Derby Museum Volunteer

Museum of Making


We are co-producing the Museum of Making with an inspiring team of volunteers, each bringing their own unique set of skills, energy and ideas to the project. Today’s volunteer profile, in support of #VolunteersWeek, focuses on Kal, who drives projects for the Museum of Making forward, sharing his unparalleled passion for and knowledge of Derby’s history and its famous (and sometimes not-quite-famous-yet) residents.


How have you been Making the Museum of Making?

I have been involved with the This Is Normantonexhibition as well as contributing to others across Derby Museums. I have also made some laser etched wooden coasters with the help of Graeme Smith at the Silk Mill.

What inspired you to get involved?

I’m a Derby man. I love Derby and really enjoy engaging with my community and sharing stories about Derby and Derby folk.

What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?

Something that made me feel proud was being part of the This is Normanton exhibition and seeing my photo alongside my friend Dave Sudbury who wrote, in my opinion, the greatest folk song ever written ‘The King of Rome’. Dave and myself both attended the same school (Building).

I have also enjoyed sharing stories about the likes of Kevin Coyne, Alice Wheeldon and the King of Rome to people who were unaware of Derby’s great heritage and history.

Have you gained anything by becoming a volunteer co-producer on the project?

I’ve gained a lot of good contacts, who either work at the museum or volunteer there. I am now able to share my thoughts and ideas with them knowing that they will always listen and consider what I have to say.

What is the first thing you remember making as a child?

The first thing I remember making was little ponds in the garden. A huge hole would be dug out in the soil and then a carrier bag would then be placed inside the hole to cover all the sides. I would then fill it with water to make my own little underwater world filled with miniature figures and soda boats collected from cereal boxes. I would also add some plant life and continue to play with it until the water was no longer clear.

Share something unusual about yourself.

I designed the Sikh Poppy Khanda for the Royal British Legion. I am an author from Pear Tree, Derby. I write books about Derby.

If money/time were no object, what would you make?

A virtual reality augmented reality head piece that can be used to show how Derby used to look like at various times in it’s history as you walk around the old town and city.

If you are interested in volunteering to make the Museum of Making contact to find out more.

By khalsir

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