Museum History
(3704 Records)

 Date   Origin   Summary 
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009"And That Will Never Be
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Collections update - shepherd's hut loan / From time to time we are able to help other organisations by lending items from our collections, but a request from Naomi Day at Bosham Primary School was for a larger opject than usual - a shepherd's hut. It was to be the focus of a themed week based on peter collington's book 'A Small Miracle'. We agreed to lend a shepherd's hut that was robust enough to move and found that it would fit onto our trailer - but only just! The journey to and from Bosham was extremely slow! However, we delivered the hut safely to a small area of lawn in front of the school.

It was a magical opportunity for the children to sketch, investigate, discover and take part in role play throughout the week. The children's faces as they knocked on the door to have it answered by the lady from the story were delightful. They were able to spend a few moments experiencing the hardship she faced whilst having an insight into the simple things she valued in life. The week culminated with a cel \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Collections update - Wheat samples / Tony White of Yapton was a long-standing friend of the Museum. Since his death in 2007 his widow, June, has continued to donate items from his collection. One of these is a beautifully-framed display of 19th-century wheat saples grown in the Brighton area. There are four different varieties: Original Red, Victoria Wheat, Hunters Wheat and Golden Drop Red Wheat, with a sample for each year from about 1860 to the 1890s. It is an extremely valuable record of cereal growing in our area.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Rediscovered herbal secrets from the past / My interest in herbs began with research into daily life in the 17th century for historical novel I planned to write. The research revealed such an importance for herbs that it became a fa scination and my passion for herbs began. I was soon growing them and experimenting with a wide variety of historical recipes.

I soon began writing on herbs, lecturing and taking workshops and now teach at a number of museums and historical sites. The workshops have led to enjoyable challenges, for instance on the 15th century cookery days we have begun with recipes giving ingredients, but now amounts. With a little guidance on the use of strong seasonings, some delicious dishes have resulted. As a medical herbalist I find historical medical recipes both fascinating and informative. My mission is to rescue recipes that may have been abandoned without good reason and I have found some which are proving effective today.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Learning to love weeds / My first day was memorable - torrential rain all day. So much for Bob Holman showing me round all six period gardens. Initially I came as an "interim gardner" through an agency, while a decision was made about Bob Holman's replacement when he retired after 20 years as Museum Gardner. After four months I realised how much I enjoyed the role of Museum Gardner, so when I was lucky enough to be offered a permanent position I jumped at the opportunity and haven't looked back since.

I soon learnt that 'historical gardening' was quite different to 'modern gardening'. I have spent most of my gardening career digging up 'weeds', only to discover that I now had to specifically grow 'edible weeds', such as fat hen, chickweed, dandelion and sowthistle, between the sown crops.

As part of my training I have attended several courses and Christina Stapley, medical herbalist, has been a great help. As well as herbs being used medicinally and for culinary purposes, I found that fruiting herbs \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Apples old and new / Twenty years ago the Museum planted an orchard by Bayleaf farmstead using old varieties of apples, but the names of the varieties have since been lost. Last autumn we sent 16 appleas to RHS at wisley and were thrilled that Jim Arbury, from their Fruit Department, managed to identify most of them. Among the varieties is Court Pendu Plat, which Him says is "of uncertain origin, but one of the oldest apples in existence. This apple was quoted as 'an old variety' even in the 16th century." This information will be shared with visitors through identification signs.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Museum Friends' vital contribution / The Friends of the Museum make a significant financial contribution to the Museum's day-to-day operation and a variety of projects and activities. Last year's grant was
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Coppicing / Coppicing is a traditional method of managaing woodland where young tree stems are cut at their base to form a stool; new shoots then emerge which can be harvested after a period of years. The Museum has coppiced sections of woodland since the 1970s, the larger-sized end product being use for fencing and charcoal and the smaller material being used for spar making or fires.

Many species of tree can be coppiced, but the most common are sweet chestnut, hazel, ash, birch and willow. Our coppice is mostly hazel, ash and sycamore and is divided into seven areas or cants. One cant is cut each winter, thus providing harvested material seven years old.

