As a national charity, The Arts Society has pursued its charitable objective through three activities:  supporting arts activities engaged in by young people, recording church artefacts and heritage volunteering.

Our Society has been active in all three areas over the last 25 years.  However, at present we have no-one on the committee championing heritage volunteering and no project currently underway, with the exception of some members volunteering as room stewards at Castle House, the museum in Dedham which was the former home of Sir Alfred Munnings RA.

We would like to relaunch heritage volunteering in our Society.  If you have an idea for a project or are interested in joining (or indeed leading) a team, please contact our chairman, John Burton.  Training is available.

Heritage volunteering can cover a multitude of activities and is more fully described on the Arts Society's website - and in its magazine Review, issued to all members.  

According to our past Heritage Volunteer leaders, Caroline Egan (who went on to fulfil that function nationally for NADFAS) and Pauline Hill, one of the joys of heritage volunteering is to be part of a team and to gain an insight into the world of museums and historic houses.

Projects completed by our Heritage Volunteers

In 2015 our Heritage Volunteers commenced repairs to the modern mosaic constructed to illustrate chariot racing at the Roman Circus that was discovered in Colchester in 2004.  The artwork, created by Peter Froste, measures 20ft x 10ft, and the tiling was originally undertaken by local school children. To enable restoration, the mosaic was cut into six pieces and volunteers thoroughly enjoyed developing new skills in cutting, shaping and fixing the thousands of tiles. All six pieces have now been restored and reassembled on a new wall at Roman Circus House.  To view Photo Gallery images of the volunteers working on different sections of the mosaic and see the final result, please click here.

Volunteers have also undertaken the cataloguing of beautiful Warner and Courtauld fabrics at the Braintree Museum.  A team worked with Colchester and Ipswich Museums cataloguing and repacking the coin collection, glass plate negatives and the costume collection.  We have also stitched hats, aprons and Victorian pinafores for children's workshops, repaired map collections, created databases of artefacts and constructed medieval banners for mounting children's work to hang in Colchester Castle.