Why I volunteer

Town Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Newark-on-Trent
Godfrey Cozens
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I have been volunteering as a guide since 2005 in this superb Grade 1-listed 1776 building, which was designed by the architect John Carr.

The gallery contains works by the painters Stanley Spencer and Sir William Nicholson, as well as the sculptor and teacher Robert Kiddey and other artists associated with the town.

The mayor’s parlour features a portrait of William Gladstone as MP for Newark at the age of 23 and some siege pieces, emergency currency minted when the town was under siege in the civil war.

I also show visitors around areas of the building that are not normally open to the public. I’m always delighted by the looks of surprise and incredulity I get when I take them into the magnificent ballroom with its stunning decoration and plaster work.

Before retiring, I was a college lecturer and taught computing and electronics so I was used to meeting and talking to all sorts of people.

Volunteering has not only allowed me to continue this interaction, but also enabled me to gain an appreciation for the history of the place and its people, the architecture that surrounds us and the wealth of interest there is hidden in the building.

An additional bonus is the number of friends I have made among my fellow volunteers.

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