Some pollards of hornbeam are in the coppice area. In pollarding, branches are removed a few meters above ground and the resulting regrowth is safe from rabbits and deer.

Great emphasis is placed on working the coppice with appropriate hand tools such as axes and billhooks, and making use of every last piece of material. The brushwood is gather \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Planning the Museum's woodland management / The Museum is drawing up a new woodland management plan, covering all the regular tasks involved in caring for our wooded areas and extracting their products.

The woodland on and adjacent to the museum site was originally planted about 1840, but the majority was in poor condition and cleared in the 1970s, so the oldest of the existing trees are only about 40 years old. The woods and individual trees are managed by West Dean Estate, which is responsible for thinning, trimming and felling. The Museum manages the coppice, the work being carried out by Jon Roberts with help from volunteers and staff.

The management plan will include an explanation of the annual cycle of work and the end uses of materials. A research is being carried out on the length of time it takes to cut and process wood for use as firewood, fencing, shelter building or charcoal making. Our requirements need to be planne dup to a year in advance in order to have the appropriate materials ga \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Discovering the Past / Plenty of opportunities are available for children to get involved with the Museum, whether in a special visit with his school or during the holidays when the Museum runs activities during half terms and Wonderful Wednesdays throughout the summer. These offer children chances for children of all ages to get directly involved with some of the skills and activities our rural forebears were familiar with. Children can also take part in an early music workshop.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Obituaries - Rosie / Rosie, one of the Museum's working horses, who gave so much pleasure to thousands of visitors at the Museum, has died at the age of 24.

For many years she was part of the foursome of working heavy horses at the museum who were used regularly to demonstrate agricultural taks and carry out jobs of all sorts around the site. She undertook logging and field tasks happily, but never really took to shafts, and frequently demonstrated her preference for calm grazing in the paddock.

Rosie was bred in 1984 by J Russell and Son, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. She was purchased from Angela and richard Gifford's West Country farm and she was ideal for the museum's needs. She stood at just over 17hh, not too large, and demonstrated the type of farm horse that was found on so many holdings in the horse era.

Rosie really shone, especially as she got older, when present at the stables where she was quietly happy for the public to get up close and personal. Many hundreds of children admir \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009The Lavant Building, old photographs and new research / Demolition had already begun on Lavant in 1975 when a local stonemason intervened and the bricks were salvaged to reconstruct it as an exhibit. The stonemason, Ken Child, recently presented us with his file of notes and photographs of the building. One photograph in particular stood out, showing the doorway on what is now the east side the building. As far as is known, no other photograph of this feature was taken, or has survived. It shows detail of the doorway and the plaster surround which is now believed to be an original feature of the building. Photos of the other doorway show an identical area of plaster.

New evidence has been discovered confirming the dating of the building to the early 17th century. The court book for the Manor of Raughmere or Mid Lavant records that in 1614 Mary May, the lady of the manor, granted a "newly built tenement" and an acre of land "once Gunnells" to her daughter, Mary May. As John Gunnell surrendered a parcel \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Obituaries / We are sad to report the deaths of four volunteers who dedicated so much time and energy to the project over many years.

Ethel Buvyer, Joan Brooks and Doris Nash were among the earliest volunteers at the museum. Ethel, 88, one of the very first, helped clear vegetation prior to the re-erection of buildings, and worked in the garden at Bayleaf, the shop, ticket sales, car parking and guided tours as well as giving illustrated talks to outside organisations. For many years she was a member of the Friends Committee. Joan, 94, was another of the earliest volunteers who undertook duties in the shop, ticket office, car parks, on guided tours and as a building steward, and was also a Friends' committee member. Both were made life members of the Friends. Doris, 95, volunteered with her husband, Ted, and both gave many years' service.

Colin Marsh was a volunteer miller for several years and represented the Museum at the Corn Millers Guild meetings. Colin's wife, Irene, is a volunteer in the Wind \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009People - Bob Easson retires / Bob Easson retires this month after 11 years working as Visitor Services Manager at the Museum.

