate their love of drawing and share their skills with visitors to the museum.
Dawn Walker, Museum Manager, commented: “Whilst being heartbroken with the destruction the floods caused to our homes, local businesses and the museum, this project has given us focus and drive and rebuilt our community spirit. We are excited to be welcoming visitors new and old on the 26th May.”
The museum celebrates the pencil manufacturing process and Derwent’s long history in the local area whilst telling a number of stories about various products which were developed at the Derwent factory, including the manufacture of the WW2 Secret Map Pencil commissioned by MI5 under the official secrets act.
The newly renovated museum takes visitors on a journey of graphite and pencil discovery and will include a modern interactive experience whilst ‘Artisan’ café has been renamed to reflect the time honoured skills of pencil manufacture. A newly developed menu will have a family friendly offering.
Dawn added: “We’ve redesigned the whole museum. There are new dynamic interactive displays to supplement the collection that was here before the disaster, adding to a new visitor experience.
Mike Stranders, Global General Manager at Derwent, said: “We are delighted to announce the re-opening of the Derwent Pencil Museum. The Museum has been rebuilt with a modern new look and feel, designed to inspire and engage. We look forward to welcoming visitors to discover more about our brands history and how it has been a part of the Lake District since 1832.”