Enterprising Year 12 student Noah Hyde is interested in History as a subject and over the summer he set himself up with some weekend work experience at Lancaster Maritime Museum. We talked with Noah to gain an insight into his aspirations and ambitions for the future. #aspire24/7 is our campaign to promote and celebrate the aspirations and activities of pupils/students outside of school.
How did you come by your work experience and what does it involve?
I am currently doing work experience at Lancaster Maritime Museum down on the docks. It’s a little bit out of the way but it’s a lovely little museum located in the old warehouse where all of the trading deals used to take place when all of the ships came in to Lancaster – the position has good historical significance.
For the most part I work the tills and front of house, am working in the gift shop and sometimes the café but there’s a lot more to it than that. On my first session I was walked round all the back storage and they had some really strange stuff in there that I didn’t expect to see but it was really interesting as Lancaster Maritime Museum is the storehouse for all 3 city museums. The three museums in Lancaster are the City Museum in the centre of town, the Maritime Museum and the Judges Lodgings and whenever anyone turns in a private collection it always goes straight to the maritime museum. On my first day there I was shown a samurai sword which obviously wasn’t on display being a maritime museum.
Initially there was a job advertised in the summer, aimed at adults rather than a 16 year old but I applied anyway because it sounded interesting and whilst I didn’t get it they were impressed and suggested I go for a work experience programme. For me it wasn’t about the money, if I wanted to make money then I would have worked as a waiter but there are so many different facets to history and the knowledge was more valuable to me. My parents had encouraged me to try for a retail job working at the till anyway. The work experience also gives me time with the public whilst providing the chance to boost my historical knowledge, even if it is local. Currently I am working every other weekend on Saturdays, I’ve had a couple of weeks break for mocks but am back now and also spending some time at City Museum to get a broad range in the work experience as suggested by my manager.
One of the things I like about the Maritime Museum is that they have community public interaction events, mostly for younger children. They had a whole display on a few months ago about Williamson Park which involved children going out to the park and getting involved in interactive displays. I helped distribute information for this event. It’s really helpful for the community as well and is giving me a lot of experience in different areas.
Is your interest in history generally or maritime specifically?
There’s a topic in History GCSE on Empire and Migration and it contained every group that had come to Britain from Vikings to the Windrush generation and the Maritime Museum covers all of this so I was surprised that I knew so much.
When I originally applied, the job was working across all 3 museums and I thought I like museums and history but thought I would prefer City museum, being more general. I thought that the Maritime Museum might cover things like fish hooks, working parts of submarines etc I was surprised when I found out it had such diverse topics on display. When you walk into City Museum there are 2 rooms almost always empty as they are changing exhibition rooms but at Maritime Museum these rooms are amazing static displays of things like large scale model pirate ships and oil tankers and life size replicas of canal barge. The other thing is you can get in free if you live in an LA1 to LA6 postcode.
Sounds very interesting and relevant for you on your CV or any further job application. What would you like to do after A levels?
Not entirely sure but would like to be in a history-based working environment. Working at a museum is good for me as I can find out about jobs and potential apprenticeships. There have been archaeology apprenticeships advertised which I might pursue too.
I am doing A levels in History, Geography and English. I have been told that museums in general only put the ads out when they need 3 or 4 people at once – this gives me more chance. There may be opportunities at the Harris in Preston, I will have to do more research.
Good luck for the future Noah and well done for taking the initiative and sticking to your passion – you have renewed our interest in the Maritime Museum so anyone wanting to go down there and catch up, click here: https://visitlancaster.org.uk/museums/maritime-museum/