Museum reopening wins praise from visitors

Written by on July 9, 2020

The reopening of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums has been given an overwhelming thumbs up by the first visitors to the site.

Every one of the visitors who completed a survey about their trip to the museums this weekend said they would recommend the museums to a friend – and there was huge approval for the measures introduced to meet the Government’s Covid regulations.

Roz Chandler, marketing director at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, which runs the museums, said the feedback from visitors had been almost 100 per cent positive.

“We achieved an average score of 4.7 out of five across nearly 100 responses when we asked people how they rated their visit, which is a real shot in the arm after being closed for more than three months because of the lockdown.

“The response to the new Victorian Market we have introduced in the Goods Shed at Blists Hill Victorian Town was also excellent and almost everybody said they had enjoyed using our cafes.

“All but one of our visitors thought there were plenty of hand washing and hand sanitising stations on site and all but a couple said they had been able to observe social distancing at all times.

“And people left some really lovely comments about how much they had enjoyed their day in general. One said ‘it was perfect’ another said everything had been well thought out and a third person said they could find nothing to improve.

“We’ll look at all the comments from the opening weekend over the next few days and follow up on anything we think needs a tweak, but we’d just like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has visited since our reopening on Saturday and made our first weekend back so memorable.”

The Trust reopened Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse for the first time in more than 100 days on Saturday after the Government gave them the green light to welcome back visitors.

The Museum of The Gorge, which suffered damage during the floods of February, also opened as a free entry Visitor Centre.

The Trust, a registered heritage conservation and education charity which cares for 36 listed buildings in the Gorge, has been awarded Good To Go status by England’s national tourism body for its work in meeting all the Government’s safety guidelines.

Strict social distancing measures have been put in place along with an enhanced cleaning and hygiene regime, measures to control visitor numbers, clearly marked routes through the sites and timed entries.

A special audit of toilet facilities has been carried out to ensure they could be used safely, new hand-washing sites are in place across the sites and cleaning arrangements have been increased to offer extra peace of mind for visitors.

Tickets and timed entry slots are on sale at www.ironbridge.org.uk

The museum – in a World Heritage Site and Shropshire’s most important visitor attraction – has been closed since the lockdown was announced in March having earlier been hit by the floods along the Ironbridge Gorge in February.

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