Millionth visitor welcomed to Bristol's harbourside museum M shed
IT'S "M" for million as the M shed celebrates welcoming its one millionth visitor.
Thanks to an impressive 8,000 visitors dropping into the Harbourside attraction over the weekend to enjoy the M shed's events marking Chinese New Year, the city's flagship museum notched up the one million landmark.
"To have more than one million visitors is just amazing," said Julie Finch, head of Bristol museums, galleries and archives.
"We have been truly delighted with the wealth of support and enthusiasm for M shed since it opened its doors less than two years ago.
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"Our collections showcase Bristol's great heritage, bringing together communities and celebrating the people who have made the city what it is today.
"Events like Chinese New Year and our current Chocolate! exhibition are perfect examples of how M shed celebrates the story of Bristol and its people.
"We always knew M shed would have a special place in the hearts of local people and more than that, M shed has drawn in and thrilled visitors from around the country and across the world."
Councillor Simon Cook, Bristol's cabinet member for culture, sport and capital programme, said: "M shed opened in June 2011 and was immediately recognised as one of the UK's most innovative and ambitious museum developments.
"To have more than a million visitors within 20 months is just fantastic and underpins our belief that M shed would always be a very special place. We are all incredibly proud of M shed."
M shed – which is housed in the 1950s transit sheds on the side of the Floating Harbour – features 3,000 exhibits, telling the stories of the people of Bristol.
Since opening in 2011, the attraction has won armfuls of awards, including the Jodi Award for accessible culture, Collections Trust's Award for Innovation in Collections Management, Marsh Historic Ship Conservation Award, and the Sandford Award for Heritage Education.
The museum is currently playing host to an exhibition telling the story of the city's links to the chocolate industry.
Catherine Littlejohns, senior collection officer of public history at M shed, said: "We hope lots of our visitors may have worked on factory production lines, whether at Somerdale or Greenbank, and there will be lots of opportunities for them to add to the bank of oral histories of people's memories of the daily life at the factories."
Three years ago an idea for a museum devoted entirely to chocolate was mooted for an empty building on the other side of the Floating Harbour at Bordeaux Quay – but without the necessary financial backers, the dream of local businessman Laurence Trackman – the "Chocolate Harbour" museum – never came to fruition.