Royal Worcester shop bids fond farewell to temporary home
After six successful months of trading in the city centre, the temporary Museum of Royal Worcester shop at the city’s
Guildhall has closed today.
The shop opened in the historic building’s north wing in November, so that the Museum could continue to sell gifts and souvenirs while a major £1.7million refurbishment was completed at its galleries.
With that work completed the shop will be moving back to the Museum’s main home in Severn Street, where the doors to the new galleries informally open on 1 June ahead of an official opening in the autumn.
The shop has been selling vintage and antique Royal Worcester made at the Museum’s factory, alongside the largest range of Portmeirion’s contemporary Royal Worcester goods in the local area. The Museum has also hosted craft demonstrations and other family activities in the temporary shop and elsewhere in the Guildhall.
The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Jabba Riaz, said: “The Museum of Royal Worcester’s temporary shop in the Guildhall has been a big success for both the Museum and the City Council.
“I am delighted that the City Council was able to step in and help one of Worcester’s most iconic tourist attractions to continue trading while their main building was closed for refurbishment.
“Their presence helped attract more visitors to the Guildhall and was the perfect neighbour to the Tourist Information Centre – and all this just as the Council is boosting its efforts to attracting more visitors to our great city.”
Sir Michael Perry CBE, Chairman of the Museum said: “Being able to relocate the Museum of Royal Worcester Shop to the Guildhall was of massive help and importance. It allowed us to keep a presence in the city during our closure and gave us an opportunity to showcase the Museum’s work to a significantly wider audience.
“The income generated from the sale of goods was immensely helpful, especially as without the Guildhall shop we would not have had any alternative way of selling or storing our stock.
“The staff at the Guildhall and the Tourist Information Centre made us very welcome and I want to emphasise how grateful we are for the opportunity and for all the help we have received from the City Council.”
The refurbished Museum – supported by a National Lottery grant of £1.4million awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – opens its doors to the public on Friday June 1. There will be an official opening event in the autumn.
The new galleries are now swathed in deep period colours and the graphic back drops to the showcases have been carefully chosen from the Museum’s rich archive to show the porcelain off to its very best advantage.
As well as displaying the world’s largest collection of Worcester Porcelain the interpretation now includes information about manufacturing processes, customers, world-wide distribution and, most importantly, the social history of the people behind the porcelain.