Museum History
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 Date   Origin   Summary 
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013The museum on Facebook / The story about a museum leaflet from 1976 generated lots of comment - it cost only 45p to come into the museum, VAT was 8%, our telephone number was Singleton 348 and we warned people that bank holidays were busy.
Photographer Russell Cobb has sent some wonderful pictures of interpreters in replica clothing. One picture was very popular on Facebook at the beginning of the year.
Nick, the Gritter and the BBC was also a hit. Nick Conway, our site manager was interviewed by BBC Sussex about the salt spreader which had been bought with a grant from West Sussex County Council for the villages of Singleton, West Dean and the museum.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013What was life like for the people who lived in the museum's houses? / A new book about some of the musem's most important exhibits has been published: "Houses of the Weald and Downland: People and Houses of South-east England c 1300-1900 has been written by the museum's Social Historian, Danae Tankard. Following research between October 2005 and April 2008, Danae offers a unique insight into the social, economic and living conditions of the periods in which the eight houses featured were built, as well as revealing details about their architecture and construction.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Tindalls Cottage - a special preview is planned in June / Tindalls Cottage is settling in to its new home at the museum following the successful "Raising the Frame" weekend in 2012. After the frame was completed attention turned to the staircase and floor boarding. Work began on the chimney and brickwork and the tiling. Volunteer blacksmiths made the ironmongery for the windows and doors. Friends of the Museum's fundraising initiative raised
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Olympic legacy for museum / Wildflower turf, specially grown for the Olympic Park and used in Danny Boyle's opening ceremyon last year has been donated to the museum. Staff and volunteers helped lay the 200 sqare meters of turf next to Poplar Cottage. The turf includes Yellow Rattle, Self-heal, Bird's-foot-trefoil, and Crested Dogs-tail, all native flowers of Sussex.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Tindalls - the people / When my great grandfather, Albert Alfred Tindall, died in 1931 at the age of 91, he was the head of the largest medical publishing house in Britain and proprietor of several magazines.
John Tindall was probably the ancestor of all those who can trace their ancestry to the south-east corner of England as Tindall is a Tyneside name. By 1748 John Tindall was the tenant of the cottage and a parcel of land about 26 acres in Ticehurst. At least four of his children lived to adulthood, including the one who inherited the tenancy of the small holding. They went on to beget families and by the early 1800s Tindalls and Tindall-connections-by-marriage were recorded in the parishes around.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Discover works of art and use - 4 - 10 March / The growing collection of rural trades and crafts artefacts is open daily for guided tourse at 1.30 p.m. but from 4th to 10th March it was open all day with guides on hand to bring it to life. Currently there are approximately 15,000 items and the collection has been awarded designated status by the government in recognition of its national importance (along with the historic buildings).
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Sussex Day - 16 June / A new event for the museum will be Sussex Day on 16th June, when we will be celebrating all things Sussex. The day will focus on all that is unique and special about the county, with talks on sussex subjects such as the hall from Crawley, crafts and folk music and Sussex sports such as stoolball. Stands in the Gridshell will be held by Sussex organisations and domestic life demonstrations will be centred on our buildings from Sussex.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013In Brief: Museum Playing a Part in Horsemanship Training; Reviving South Downs Folk Songs / Museum Playing Part in Horsemanship Training: Museum has teamed up with Norfolk rural life museum, Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, to discuss collaboration over demonstration of farming operations for visitors and keeping alive horsemanship skills. Involved: Gressenhall farm officer Richard Dalton, museum's horseman Mark Buxton, Museum Director Richard Pailthorpe, Diana Zeuner editor of Heavy Horse world magazine and museum vice president.
Reviving South Downs Folk Songs: Project to teach traditional songs of the South Downs to new generation of singer culminated in launch of CD at the museum. 'South Downs Songs' reorded at Burpham Village Hall by singers who attended workshops run by folk trio Emily and the Hares for the South Downs Society.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Courses / Historic building conservation courses: new - 'Carpenter's trestle' workshop; 'Fire in historic buildings' day. Group of Japanese forestry students from Nihon University for three-day programme.
MSc programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation: new Building Conservation course leader: Eddie Booth; Ross Lovett awarded museum's Mitford Foulerton prize for an outstanding student.
Timber frames - products of timber framing from scratch courses sold to Moulsecoomb primary School Brighton, and Corfe Castle.
