Northamptonshire’s historic attractions honoured at Althorp ceremony

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Volunteers and staff of Northamptonshire’s heritage sites and attractions have won their own places in the history.

At the tenth annual awards ceremony held by the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum guests gathered to see who would be named the best in the county.

This year they were the guests of Forum patron Earl Spencer at his stately home of Althorp.

The Forum was created in 2002 to provide a unified voice for its members.

Run by a committee of volunteers the Forum is dedicated to supporting and promoting the membership, which includes museums and galleries, historic houses, battlefields, transport heritage museums, history societies, heritage centres and individuals.

To form a short list Forum members were invited to submit entries for as many categories as they wish.

A panel of heritage specialists then judged the entries and chose 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 to be named as Northamptonshire Heritage Organisation of the Year 2018.

Sulgrave Manor, under the leadership of Alison Ray, scooped the top title for ‘their thoughtful and innovative total redevelopment of their visitor offering’.

The People’s Choice Award, supported by BBC Radio Northampton and voted for by the public was won by Rushden Museum.

Radio presenter, John Griff, long-standing support of the awards and master of ceremonies for a decade was awarded a plaque for his contribution over the years.

Jane Baile of Prebendal Manor, and chair of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum thanked all the members for their enthusiastic participation.

She said: “The Forum is considered to be one of the best supported and most innovative in the country and the biggest thanks need to go to the two thousand plus volunteers who make up most of the workforce in the heritage sector.”