Swindon’s community-run Richard Jefferies Museum is celebrating after the Heritage Lottery Fund gave the go ahead for a project worth nearly £25,000.

The HLF has added £10,000 worth of funding to the total already secured through the museum’s fundraising efforts, enabling a refurbishing of many of the museum’s displays.

The project, called ‘Writing the Past’ will work with representatives of many local, and distant, communities to try to really bring to life the incredible stories, and history, in Jefferies’ books.

Using the latest and best museum practice, displays and artefacts will be used to properly tell the stories of Jefferies’ life and passions, including the hardships of the Victorian agricultural world he lived in. Most importantly, the work will help to identify and develop links between local history and our lives today, through new interpretation and displays, refurbished cabinets and spaces, new guides, and access to more information through the museum’s touchscreen displays and website.

Museum manager, Mike Pringle, said: "What we want is for the museum to tell real stories about the past, in ways that are prompted, inspired by, and developed by a whole bunch of real people; the people who live in this town; the people whose heritage this is."

Jaime Bullock and Suzie Simmonds, volunteers at the museum, hope that the project will make the place richer in its own heritage, with ever increasing numbers of people feeling proud of one of their ‘ancestors’, and of the beautiful old farm he has left behind.