Honiton gallery named a ‘hidden gem’ by England’s tourist board

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:56 13 March 2018

The team at THG - Jess Huffman, Emma Molony, Angela Blackwell, Fiona Page-Turner, Anna Aroussi, Gemma Girvan

The team at THG - Jess Huffman, Emma Molony, Angela Blackwell, Fiona Page-Turner, Anna Aroussi, Gemma Girvan

Helen Lisk Photography www.helenliskphotography.co.uk

A Honiton gallery has scooped a top accolade celebrating the quality of its visitor experience.

The Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG), based in Elmfield House in Dowell Street, has been named a ‘hidden gem’ visitor attraction by VisitEngland, the official tourist board for England.

The award has been given in recognition of the quality visitor experience on offer at THG.

East Devon District Council’s award-winning public art gallery features a programme of contemporary art exhibitions and an award-winning programme working with schools and community groups across of East Devon.

Angela Blackwell, the gallery’s curator, said: “It is a great achievement to receive this national award from VisitEngland.

“We are honoured to be designated a hidden gem.

“It highlights the amazing work of gallery’s staff and our wonderful team of volunteers.

“Our visitor numbers are testament to this, having increased by 10 per cent to 12,300 last year.”

THG is one of 86 attractions across England to have clinched an accolade from VisitEngland, which are awarded in appreciation of the outstanding experiences they provide.

The attractions receive the awards based on the score they obtained following their annual assessment by the tourist board.

VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes said: “These attractions offer a warm welcome, unique storytelling, high quality food and drink and unparalleled customer service and rightly deserve these accolades.

“They provide visitors with amazing experiences and create reasons to travel the length and breadth of the country, increasing the economic benefits of tourism.”

THG’s latest exhibition, which is showing until May 19, is the Crafts Councils’ touring exhibition of extraordinary automata.

The exhibition, called ‘A Curious Turn’, showcases automata from the leading makers of the last 40 years, ranging from the humorous to the macabre and from the playful to the satirical.

Works on show take a look at key automata makers such as Rowland Emett, famous for creating the elaborate inventions of Caractacus Potts in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

For more information, pop into the gallery (open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm) or call 01404 45006.

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