Basing House Museum
Bringing ruins to life with Tours and Object Handling
Basing House Museum is an open site of important historical ruins. Visitors benefit enormously from interactions with staff and volunteers to interpret it. With growing numbers, sometimes leading to queues at certain spots, it was felt that storytelling training could help reinvigorate the tours, and also bring to life the front of house role by adding object handling skills for both drop in sessions and to entertain summertime queues.
Rather than change the length the tour took the guides, who were a mix of actors and dyed in the wool Liverpool fans, came onto one of two full day workshops. Most of them were very experienced, so our time was spent looking at storytelling techniques such as descriptive language to bring to life what wasn’t visible, alongside identifying which stories would help focus on the positives of the temporary tour route.
All the guides added the techniques of the training to their current way of delivering tours. One commented to the museum and tours manager that if only this training had been offered to them twenty years ago, their work would have been a good deal easier, and more fun.