The background of the Museum and the Regiments
The Mercian Regiment is made up four former county regiments; The Cheshire Regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (WFR), the Staffordshire Regiment and the West Midlands TA. The Museum tells the story of the WFR collection and its antecedent regiments; the 45th Regiment of Foot, the 95th Regiment of Foot, the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. Overall the Museum covers 250 years of history which is still being made today.
The collection of articles of regimental historical interest started at the Regimental Depot in Normanton Barracks, Derby, with the aim of instructing recruits in regimental history. Captured weapons were displayed shortly after the First World War; however, it was not until 8 June 1928 that the formation of a Regimental Historical Fund and governing committee was established. More importantly a collecting policy was formally established.
The Collection remained in the Depot until the barracks closed in 1963. Following a two year period in store, an agreement was made with Nottingham City Council for its display in Nottingham Castle where it has remained ever since. After a series of five year lease agreements, in September 2011 it was confirmed in writing that Nottingham City Council extended the lease with the Museum for a further 25 years.
In 1973, at the invitation of Derby City Council a joint exhibition was opened in Derby City Museum to house objects from the Sherwood Foresters and its antecedent regiment of the 95th Regiment of the Foot. Currently this gallery is shared with the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the Derbyshire Yeomanry. The Military Gallery at Derby Museum & Art Gallery was re-developed with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and re-opened in 2008. The Archives and Reserve Collection are held in Foresters House, Chilwell from where the Museum is managed.
In 2014 it was agreed between Nottingham City Council and the Museum that as part of the Council’s own plans the Museum Gallery would move to a different part of Nottingham Castle. Then in August 2014 the museum was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the Museum’s redisplay within the Castle.