The Jersey Heritage team of volunteers who built and now maintain and interpret for visitors the replica Neolithic Longhouse at La Hougue Bie have won a national award.
At a special ceremony held earlier this week at the British Museum in London, they were joint recipients of the ‘2021 Marsh Award for Volunteers in Museum Learning (South West)’, which recognises their hard work and commitment to the project.
Four of the team of volunteers attended the awards ceremony and were presented with the award. They were Iris Fritz, Nicky Mansell, Philippa Kergozou and Paul Lister.
The annual volunteer awards, now in their 14th year, are organised by the British Museum and the Marsh Charitable Trust and celebrate the work and achievements of museum volunteers across the UK. They aim to recognise those volunteers who engage directly with museum visitors.
Julia Coutanche, Jersey Heritage’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “Our congratulations and heartfelt thanks go to all our Longhouse volunteers, whose knowledge and passion about the building they created, together with their dedication and enthusiasm, greatly enhances the visitor experience at La Hougue Bie.”
The 20-metre long replica Longhouse at La Hougue was built over two years by the volunteers, with help from Ancient Technology expert Luke Winter. Since it was officially opened in 2019, volunteers have performed day-to-day maintenance tasks using authentic techniques and tools, and act as guides demonstrators and interpreters to explain the project to visitors. They are also continually researching, experimenting and training to acquire more Stone Age skills to share, including basket-making and flintknapping.
The Longhouse volunteers are joint winners of the South West award with Will Emery, who created the Michelangelo Trail for Torquay Museum in Devon.