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Colchester Castle staff celebrate

PUBLISHED: 05:14 19 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

STAFF at Colchester Castle are celebrating after learning the tourist attraction has won a special commendation in a major museums competition.

Thousands of children were yesterday streaming through the gate to take part in activities, take part in active exhibits and learn about the ancient town's rich history.

STAFF at Colchester Castle are celebrating after learning the tourist attraction has won a special commendation in a major museums competition.

Thousands of children were yesterday streaming through the gate to take part in activities, take part in active exhibits and learn about the ancient town's rich history.

The Castle came second to the nationally-renowned York Railway Museum in the Classic award category at the 2003 Museum and Heritage Show awards for excellence.

Judges and experts noted the on-going relevance and vibrancy of the museum at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Café Royal in Piccadilly and hosted by Janet Street-Porter.

Speaking at the Castle council marketing officer Marie Taylor, said the award was the result of a decade's commitment by employees in the council's museum service.

“Obviously we are delighted. It shows 10 years of really good, hard work and dedication from staff, and also shows we are still relevant and popular with our visitors.”

Sisters Susie and Katy Beckham, aged 10 and 12, were finding out for themselves what it was like to wear a slave's neck restraint in Roman Britain.

The pair, from Sudbury, said they liked the Castle Museum because it allowed them to try things out for themselves.

“I tried on some of the small togas but it was a bit big,” said Susie.

Rosie said: “I tried on some armour. It was really heavy on my shoulders. It was fun. We will tell our friends to come.”

Meanwhile Ellen Hornsby, 10, from Mistley, said she also enjoyed trying on the togas with friend Lydia Popiolek, 9, from Lawford in Manningtree.

Petra Hornsby, who brought the girls with a group of children to the museum, said: “On a cold day today it's an ideal thing to do.

“I read about the castle in the EADT and that the Roman soldier was going to be here in costume.

“They've tried on the armour, and picked up the swords and the shields.”

She added: “They seem particularly interested in some of the ghoulish things, like the coffins and the skulls.”


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