You Comment, We Respond: A Year of Comment Cards

Museum of the Order of St John Isobel MacAuslan, Museum Assistant

If you have visited our museum, you will have seen our comment board. Every month we collect the comments that our visitors left and respond via our “You Comment, We Respond” poster. As we approach the end of the year, we thought we would update you on our thinking and some of the changes we have made.

 

“Benches so one can view comfortably” 

We have worked to resolve our seating issues this year. We have increased the number of foldable stools available in the galleries and have placed them in more prominent positions so that visitors are more likely to spot them. New chairs were added to our learning table. When we do not have a temporary exhibition running, a long wooden bench is also placed in the gallery. As always, visitors are welcome to sit on the bench in reception when they are waiting.

 

“Thanks for Large Print information”

We are glad that you were able to make use of the Large Print guides that are available for public use in the galleries. The Museum also keeps magnifying glasses at reception. Do not hesitate to ask us if you feel that using these would improve your experience. For more information about accessibility, ask reception or look on our website under the “Your Visit” tab.

 

‘Lighting could be improved on a few displays that are either too dark or have lights reflecting off them.’

Much of our collection of paintings and artefacts require special conditions because their age makes them very fragile. The lighting in the galleries needs to be maintained at a low level for certain objects to prevent damage and gradual deterioration.

 

“some excellent displays but it’s very distracting to have all the commentaries running all the time”

The feedback that we receive about our audio-visual system is conflicting. We would like every visitor to have an enjoyable visit therefore, if you find the audio-visual systems distracting, do come and speak to the Museum Assistant on the front desk. We can switch off the sound coming from some, but not all, of the speakers for a brief period if it would make your visit more enjoyable.

 

Disappointed with how little memorabilia there is. Very little on the brigade and the developments in equipment and uniform.” 

The Museum team are in fact of the same opinion! Having conducted surveys of our visitors over the last month, it would appear that many visitors want this part of the story receiving more emphasis. We are currently applying for a grant which would allow us to add additional displays to the gallery, focusing on Sir John Furley and the development of St John Ambulance. If successful, we hope that we would be able to display significantly more items relating to the evolution of St John Ambulance.

 

Greetings from Cashmere youth division Christchurch, New Zealand! We’re doing St John badge right now- amazing opportunity to take this information home!

What dedication to St John! We hope that you had a fantastic time in the UK. Our Learning and Access Officer, Hannah, has provided some fantastic resources for Badger and Cadet groups to use which can be found here. There is also a link to the fantastic video, starring Cadets and Badgers, which you can see in the St John Ambulance Gallery.

 

We have had many comments from children this month remarking on how much they enjoyed their visit to the Museum.

The Museum team are thrilled that our younger visitors have been having such an enjoyable time at our Museum. We are very proud to have been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award earlier this year. During the summer we introduced our Old & New sticker trail which has been a hit. Our family activity boxes, colouring sheets and activity programme continue to do well.

 

 ‘Hannah was superb + kind and very patient with 1 deaf + 1 deaf blind. Learned a lot about St John’s Order. Will recommend here’

Thank you very much for visiting us. We are glad that you had such a positive experience. Our Learning and Access Officer, Hannah Agass, is available to give accessible tours of the Gate, the Priory Church and the Crypt with advanced notice. You can find more information about accessing the Museum and the rest of the site here.

 

“Very interesting history. Would love to see more on the types of treatments patients received at the different hospitals and life at the Clerkenwell site in a bit more depth” 

Thank you very much for letting us know that you would be interested in hearing more about this. We have limited gallery space here at the Museum but we make up for this online. Our website is a treasure trove of additional information about the Order of St John and its long history. If there is something that you do not feel has been sufficiently covered in the Museum, look at our Blog or the Collections section of the website and there may well be an article on the topic. We are always interested to receive content suggestions therefore if you feel something is missing, do let us know by leaving a comment or informing our front of house staff. You never know, it might inspire one of our 10-minute talks!

 

There have been several comments this year regarding what is featured on our map. 

We know that the map is now somewhat out of date, and we are looking at ways of updating this part of the Museum display so that it is more reflective of St John’s current reach and is also more engaged with the global work of the charity. For the moment we have introduced some information panels highlighting the variety of work that St John gets involved with across the world.