Late Winter RRN newsletter
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Rapid Response Network Newsletter

Please share this email with colleagues in your organisation, it contains useful links for the RRN and will help to make more people aware of the important resources provided by the network.
Hello and welcome to the latest RRN newsletter,

We hope this finds you well and that you are enjoying the glimpses of sunshine!  If you or a colleague would like to be more involved with the RRN, please get in touch! If you know of anyone in your organisation who is looking to add to their CPD and develop new skills, please forward this newsletter on.
Please do write to us at to submit case studies and information about how you manage your emergency planning; all of this is useful for other members. 

The RRN kit and training is there for members to prepare for such obstacles and hopefully minimise damage to collections.
We hope that you won't need to use the kits, but if you do you can find all of the member information on our website

Thank you for supporting the RRN; we couldn't function without your important memberships.
RRN Committee

AGM announcement

The upcoming AGM will be the morning of May 27th between 9.40am and 12pm  at the Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds, so please come along. After the formal business is over, the theme of our talks will be pests and how to deal with them. Conservators Emma Bowron, of Leeds Museums & Galleries, will be bringing her ‘Box of Death,’ to help us spot evidence of pest activity and Dale Keeton, of Bradford Museums & Galleries, will be giving tips on practical, safe and achievable pest control. Dr Mike Ayers, MD of Precision Pest Management, will take us through pest monitoring techniques.

If you are confounded by the creatures you are finding in your collections, feel free to bring along the evidence for discussion. A bring-your-own networking lunch will follow and RRN members will be given free access to this fascinating museum for the afternoon.  There is limited on site parking available, the exit code will be given during the session.
The meeting room is in the staff areas so please arrive promptly between 9.40am and 9.55am to be swiped through the access system. Members arriving later than this may have to wait for a free staff member to take them to the room.

 How to find the Thackray Medical Museum

The Museum is next to St. James's Hospital, 2 miles to the North East of the city centre.

By Bus - Frequent bus services run from Leeds city centre. Numbers 16, 42, 49, 50, 50A, 61 all stop outside the Museum.

By Car - From M621 follow signs for York (A64) then follow the brown tourist signs. From the North, take the A58 towards the city, and then follow the brown tourist signs.
visit for more information or call 0113 244 4343.

Kit training day at Shipley

Our kit hosts at Bradford Museums and Galleries have very kindly offered, exclusively to members, a FREE hands-on, training day at the Shipley store. Come and get to know the RRN kit; have a go at using the equipment; learn about handling wet collections in a live exercise. The session will be on June 9th, 9.30a.m. - 4p.m. with a bring-your-own lunch (sandwich shops nearby). The course leader will be conservators, Dale and Pamela Keeton.

Numbers are limited to 15 on a first-come-first-served basis. We’d also welcome expressions of interest from volunteer observers/helpers for the organisers, Dale and Pam Keeton. Registration details will be sent out soon.  


Meet the member

At the Thackray Medical Museum we have a small collections team who are responsible for the care of collections and the 150 year old workhouse which houses the collection. In order to keep on top of potential problems, the collections team have adapted training previously seen at RRN meetings to ensure all museum staff can manage in an emergency.
The museum closes for a week every January to enable repairs, and  this January was a good opportunity to get as many staff members as possible together from all other departments. The day started with a refresh of fire policy and health and safety, and then moved onto familiarisation with the emergency plan. Some staff weren't even aware it existed, which demonstrates even in a small building where communication is usually great, important things can slip through the net.
After some discussion around the emergency plan and hypothetical situations proposed and discussed, we set up a scenario for two groups.
The team was deliberately split, ensuring a good mix of staff on each team and where possible, staff who had not worked closely together were put with each other. For the purposes of the activity, both the front of house manager and curator were not present, instead evaluating the activity which was going on. Each team had a mystery box of problems and a scenario; one being a small fire which caused damage to books and objects and one a leak which was left undetected in the library. Both teams had access to a small salvage kit on site, as well as the emergency plan complete with kit list for Shipley Store.  Requirements for the teams were to assess the situation, decide actions and use the emergency plan to salvage the objects/books. After a few teething problems, both teams managed to successfully set up wind tunnels and choose what kit they needed, as well as demonstrating the emergency plan is workable even if you aren't that familiar with it -which was a relief!

Staff looking thoughtful on how to make a wind tunnel!

Feedback afterwards was very positive and the day was seen as a fun team building exercise, as well as familiarising everyone with our emergency procedures. We will be ensuring we have a 6 month refresher on the emergency plan and a yearly practical to keep everyone on top of emergencies.
Thackray Medical Museum will be opening this training to other museum staff for January 2016. If you or colleagues are interested in taking part, please email Lauren Ryall-Stockton on


The RRN is about working co-operatively and sharing experience for the benefit of all members. ‘Meet the Membership’ is a chance for you to share news of emergency planning developments or innovations or anything else you think members would be interested to hear. Don’t wait to be invited! Please send your submissions for future newsletters to:

Don't forget to follow us on twitter! @YorksRRN
We won't respond to this in an emergency though so make sure you have the RRN contacts handy.
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