Hugo Barnes in front of the oil painting ‘Arrival of the Belgian Refugees’ by Fredo Franzoni, gifted to the town of Folkestone in 1916 as an appreciation for its care of civilian refugees fleeing the Western Front in 1914.

Hugo Barnes spent the last year visiting all 53 museums in the children’s museum trail and has been rewarded with a Platinum badge at a presentation in Folkestone Museum.

Folkestone is part of the 53 member, Kent wide, children’s museum trail ‘Wheels of Time’.

The scheme has steadily grown over the past few years, with many children from across the county taking part, collecting a badge from each museum and also earning Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum award badges, depending on the number of museums visited.

The Museum is pleased to have been chosen to make the highest award to the first young person to have started and completed the trail since it expanded to 53 venues.

Hugo Barnes spent the last year visiting all the museums in the scheme with his father, local Folkestone teacher Dr Morvan Barnes.

As well as the Kent ‘Wheels of Time’ scheme, holidays in the West country have also seen Hugo complete Dorset’s equivalent trail.

Such is his interest in museums that he has also started designing badges for museums, historic houses and heritage sites that he’s visited which aren’t part of the trail, calling these the ‘Wings of Time’.

Whilst being awarded his platinum badge by Folkestone Museum curator Darran Cowd, he was asked which museum was Hugo’s favourite. This proved to be a hard question to answer, but he quickly narrowed it down to say: “Any museum that has trains!”

With Kent’s museums and the Wheels of Time scheme having had to weather a global pandemic, scheme Chair Bob Shrubb remarked: “Hugo has done a fantastic job to have made so may visits since museums started to reopen during the 2021 summer.”

Darran Cowd added: “As one of his two local museums we’re ecstatic to have been chosen by Hugo to give him his Platinum badge and pleased to be in good company with the Folkestone Fishing Heritage & History Museum, who awarded one of his earlier progress badges.”

By Ed

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