I was very impressed with Newark Town Hall and Museum Art Gallery, which I visited several weeks ago while on a study trip to the United Kingdom.
I don’t think I have ever encountered a town museum as well-organised and staffed as yours.
The museum has some excellent pieces, including the locked ballot box.
The restored 18th Century Assembly Room was exquisite, superbly painted in a robin’s egg blue, and it reminded me of the drawing rooms I had seen while visiting Bath.
My neck ached from staring up at the beautifully patterned ceiling.
When we arrived at the museum, it seemed a hive of activity, phonecalls coming in, and the curator, Patty Temple, putting up a new exhibition.
There were at least two other volunteers assisting her.
My companion and I were fortunate enough to be shown the museum and the adjacent art gallery by a very knowledgeable docent, another volunteer, Corrie Moss. She knew so much about the building and its history, including the local government meeting room, a narrow neighbouring building (which had housed the first toilet in Newark) and she described some local events, such as the balcony visible nearby where William Gladstone, the one-time MP here, made his first speech.
Again, I was surprised by the quality of art in the gallery, including some Nicholsons.
It was much more than I had ever expected to see in an art gallery in a town of Newark’s size.
The Town Hall and Museum Art Gallery and the tour of them are truly worth a visit to Newark.
If I were to make any criticism, I would say the town should promote them better to visitors and to people living in the area.
I certainly won’t forget my visit to Newark and remain impressed with your community’s support of these institutions. — Gregory Strong, Professer, English Department, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan.