Accolade for museum

Visitor reviews have earned the Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum a coveted ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from an online travel website while it has also once again been awarded the VisitEngland stamp of approval.
The museum has been recognised with a “2017 Certificate of Excellence” based on the consistently ‘great reviews’ posted by visitors on the TripAdvisor travel website.
Only select businesses receive the accolade and it is the second time Head of Steam secured the accolade, with 52 per cent of reviewers rating it as ‘excellent’ and 32 per cent as ‘good’.
The museum has also passed its latest VisitEngland accreditation in the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme – with an improved score – enabling it to continue to display the Quality Rose Marque.
As part of the scheme, all aspects of the visitor experience were examined by experienced assessors, from the museum’s website and promotional leaflets to the cleanliness of its buildings and customer care.
It scored an impressive 130 marks out of a possible 155, giving a total score of 84 per cent – with staff performance scoring particularly well with 34 out of 35 marks, for an almost perfect 97 per cent score.
In its report VisitEngland states that the museum’s score was “an impressive increase of seven per cent on the last assessment in 2016” and added: “Stronger elements include the consistently high levels of customer service and the range of themed merchandise in the shop.”
The high score achieved in the staff section means the museum has now also been nominated for the VisitEngland ‘Welcome’ accolade, winners of which will be announced later in the year.
Leona White-Hannant, manager curator at the Head of Steam, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to once again be awarded the Certificate of Excellence and our VisitEngland accreditation.
“We love to receive feedback from our visitors and are continually working to enhance and improve the museum experience. It’s great that our score from the VisitEngland assessors has improved and we’re enormously proud that our staff’s efforts and enthusiasm have been recognised with a nomination for the ‘Welcome’ accolade.
“We host a wide range of events to complement and broaden what we have on offer and it’s great to see that our efforts and all the hard work of our staff and volunteers is appreciated.”
For more information about the Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum and its events programme call 01325 405060, visit the website at or log onto