Museum 'BAFTAS' won by 20-year old twins for volunteer work at Cheshire's Lion Salt Works museum in Northwich

2 July 2021

Yesterday (1 July) Museum + Heritage, one of the country’s most prestigious heritage organisations, announced at its annual award ceremony that university students, Julian and Harry Young, 20, were the winners of its ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award. The twins, from Chester, were nominated by Northwich’s multi-award winning Lion Salt Works Museum Trust for their help in redesigning its website, its ‘Mundling Stick’ newsletter as well as film-editing and on-site volunteering.  

Julian Young, a second-year student at Lancaster University, studying MORSE (Maths, Operational Research, Statistic and Economics) said: “We are delighted and astonished in equal measure at winning this award. We enjoyed our lockdown volunteering and are committed to helping the Museum in the future. We prefer to see this award as recognising everyone’s hard work at the museum and Trust – not just ours.”
Harry Young, who studies Physical Geography and Natural Hazards at Coventry University and who like his brother is a former pupil of Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby, said: “I won’t deny we were feeling a bit flat after we had to return home from university to go into lockdown. But we were spurred on our grandmother’s long-running advice: ‘if you are feeling bored and unhappy, it probably means you are not doing enough for other people.’ This award is fantastic but is not the end of the story. We know we can continue to assist the museum remotely and plan to keep on helping.”  

Nick Hunt, Trustee, Lion Salt Works Museum Trust, said: “This award is fantastic news and we are very proud of Julian and Harry. Updating the Trust’s website had been on the ‘to do’ list for some time. What held the Trustees back was finding the time and more importantly the technical ability to make the change. We knew the twins from earlier Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteering and were delighted when they agreed to help us.
“The project took some time. Julian revised the whole website site, putting in new pictures and pages as well as a Twitter account; Harry re-designed the Mundling Stick newsletter, creating three separate newsletters – two for online and one as a paper version. Thanks to their enthusiastic attitude, during 2020, three different films were produced and the results were impressive. These projects simply would not have been possible without their help.”    

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “We are delighted that Julian and Harry Young have won this prestigious volunteering award – the equivalent of the Baftas in the Museum world. I very much hope their win will be an inspiration for younger volunteers to come forward and volunteer at the county’s museums, parks and wildlife areas. Cheshire West’s four hugely different but inspiring museums – the Grosvenor Museum; Stretton Mill in Chester and Northwich’s Lion Salt Works and Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse – would most warmly welcome new volunteers.”  

The Lion Salt Works Trust actively supports the Museum by demonstrating open-pan, salt-boiling during the summer, doing regular talks and applying for grants. The Trust’s ambitious five-year plan has salt-making on site as its top priority but also includes further restoration work on the salt wagon; creating a sensory picnic garden and creating a wildflower meadow around the wagon. 

The Trust has published several monographs on the Works and traditional salt-making and would like to promote this activity, getting the Lion Salt Works known as a centre of expertise on the subject. The Trust is already a longstanding and enthusiastic member of the European Route of Industrial Heritage, a network of the most important industrial heritage sites in Europe. It would welcome new members to help implement its ambitious Five-Year plan.  

The Lion Salt Work Museum is a multi award-winning Museum that tells the story of salt through fun, interactive displays including a ‘sound and light’ show, a ‘subsiding house’ and automaton. 

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