Aly Keeling joins National Trust of Guernsey as Museum Manager at The Folk and Costume Museum, Saumarez Park

Growing up in South Wales I was surrounded by history and took an interest in how environment shapes lives. I was told tales of how communities developed around industry and the culture that resulted from these close communal ties. It was this experience that led me to study history at the University of Liverpool. After university I worked in the insurance industry in Bristol and Manchester, but the love of history drew me back, so I qualified as a history teacher. I taught in Cardiff and Caerphilly for around a year then received a phone call asking if I could go to Guernsey to fill in as a Teacher in Charge of History for 3 months. Why not see it as some time abroad I was told. 17 years later I am still here and proud to call this beautiful island my home.

During those 17 years I have been Head of History at Les Beaucamps High School, taught at St Anne’s in Alderney, worked at the GTA University Centre and been an examiner for national exam boards. I also got married and had 2 wonderful children. Any spare time is taken up with walking the cliff paths and taking photographs of our landscape as well as gardening, sewing and attempting to knit, I am a trier if nothing else. I am fortunate to live in a truly beautiful area which has continued my love of social history and fascination with how landscape and environment shape us.

Vision

The Folk and Costume Museum should be at the centre of our community, a place where visitors and locals engage with our social history. The museum and courtyard are a perfect location to promote the arts, crafts and culture of the island. We will be using new technology and social media to promote exhibitions. Developing our relationship with schools, both primary and secondary, is an important part of my vision for the museum and the Trust as a whole. I would like to see a dynamic and engaging programme of education events in place that utilises the diversity of our sites. AK