Narrative Study, Museums of Cheshire

Museums of Cheshire is a well-established network of organisations working together to champion over 20 venues across the county. They commissioned me to produce a Narrative Study as part of their Unlocking the Potential project, working towards becoming a more resilient and sustainable network.

Facilitating discussions during the Museums of Cheshire conference. Photo by Pete Carr.

The research was based upon information gathered from a range of sources:

  • Museum publications – e.g. guidebooks, promotional material,
  • Policy documents – e.g. Collecting Strategies,
  • Museum websites,
  • Visitor reviews,
  • Discussions with Museums of Cheshire Steering Group & Partners.

The Narrative Study cast a fresh eye over the rich collections and varied venues of Museums of Cheshire. It identified shared stories and themes, drawing out common threads and helping create new connections between members and with audiences. These ideas became a springboard for new strands of potential activity, from interventions and social media, to events and learning programmes. There were suggestions for integrating the cultural offer within the county’s general tourism offer, and ideas for cultural tourists. This collection of ideas and approaches was intended to help inspire and inform discussions about the future direction and activities of the partnership.

I presented the study at the Museums of Cheshire annual conference, and followed my presentation with an interactive workshop for all delegates. This gave participants the opportunity to explore the narratives for themselves and to become part of this exciting development process.

It was fantastic to work with Catherine. She took time to develop a really detailed knowledge of our venues and collections, and facilitated creative and engaging workshops for staff and stakeholders. As a result, she has produced plans for communications and curatorial projects based on shared themes and stories which are strategic and innovative. Her work has sparked a lot of enthusiasm amongst members, and its impact can already be seen in our new website and development strategy.
Kate Rodenhurst, Project Manager, Museums of Cheshire 

This has been excellent. Catherine’s work has been exciting and inspiring. It has made me appreciate the wider heritage of Cheshire in a whole new light as well as getting me buzzing with ideas of how to develop stories and narratives for our own museum.
Delegate, Museums of Cheshire Conference 2016