Bob joined the royal Navy aged 15 in 1957 as a Junior Seaman and rose through the ranks to command one of the Navy's largest warships, HMS Intrepid, having been Boatswain on the Royal Yach along the way. He was Captain of the Royal Navy rugby team and clocked up 23 years of playing and administration, including being chairman of selectors. In 1986 he was elected Armes Forces Man of the Year for organising the shoreside evacuation of British and Foreign Nationals during the civil war in South Yemen, and in 1987 was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Two of his three referees were Rear Admirals.

In 1998 Bob was offered the job of Visitor Services Manager. A key part of the job is to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the public are received at the Museum in the best possible way so that their visit is a memorable one. He is supported by a team of volu \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Re-erection of Tindalls Cottage / Tindalls Cottage will be the next major building project for the Museum. A detailed examination of the timbers has begun enabling a schedule of repairs to be prepared. It was dismantled in 1974 and the site is now under the a revservoir.

The Museum has planning permission for a site for the building just below the woodland due south of Gonville Drive, where it will be easy to compare it with nearby Poplar Cottage as its predecessor and Gonville Cottage as its successor - three rual cottages from comparable social strata.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Tindall's Cottage / Tindall's Cottage, fro Ticehurst, East Sussex, has been dated to the period 1675 to 1725. It is similar in structure to Poplar Cottage. It had two rooms within the main range downstairs - only one with a fireplace - together with two service rooms within an outshut at the back. There were two rooms on the first floor, one with a fireplace. A staircase gave access to a further room or garret above the first floor.

The occupants of Tindalls Cottage have been identified through Land Tax returns from 1692 onwards. Sarah Haselden, the widow of John Haselden, lived in the cottage from at least 1692 until her death in 1721. John Tindall I and his family were living in the cottage from 1748 and John Tindall II and his family from 1780. No wills or probate inventories survive for any of the cottage's occupants.

Tindalls Cottage was part of a smallholding of 26 acres and the occupants were typical of early modern husbandmen: economically independent, farming their own land and producing a \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Tindall's cottage - a husbandman's cottage from Ticehurst, East Sussex / Tindall's Cottage is a timber-framed building which has been dated on stylistic grounds to the period 1675-1725. Its name derives from the surname of the occupants from 1748 to 1806. It is of the same general type structurally as Poplar Cottage with a gable-end chiney with a hipped terminal at the opposite end. In plan, Tindalls had two rooms within the main range downstairs - only one with a fireplace - together with two service rooms located within an outshut at the back. There were two rooms on the first floor, one with a fireplace. A staircase, to the north of the terminal chimney, gave access to a further room or garret above the first floor. Almost all the timber in the cottage had been re-used from and earlier structure. Tindalls was dismantled and moved to the Museum's store in 1974, and a fully study of its timbers will shortly take place prior to re-erection.

The re-erection of the cottage is to be the next major buildin \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009LEADing the way forward / Nigel Johnston is the Training Centre Manager for the Lead Sheet Association, responsible for delivery, development and assesment of leadwork and plumbing courses. The courses in leadwork extend beyond the development of hands-on skills training as the nature of the product, its malleability and reaction to temperature changes in exposed conditions demands awareness of design theory. Nigel always looks forward to visits and meeting new delegates and feels very privileged to be associated with the Museum and the working partnership.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Crowds flock to Museum's Rare Breeds show / Highland cattle took part for the first time in the annual Rare Breeds Show in July. The traditional rare breed sheep, cattle, goats and pigs were judged throughout the day in a series of rings. Other highlights are the classes for young handlers and practical demonstrations of rural crafts, especially thos concerned with wool - spinning, weaving and dying.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009South Downs National Park announced at Museum / The Museum hosted the Government announcement of the decision to go ahead with a South Downs National Park earlier this year. Environment secretary Hilary Benn visited the Museum at the end of March for the statement. The Museum is situated within the national park area and hopes to be seen as a "gateway" to the newly-protected region. The national park is expected to be formally established in April 2010 and fully operational the following year.
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