Traditional rural traded and craft courses: new courses and tutors
Conferences: 'Rise of the Arch' - collaboration with Lambs bricks; 'Medieval Roofs of Europe' - participants from Europe and all over UK
Walks and evening talks: great success and to be expanded
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Heritage Lottery Fund gives green light to The Gateway Project / Museum delighted to have received initial support from the HLF for
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Duke of Kent's visit / Duke of Kent visited in the spring and is seen here watching a schools workshop about construction of the Downland Gridshell using a model surrounded by the building itself. With the Duke are Schools Services Manager Lucy Hockley and Museum Chairman Paul Rigg
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013In Brief: Completely floored; Detective work; Museum's medicinal plants to be analysed / Completely Floored: reconstruction of Tindalls Cottage provided challenge - laying a beaten loam floor - recipe of two parts loam to one part kibbled chalk, with sharp sand and water, tamped to create 'polished' surface. Exercise led to similar at Poplar Cottage. Presenters of 'Tudor Monastery Farm' relayed floor as part of demonstration, with ash to provide additional bidning and instead of water, soured milk supplied by Lady Elizabeth Benson's farm.
Detective Work: ' Be A Museum Detective' - new fee booklet for children.
Museum's Medicinal Plants to be Analysed: Plants used historically as medicines to be selected from the museum's gardens by for analysis at the University of Surrey. Gathered by Museum Gardener Carlotta Holt and volunteer Alison Cottell, Senior Tutor in Microbiology at the university. Modern day assays will be performed in the university's bioscience and chemistry laboratories by students.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Tindalls Cottage begins a new life / 18th century Tindalls Cottage, rescued from the site of the Bewl Water reservoir near Ticehurst, East Sussex, in 1974, has opened to the public.
Official opening performed by David Martin, leading member of the team that dismantled it nearly 40 years ago. Research by museum's Historian, Danae Tankard, has briefed the way the museum will interpret the house, which will be set during the period of occupancy of the first John Tindall, who lived there 1748-1766. Author Gillian Tindall, distant relative, was guest at the opening. House has featured in one her books: "Footprints in Paris".
Replica furniture made by museum's former master craftsman, Roger champion. Outside, a representative section of the original 26-acre smallholding will feature hops and farm livestock.
Donors and supporters: Department of Culture, Media & Sport/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund, The Headley Trust, Friends of the Museum,the Leche Trust, The Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trus \\
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Sheep-shaped! / Sculpted, crocheted, embroidered, sheep-shaped, life-size evocation of the South Downs landscape - exciting new artwork. Crated by brighton-based textile artist Kate Jenkins as part of Arts Council England-funded project "Illuminating the South Downs'. SheepShape can be seen in the lobby of the hall from Crawley. Poplar Cottage featured.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Dinner doesn't get better than this / Friends of the Museum staged very successful fundraing dinner for 140 in Jerwood Gridshell Space in September in support of
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013The Plumbers Museum Trust Workshop / Example of craftsmanship of the leadworker has been installed in garden of Longport. Made by plumbers who demonstrate regularly in the Plumbers Museum based in Court Barn, it is a replica of a special lead planter made to mark HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 by Master Plumber Terry Fillary (correct spelling). Plumbers who work at the museum regularly, Phil Mead, Gordon Cooper, John Giles and Peter Cheesman, created replica in Court Barn. Plumbers Museum run by Plumbers Museum Trust, established by the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. NB: their library is also at the Museum, in the Reference Library in the hall from Crawley.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Lining out the Rafters: 1300 to 1900 AD, in the Weald & Downland / Summary of presentation on new research into roof geometry at 'Raising the Roof: A Thousand Years of Timber Roofs', Museum's 2012 conference.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Charcoal Burners' Camp embedded in museum's seasonal work / New charcoal burner's hut made by volunteer Sarah Ridley. Will be tarred over by Rural Interpreter Jon Roberts. To be dismantled Sept/Oct and rebuilt May. Traditional earth burn to run in May as part of charcoal burning course and for museum's own use. Second burn will be held at the end of the summer.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Interpreting Tindalls Cottage / Historic context and explanation of how Tindalls is being interpreted.
2013/10Magazine / Autumn 2013Work starts on textiles for Tindalls Cottage / Museum's Needlework Group starting work on male and female clothing and bedding for Tindalls Cottage. Historic Clothing Project information. More men volunteering to wear historic clothing - featured in 'Be a Museum Detective' booklet for children. Clothing for 'Tudor Monastery Farm' film. Specialist visitor groups and talks: Northbrook College, Oxford branch of Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers, Southern Counties Costume Society AGM. Work on loom continues. Weaving own fabric, with help of Val Conway from local branch of Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers.
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