Roamin’ Rex, Kent’s very own time travelling character who guides young explorers across the county’s heritage and museums, is setting his sights beyond the Garden of England.
Thanks to a grant of £47,460 from the Arts Council England for a three year project titled ‘Time to Change’, the Wheels of Time badge scheme will be able to develop its governance and operating model to enable the scheme to be replicated across other museum and heritage networks outside of Kent.
Wheels of Time began in 2015 to encourage young children and their families to visit participating museums and heritage sites to learn more about Kent’s vast and interesting history. The character of Roamin’ Rex was named by one of the scheme’s first young explorers, Daniel, who collected his badge from Ashford Borough Museum. Since then, the initiative has grown in popularity and now has 48 participating Kent sites with 30,000 badges being awarded to 15,000 children prior to Covid-19.
Bob Shrubb, Chair of the Wheels of Time management committee, said “the Core (management) Group were delighted to learn that their bid to Arts Council England had been successful and more so that they have been able to appoint Sarah Corn to help us deliver the project. We would like to thank South East Museum Development, for supporting our application, and everyone who plays the National Lottery, without whom we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Note to Editors
About the Wheels of Time
The Wheels of Time, the badge collecting scheme for Kent museums and heritage sites, is coordinated through the Ashford Borough Museum. Managed by a core group of 9 sites across the county, it is a fantastic way to encourage young people to take an interest in history and get out and explore Kent.
The Time to Change project has three main strands:
Create an independent organisation
Wheels of Time funds are currently managed by Ashford Borough Museum. The Time to Change project includes a study of options for the creation of a separate and independent Wheels of Time organisation, preparation of a governing document and registration with the appropriate authorities. This will allow Wheels of Time to raise and manage its own funds.
The phenomenal growth of Wheels of Time has created a large workload for the volunteers who administer the scheme on behalf of its participating sites and members. Creation of a cloud based database giving all members direct access to the information held about their sites will eliminate the need to copy the information and ensure it can be regularly updated, reducing the workload of the administration team.
Expand beyond Kent
Wheels of Time currently covers museums and heritage sites in Kent. The reduction in the administrative workload will allow the Wheels of Time Core (management) Group to instigate expansion into other areas. The Weymouth and Portland Heritage Group is partnering with Wheels of Time to become the first Wheels of Time group outside of Kent and to draw up and test the agreements needed for such expansion.
‘Wheels of Time’ ®, ‘Roamin’ Rex’ and the Roamin’ Rex graphic are trademarks of Ashford Borough Museum Society
For more information, please contact Bob Shrubb