Museum History
(3704 Records)

 Date   Origin   Summary 
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010A new trustee / The museum's new trustee, Sam Howes, was Chichester DistrictCouncil's director of planning from 1997-2001, when he became the authority's deputy chief executive. He has been involved with the museum's planning and development since 1988.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Major Harold / When the museum's Shire mare, Rosie, died, one of the museum's volunteer, Ann Wickenden,offered to donate another horse in memory of her father, Harold. He emigrated to Canada aged 19 in 1909 as a pioneer homesteader on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, applying for a quarter section (240 acres) of virgin prairie when it was government policy to give land away free if a proportion was broken and fenced within two years. He achieved this with the use of draught horses and oxen. Ann was fascinated by stories and felt the donation of a heavy horse to a museum where traditional methods are practiced would be an appropriate memorial to him.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Schools Ruby Garden Competition / The school services department ran a ruby Garden Competition as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, open to all primary and Special schools in West Sussex. Members of the education team visited the entries to see how gardens were used to support the school curriculum and to embrace and promote issues relating to the environment and sustainable development. All the gardens were a delight. First place was Birdham CE Primary school with Shoreham Beach Primary School and Eastbrook Primary School sharing second place.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Memories of school visits / As part of the museum's 40th anniversary celebrations the schools services department created a display featuring memories of school visits over the last 40 years.
2010/10Magazine / Autumn 2010Hop Harvest / The hops have been harvested from the new hop field site in Bayleaf by Chris Baldwin, the farm manager.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Museum's unique resources attract corporate events / The Museum provides a unique and interesting venue for a wide range of events, conferences and meetings, making use of its indoor and outdoor resources. One of our major banks in London sent 200 staff last year to sample countryside activities and 200 Guiders held a party in the Jerwood Gridshell space. The Museum has been used by a number of organisations for conferences and AGMs to which delegates came from all over the world. Professionals and volunteers from other museums came for focused visits and we hosted visitors from many countries. One family came for a huge family picnic. An auction of promises was held in October for Breast Cancer Care and more than
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009New partnerhip with the University of Chichester / Over the years the Museum has developed strong links with universities in the region, mainly Bournemouth and Reading. Our first KTP associate, historian Danae Tankard, opened up links to the History Department at the University of Chichester when she became a member of the department, teaching a module called "History, Heritage and Interpretation" for the first time this term. This led to meetings with the University's Vice Chancellor and to the Deputy Dean for Research and External Relations. It has been agreed that as part of our joint contribution to the Cultural Olympiad in 2012 the Museum and University would collaborate in organising a major global conference about open air museums. The timing is particularly appropriate as both open air museums and the Olympic movement both originated in the 1890s and share many of the same aspirations.

These are ambitious ideas and a global event requires a great deal of hard work and planning, so funding appli \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009New gallery will feature traditional building crafts / Ten years ago a polytunnel was erected behind the Market Square, in which Roger champion repaired the timbers of Poplar Cottage. This was an important step in opening up our work to visitors - dress rehearsal for bringing al our workshop facilities on site in the Downland Gridshell.

The polytunnel has had many uses since Poplar Cottage was re-erected in 1999. However, it was only to be a temporary structure and we intend to replace it with a permanent building. Last year a grant of 66% of the construction costs was awarded, and this year we will raise the balance of the cost and apply for planning permission. We hope to erect the new building in the summer.

It will be used primarily to house a completely revised version of the exhibition currently displayed in Hambrook Barn, showing the processes and products of traditional building crafts. Although very important, some of these displays are many years old. The new building will provide a marvel \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009The Access Project / The Museum is approaching an important anniversary - its 40th. The gates opened on 5th September 1970 and since then we have welcomed more than five million visitors. However, we now urgently need to improve our visitor facilities including car parks, ticketing facilities for special events and providing more indoor space for the caf
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Collections - Sussex wagon wheels / We reported in the Spring 2006 Magazine that Tony White of Yapton had given us a fine example of a Sussex wagon. Museum volunteer Adrian Locke carried out repainting and minor repairs to the upper bodywork, but the wheels were in a poor state, often the case with such wagons, and at various times theyhad been repaired with varying degrees of skill and success.

We identified it as a vehicle which could be used on site by the Museum's team of heavy horses and we are grateful to the Friends of the Museum for funding the construction of new wheels. Using the old wheels as templates and reusing the tyres and metal fittings, wheelwright Douglas Andrews produced a superb set of wheels which we collected in December 2008. They are now being painted in the same colours as the original set to matcht he wagon and prolong their working life.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Interpreting the Museum's farming exhibit / Five years ago the Museum created six field strips as the start of a process of bringing land adjacent to the Museum site into use as an exploration of historic farming, and now we have four additional small fields. The strips ar ein two groups of three, one group being cultivated under a rotation including a fallow, and the other including a clover or root break crop, while the four new fields are being brought into a 19th century four-course rotation.

