The Young Volunteer Tour Guides’ Last Tours… Update from Orlane!

The Centenary Celebrations Young Volunteer Tour Guides, following a week’s training in presentation and tour-leading skills, taking a tour, doing research and tour development, delivered 6 tours to the public on the subject of the museum’s Centenary Celebrations. Their last tour was on the 16th of November 2014. Hear from Young Volunteer Tour Guide and Geffrye Youth Advisory Panel member Orlane about her experiences creating and delivering tours…

ORLANE

As a Young Volunteer Tour Guide for Centenary Celebrations I learnt how to structure my own personal tour to Geffrye visitors. Along with other young people I delivered exhibition tours, together we told the hidden stories about the exhibition, the Geffrye and the local area over the last 300 years that that the audience wouldn’t generally know about.

I wanted to join the programme to work and meet other young people with a similar interest in museums and heritage, as well as develop my public speaking and timekeeping skills. It was also a great way to be productive over the summer and the skills I learnt are applicable to my everyday life.

Practicing delivering tours to fellow tour guides! © Geffrye Museum

Practicing delivering tours to fellow tour guides! © Geffrye Museum

The training sessions lasted for a period of 6 days. During those days we learnt about the history of the Geffrye Almshouses and the highlights of its history including the old tenants such as Ernest Baker and also how the Geffrye was affected by war! We also learnt what it meant to be a good public speaker: how to use our body language, tone and voice effectively so we are engaging the audience. My personal favourite activity was the tongue twisters to help us get rid of any speech impediments! We also did role play and got to know some of the members of staff!

Handling archival materials to prepare for research and tour creation © Geffrye Museum

Handling archival materials to prepare for research and tour creation © Geffrye Museum

My tour was about Life in Hackney between the late 1800s to the early 1900s when the almshouses closed down. I spoke about the culture clash between the quite wealthy residents of the almshouses (although in the 1700s they weren’t) and their working class neighbours. Life wasn’t so swell as Shoreditch at the time and it was was overcrowded due to its thriving furniture industry which attracted many people to work. I spoke about the impact this had on the almshouses and why in 1912 they finally moved to Mottingham, Kent.

The Geffrye almshouses in the early 20th C © Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye almshouses in the early 20th C © Geffrye Museum

Delivering my tour to the members of public was phenomenal! I could see how engaged they were and it can’t really get much better than that. Seeing people captivated by my words, especially as I’m an introvert is really fulfilling.

Delivering a tour to the public © Geffrye Museum

Delivering a tour to the public © Geffrye Museum

This programme has definitely been worth it. I learnt about myself, how I’m not sure and afraid of doing things, but despite this I can communicate what I’m trying to say in a clear confident manner. Thanks again, Geffrye Museum for this wonderful opportunity!

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