Volunteer Highlight: Barbara

The Museum of Cambridge is extremely lucky to have a team of hard-working Collections Volunteers who are working on an ambitious project to document and clean all objects on display to the public.  

Barbara, one of the core volunteers has been volunteering since the beginning and said: 

“Since retiring from my job as the administrator of a small Centre at the University of Cambridge I had been searching for some voluntary work that would suit my interests.  Thank heavens for the Museum of Cambridge!   

I started as collections volunteer a few months ago. Working with Beau, the Collections Officer, is a joy. Everyone at the Museum has been friendly and welcoming.   

Having lived all my life in Cambridge and visited the Museum as a child, this work is right up my street. The highlight for me so far has been cleaning the Mayor’s Chair, and I’m looking forward to coming across more fascinating items.” 

The Mayor’s Chair was used by Cambridge mayors throughout the 18th century. It was hand-crafted by local artisans and is a beautifully skilled and well-made object. The frame is mahogany, and the seat and back are made from hand-stitched leather, with the details in the arms and head being made all by hand.  

The height and decoration of the chair was a clear symbol of power and stature. It has a strong throne-like quality that many young visitors comment on! The chair, which seated many mayors, is just another example of the stature that mayors held in Cambridge, and by an extension the power that their councillors held.  

You can see the wonderful Mayor’s Chair on display at the Museum now. And, if you drop in the Museum on a Thursday, you can have a chat with our Collections Volunteers, who will be hard at work cleaning the other beautiful objects on display at the Museum of Cambridge.

Volunteer Highlight: Barbara