Museum History
(3704 Records)

 Date   Origin   Summary 
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Gonville Cottage
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Forging links / The British Artist Blacksmith Association (BABA), whose members produced the iron waymarkers in the Museum
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Field strips and hops / In Autumn 2009 we established a new group of field strips in the paddock between Bayleaf and Pendean farmhouse. The original strips had become extremely hard to maintain because of the damage by rabbits, pheasants, deer and badgers, but in their new position they can be more easily protected, and more easily seen by visitors. They will be worked by the oxen, which now work as a team of four, using a medieval three-course rotation.
In place of the original strips we have established three small fields which will be planted in a rotation of grass and long-straw Triticale. Triticale is a wheat-rye cross that produces good thatching straw but being awned (i.e. with sharp spikes surrounding the ear) is resistant to badger and deer attack. This will ensure that we have a crop of wheat to thresh at the Autumn Countryside Show, and our thatcher, Chris Tomkins, has supplied the seed and will use the crop.
Farm Manager Chris Baldwin has also established a hop garden in the field in front o \\
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010From thresher to roof / At the Autumn Countryside Show visitors were treated to a demonstration of
thatching with the Museum
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Interpreting Hangleton cottage / Hangleton
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Celebrating the age of steam / The Museum
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010The Access Project options appraisal / In preparing for our 40th Anniversary celebrations I have been looking back over the minutes of the Museum
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Quilt Project / Effie Galletly (http://www.netherfield, a professional quilt maker and artist, will lead a special project this year to make a Museuminspired patchwork quilt. The quilt will be made at the Museum under Effie
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Ruby Anniversary Charity Ball
2010/3Magazine / Spring 2010Symposia, overseas study visits, breakfast tastings and dog shows! / The Museum has hosted a diverse mix of group and space hire bookings recently, including a Harness Club Show, a Pony Club Gymkhana and a Dog Show to raise funds for Singleton Playgroup. Crawley Hall has served as the venue for meetings of the Expedition Engineers, the Care Commission and a breakfast tasting meeting for bed and breakfast proprietors staged by Taste of Sussex. A highlight was the visit of 12 museum directors and Department of Culture personnel from Vietnam. Their study tour of the UK included a visit to the Museum to learn about our formal and informal lifelong learning strategies. The Frank Gregory Symposium in September brought together all the work completed on the archives he left to the Museum: SPAB Mills section members were among the many delegates. This Autumn we look forward to welcoming the Society for Folk Life Studies
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Building Crafts Gallery develops behind the Market Square / A new building, which will provide a new gallery and a vital multi-purpose space, has been constructed behind the market square on the site previously occupied by the white plastic polytunnel. Thanks to funding from DCMS/Wolfson Galleries Improvement Fund, the Foyle foundation and the Friends of the Museum, the museum has been able to erect a simple timber building which will provide over 100 square metres of interior space and about 40 metres length of wall space on which will be mounted an exhibition on traditional building crafts.

For school children the building will be a huge improvement over the polytunnel and out of school term the building will be used for workshops and demonstrations for family visitors. The roof structure of the building is exposed to view inside the building. Heating will be from an air-source heat pump and photo-voltaic panels mounted on the inside valley of the roof will generate power.

The completion of this \\
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Richard Harris Retires / At the end of this year the museum's director, Richard Harris, will retire, completing 35 years' service and dedication to the institution. His first task, in 1975, was surveying the timbers of the hall from Boarhunt which had recently been dismantled. Later that year he was appointed assistant to Roy Armstrong, and two years later research officer. In 1979, in succession to Roy, he was appointed research director.

Richard was very active in the teaching of building conservation, especially of timber buildings which was the foundation of the museum's adult education programme and, in particular, its delivery of an MSc, validated by Bournemouth University.

After the death of Chris Zeuner in 2001 Richard became museum director. He managed the completion of the Downland Gridshell building and leaves behind a comprehensive plan for the future development of exhibits and visitor facilities.

Richard has been appointed a visiting professor at the University of Chichester and wil \\
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010From the Chairman / The appointment process for a new Museum Director has now only taken place three times the Museum's history. In the latest search over 60 applications were received, and seven of these were selected for interview. The interviews were held of two days - a challenging process but for such an important job, not unjustifiably so.

Richard Harris, the current direct since 2001, has been associated with the museum since 1975. Under his directorship the museum has gone from strength to strength. Richard will continue to meet his teaching commitments, alongside his new position as a visiting professor at the University of chichester. He will also act as consultant or specialist adviser available to the new director on a range of topics as required
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010The Museum's 2010 Christmas Card / This year the Museum's Christmas card features a Southdown sheep with Poplar Cottage in the background. The photo was taken by Charlie Thwaites, the Visitor Services Manager. The cards are available in packs of 10 at
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Furnishing Projects at the Museum / The last issue of the magazine included a short article about the Hangleton interpretation project. This is now largely complete and Lesley Parker has been preparing and cooking food there. Improvements have also been made in Boarhunt medieval hall. These include a new floor and hearth, which were early in 2009 and Roger Champion has made a replica table and two chests.

Two bedsteads have appeared in Poplar Cottage, both made by Roger Champion, on is a "ladder" bed, based on an illustration in a 15th-century French manuscript and the scond bed is a "boarded" bed in which the boards are nailed rather than joined. The aim is to have the bedding in place by next spring or early summer. The ladder bed will have a "mattress" of bound sheaves, the boarded bed will have one of plaited straw. Both beds will have flock or feather "beds", linen or canvas sheeting and woollen blankets.

Additional furniture will be provided for Poplar Cottage over the coming year.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Ockley Hay Barn completed / The re-erection of the Ockley Hay barn (1805) is now complete and the building houses part of a threshing train (which usually consisted of steam traction engine, threshing drum, elevator and living van). In particular it has given a home to the museum's 1862 Marshalls of Gainsborough threshing drum, now resotred, and one of the oldest working threshing machines in the country. Originally the building would have been used to store hay for winter fodder.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Rare Breeds Show celebrates 25th anniversary / One of the museum's most popular events, the Rare Bread Show, celebratated its 25th anniversary this year, with another vibrant gathering of farm animals from all over the south east. The museum is grateful to John Bushrod, volunteer organiser of the event for a number of years.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Up Weald and Down Land / Between 29th July and 12th August over 3,000 people came to the museum to see an outdoor play. The play was "The Firework Maker's Daughter" by Philip Pullman.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Investigating a "tin tabby" / In February 1909 the inaugural service was held in St Margaret's Mission Church, South Wonston, and the last service was held in September 1996, as a new church had been built elsewhere in the village. The museum dismantled the building in 2006 and it is expected to be open again in Spring 2011, this time as a museum exhibit.

The church was purchased as a prefabricated kit, and in dismantling it gave an ideal opportunity to find out how such kits were made and distributed. As far as is known this is the first time such an investigation has been made for a "tin tabby".

When re-erected at the museum the church will be furnished as far as possible as it was originally. South Wonston PCC has kindly offered to give us such original items as have survived, and Carol Brinson has been investigating sources of suitable furnishing to complete the picture.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Training our gifted communicators / Training is not currently a requirement for volunteers, except in specialised areas such as the stables or the mill, but the museum has established a much-enlarged training programme covering a wide range of topics in up to 50 sessions a year. Each training session is led by the appropriate members of staff. The sessions are advertised in the museum newsletter which is distributed to staff and volunteers, and details are available from the museum office.
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