One of the aims of the farming exhibit is to encourage the use of horses for farm work. The interpretation of a live farming exhibit is difficult, because by its nature it changes all the time. We have used static signage to help visitors undertand what they are seeing, but are now planning a different approach, a new horse-drawn rides vehicle will be used to transport people around the fields, with a trained volunteer guide explaining what they can see.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Whittaker's Cottages patchwork quilt / A patchwork quilt has been made for the children/s bed in the Museum's Victorian cottages. The fabrics and design were chosen to reflect the status of the occupants, fabrics likely to be available to them in 1890 and sewing techniques of the period. Designed and made last year by three members of the Museum's needlework group, the quilt will join the "log cabin" design patchwork quilt made by the group in 2007 for the double bed in the main bedroom in the cottage.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Timber Framing from Scratch
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Frank Gregory's mill heritage moves online / Frank William Gregory (1917-1998) was the Sussex authority on traditional mills, and a frequen visitor to the Museum as part of his life-long interest in wind and water mills. Now 'Frank Gregory Online' (FGOL) has been launched to enable the public to access his important records. He painstakingly sketched, photographed and made notes at each mill he visited. Over 65 years he built up an invaluable record of windmills and watermills, many of which have long since disappeared.

Frank's work was left to the Museum in 1998 and the Frank Gregory Online project ensures that his records can be accessed easily for the public. His books, which he also left to the Museum, are now fully catalogued and intergrated with the Museum's Armstrong Library.

On 17th September a Frank Gregory Symposium will include the first progress report on the results of this exciting project and will offer a first glimpse of some of the fascinating material in Frank's collection. To book \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Have you heard of 'glinters' / Museum Friend and Sussex Industrial Archaeological Society member, Norman Langridge, is seeking further information about 'glinters', a name given to vertical protective stones placed against the walls and corners of buildings at ground level to protect them from wagon and carriage wheel damage. This term is used to describe such stones around the Cross at Chichester and at King's Cross Station, London. Mr Langridge has discovered that the National Trust's architectural advisor, David Adshead, knows the stones as 'spur stones' and 'knocking posts'. 'Spur stone' and 'hunter stones' can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, the latter more often associated with preventing gun carriage wheels from damaging their surroundings. Mr Langridge hopes that readers of this magazine may know more about the stones and the use of the regional words to describe them. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the Museum office.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Museum's schools services in great demand / Workshops run by the Museum's Schools Service are in great demand by teachers, who say that, together with their own input to a visit, they can achieve up to a term's classroom work across the curriculum from one visit. Last year the Museum delivered more than 1,400 separate workshops with an average of 10 children on each, and a total of approximately 24,000 children visiting in school groups during the year.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Collections - 'Joseph Norkett' roof tile / Several e-mails have been received from readers who saw the item in Autumn 2008 Magazine about Joseph Norkett, whose death in 1841 was commemorated on the reverse of a tile in our collections. Joseph was born about 1775, married Fanny voller in 1827 at Pagham, and died of congestion of the lungs, aged 66, in Westhampnett. The informant on the death certificate was Thomas Norkett, probably his brother, who was born in Westhamnett in 1794 and was a Chichester-based brick maker. There were two brickfields close to Westhampnett where Joseph could have worked.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Collections - Tea dispenser? / The item, donated to the museum by Alan Menzies, is thought to be a dispenser for tea or tobacco - but could be something completely different! It was certainly used to measure out something in a shop and the manufacturer's plan shows that it was made by W M Still & sons, a company involved with both tobacco and foodstuffs.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Collections - Marshall's living van / The living van, reported in Autumn 2008 Magazine, the gift of Peter Tomkins and Ray Turbefield of Chalcroft Nurseries requires some significant work to return it to suitable condition for display, including a new set of wheels. All this work can be done at the Museum using our in-house skills.

The South downs Society (formerly the Society of Sussex Downsmen) has generously agreed to grant aid its repair and conservation. The living van will be displayed in the newly-rebuilt Ockley haybarn where it will complement our Marchall's threshing machine conserved in 2007.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Conservation Courses for the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership scheme / The Museum is taking part in the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership scheme, providing courses in conserving and renovating the distinctive tile-hung, weather-boarded and half-timbered houses of the area, as well as teaching the conservation of historic ironwork. The scheme aims to resurrect the once well-known Weald Forest Ridge name and celebrate the area's local distinctiveness. The partnership aims to enable people to access more easily and enjoy the area, learn about its heritage and take part in caring for its distinctive natural and built features.
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