Meet the AIM Biffa Award History Makers

Round 4

Football’s first female superstar

Opening in Spring 2021, the National Football Museum in Manchester will tell the story of Lily Parr, football’s first female superstar. Starting her career at hometown team St Helens Ladies, Parr moved on to Dick, Kerr Ladies FC and later Preston Ladies. Operating as an outside left winger, it’s believed she scored more than 980 goals in a 32-year career.

When Arkwright met Strutt; Creating a cotton spinning legacy

The Arkwright Society at Cromford Mills will explore the story of Jedediah Strutt and Sir Richard Arkwright, who between them built the world’s first successful water powered  cotton spinning mill at Cromford, creating the modern factory system and marking the start of the Industrial Revolution.  A new CGI experience inside the first mill will bring these characters to life and reveal more about the challenges they faced and their huge impact on society at the time.

John Milton – History Maker

From August 2021, visitors to Milton’s Cottage will be able to take an augmented reality (AR) journey through John Milton’s only surviving residence. Imagine being surrounded by a world of demons, talking snakes and other characters from Paradise Lost, which he completed at Milton’s Cottage.  Or seeing the ghost of the blind poet himself describing his perilous journey to escape the Great Plague and completing his greatest poem. AR interaction will enable a new generation to discover the impact of Milton’s writing on our politics, society, literature and even the language we speak.

Revealing Gilbert White

The team at Gilbert White’s House in Hampshire will work with young people to re-design the Gilbert White displays that promote and explain Gilbert’s significant contribution to our understanding of the environment and climate change. Involving young people in the decision-making process will inspire them to make their own journeys of discovery in the natural world, observing, recording or campaigning for nature, just like Gilbert himself.

At Home with the Pankhurst Family will open at the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester in 2021, with more details set to be revealed later this year.

Round 3

A woman of conspicuous courage

In 1943, at the height of the Second World War, Noor Inayat-Khan became one of the first female radio operators to go undercover in Nazi-occupied France. She had volunteered for the Special Operations Executive, a secret organisation that worked behind enemy lines. With the help of the Girlguiding Association, the Commonwealth War Grave Commission is telling the story of Noor at an interactive exhibition at Runnymede Memorial.

Cromwell Uncovered

The Cromwell Museum used their funding to refurbish the small museum’s main gallery space to tell the story of the controversial 17th century soldier and statesman Oliver Cromwell ‘Warts and All’, engaging more and a wider range of visitors whilst showcasing their internationally important collection more effectively.

Annie Besant and Jayben Desai: History Makers on strike

People’s History Museum has introduced two new immersive experiences in the main galleries to tell the stories of The Match Girls Strike of 1888 and Grunwick Strike 1976. Both tell of workers uniting and standing up for their rights, and both were led by women; Annie Besant and Jayaben Desai.

A light in the darkness

National Coal Mining Museum for England’s History Maker is Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) who was one of the most famous scientists of his day. Their exhibition, A Light in the Darkness, tells the story of Davy’s invention of a safe lamp to be used by coal miners underground.

Experiments, Innovation and Design: How the Paxtons Grew the Chatsworth Garden

Through the inspirational work of Joseph and Sarah Paxton, visitors can discover, explore and understand the scientific and engineering marvel that is the Chatsworth Garden.

Soap & Water: Revealing William Lever’s remarkable achievements and enduring legacy 

Through innovative interpretation, creativity and co-production, Port Sunlight are engaging and inspiring children and young people by using the STEM subjects as a lens through which to explore William Lever’s impact and legacy.

Round 2

Milton Keynes Museum expansion project

This exhibition celebrated the achievements and vision of the city’s ‘founding father’ Jock Campbell and inspired visitors to consider how their own choices can bring about change.

Harry Baker and 120 years of chlorine

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Museum created a gallery to celebrate the globally important achievements of local scientific history maker, Harry Baker, and to inspire local people to believe they can pursue successful STEM careers.

Joseph Lancaster’s education revolution

Hitchin British Schools Trust made the remarkable story and lasting legacy of Joseph Lancaster accessible to more people and used it to inspire people about the transformative potential of education.

Science pioneering the Paralympic Games – Dr Ludwig Guttmann, Doctor, Psychologist, Engineer

Development of the National Paralympic Heritage Centre with the local community that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Dr Guttmann, inspiring local facility users and visitors.

Holroyd-Smith – electrifying the future

National Tramway Museum explored the life, inspiration and motivation behind the works of Michael Holroyd Smith and inspired the next generation with his imaginative and persistent approach to problem-solving.

Round 1

Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold

The Clifton Suspension Bridge raised awareness of the lives and achievements of engineers Sir John Hawkshaw and William H Barlow through a new interactive exhibition at the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre.

Digging deeper

Through James Henry Greathead’s story London Transport Museum explored the engineering innovations which made travelling deep under London possible and, as Crossrail began operation, highlighted Greathead’s continuing influence around the world.

The father of modern forensics – an exhibition celebrating the life and work of Sir Bernard Spilsbury

National Justice Museum enabled children and young people to learn about the life and achievements of Sir Bernard Spilsbury; inspiring interest and further study in forensic science.

For more information on any of these projects, visit the case studies page of the AIM website>>

You’ll also find the History Makers on their own dedicated website>>