Bede’s World

Bede’s World

Russell Telecom revolutionises telecoms for heritage centre


The life of the Venerable Bede, early Europe’s greatest scholar, who lived and worked at the monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow 1300 years ago, is celebrated at Bede’s World in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear.

Attractions at Bede’s World include a modern museum, which is home to a permanent ‘Age of Bede’ exhibition, displaying finds excavated from the site of St Paul’s monastery. The exhibition includes the largest collection of some of the earliest coloured window glass from Western Europe, dating back to the late 7th and early 8th century.

Visitors can explore the Anglo-Saxon demonstration farm, which brings together the animals, timber buildings, crops and vegetables that featured in the Northumbrian landscape of Bede’s day. Other attractions include Jarrow Hall, an elegant grade-II listed Georgian building, which overlooks the land that was once the monastic estate known to Bede.

Bedeʼs World partnered with Russell Telecom, a company with over 25 years experience of meeting the telecommunications needs of UK businesses and organisations.

We now have a modern telecoms system that is simple to use but which
has all the features we had on our wish list.

Anthony Hood, Bede’s World



Bede’s World needed to completely revamp its telecoms system. Key among its requirements was an auto-attendant system with voicemail and call queuing. This would enable callers to be given information such as opening times and forthcoming events, which could be easily updated by staff at Bede’s World. The facility would direct callers to the best source of information and would also work during out-of-hours periods when callers could leave voicemails.

The organisation also wanted extension numbers for each member of staff, so that callers could easily reach whomever they needed to speak to quickly and easily. This would in turn streamline the communications process putting callers directly through to the relevant department and freeing up front of house staff to concentrate on other tasks.


black NEC Handset
Russell Telecom undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the organisation’s telecommunications system. The company decided that the NEC SL1100 telephone system would suit the charity’s requirements ideally. SL1100 is designed to satisfy the growing needs of the small to medium business. It is a professional, flexible and easy to use voice communication system.

It can be installed as a basic, well-featured telephone system or programmed and equipped to offer a range of sophisticated business benefits.

The system includes an integrated digital voicemail, which not only provides a night and day service and auto-attendant but also provides call recording.



The solution has improved the way Bede’s World communicates to the outside world in numerous ways.

Anthony Hood of Bede’s World commented:

The new system allows for our front of house staff to spend less time on the telephone and spend more time with the customer; essential for our outward-facing approach to giving more time to our on-site customers. Callers are now given even more attention, which is due to the new automated greeting system.

Our organisation is now viewed as a more professional establishment too. Our front-of-house main telephone now has an option to switch the telephone to ‘night mode’ for times when no staff members are on the premises. This prompts the visitor to leave a voicemail message, removing the frustration of being on the end of a never-ending ringing phone.

The new telephone system can be used with ease by our staff, including a disabled member of our team who can now operate our telephones more easily and efficiently.

Russell Telecom’s solution has also served to reduce the ongoing telecoms running costs as a more suitable and cost-effective package and tariff has been chosen for the client.

In summary, Anthony commented: “The solution has very much met our needs. Russell Telecom has installed an efficient system with many features, whilst at the same time making an annual saving for us.