Derwent Pencil Museum Official Opening
Derwent Pencil Museum Official Opening
In 1832, the beautiful picturesque town of Keswick, in the heavenly Lake District area of Cumbria, opened its doors to the first ever pencil museum. Keswick is home to the globally renowned Derwent Pencil Company, a company with many accolades to its name, such as the biggest colouring pencil in the world and the first pencil in the world.
Despite the modern times we live in and the emergence of the digital age, the Derwent Pencil Museum and coloured pencils in general have remained as popular as ever. Despite our fancy digital devices when it comes down to art, artists love to use their hands, love the accuracy of the pencil and the feeling of creating something beautiful between your finger tips.
Unfortunately in December 2015, Storm Desmond hit the Lake District harder and more devastatingly than any other area in the UK. Keswick was badly hit and many were left homeless. It was during this wave of storms that the beloved and much treasured Derwent Pencil Museum was completely flooded and thus destroyed. Fortunately and thankfully to the wonderful Museum manager Dawn Walker, her team and waves of local volunteers, grouped together in order to save as much of the priceless, historical artefacts within the museum. Thankfully, together, they managed to save the contents of the museum and preserve most of this historical content.
As a result, the Museum was closed down for a long period of time due to the storm damage sustained, however, the bravery and resilience of Dawn Walker, her team and many good willed volunteers prevailed and ensured and newer more resilient Derwent Pencil Museum would re-open.
Derwent Pencil Museum Grand Opening.
toward the end of May, I was incredibly fortunate and honoured to have received an invitation to the official opening of the new and improved Derwent Pencil Museum. This is only an hour and a half drive from were I live, which doesn't sound like much, but with my spinal injury, the journey took much longer due to many stops needing to be made to ease my pain.
Once we finally arrived, my eldest daughter and I made our way to the Museum whilst my wife headed into Keswick for a much anticipated shopping spree. On arrival to the Museum it was pretty packed with people sat outside on the tables, a local school had brought along a class of young children and of course lots of incredibly happy Derwent officials.
The sun was shinning on this eventful and emotional day for many of the people who had watched their beloved museum washed away during storm Desmond.
After meeting up with Dawn Walker, the Museum manager who I had met the year previous whilst on holiday, I was given a warm and welcoming embrace by Dawn and began chatting. I was then introduced to Dan Shorthouse, who I had spoke to many times via email and phone calls, so it was nice to put a face to the voice.
Dan and I spoke at length about some of the awesome new products that he had sent to me and what I thought of them along with some other stuff regarding the museum. It was at this point that Dan asked me if I had been introduced to the Derwent Managing Director, Mike Stranders, which I hadn't. Dan asked me to wait and he brought Mike over to me.
I was incredibly honoured to meet such a high official at Derwent and to make matters even more memorable, Mike was incredibly interested in everything I have done regarding the reviews AND writing I have done in COLORED PENCIL Magazine. Mike and I spoke at length regarding Derwent and their vision going forward. All I can say on that is keep watching this space because Derwent are shifting gears and the future looks bright and exciting.
All in all I had an amazing day, meeting my childhood hero Mr John Craven was another highlight which I will remember for a long time. What was really specially, was that I shared this day with my beautiful daughter Niamh, who is herself a massive Derwent fan. I'd like to thank everyone at Derwent for making my day a memorable one and for the warm welcome that was extended to both me and my daughter. Thank you Derwent.