Museum History
(3704 Records)

 Date   Origin   Summary 
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Heavy horses and working animals display their skills / Heavy horses gathered at the Museum in June to display their skills at the annual Heavy Horse and Working Animals event and again in October at the Autumn Countryside Celebration.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Leverhulme Writer in Residence / For much of this year the Museum has been hosting a writer-in-residence. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust award, Jane Borodale has been working on a group of fictional stories called "The Visitor", to be published next year. Intertwining historical evidence with imagination and conjecture, each story follows the thread of the life of an individual house from the Museum collection. Jane will be reading from her Museum stories when "The Visitor" is printed in the new year - tickets to be available shortly.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009News in brief / The Museum has been represented at several events in our region including Covers Builders' Merchants open day, Wests Wood show at East Dean, the Smallholders show at Ardingly, the Weed and Wildflower Festival at Bignor and and open day at the Building Crafts College. A highlight of the year was the event celebrating the Lottery-funded restoration of Hotham Park, Bognor Regis.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009People / Charlie Thwaites recalls a challenging season.

"As Volunteer Services Manager my job is to keep an overview of volunteering at the Museum, including welcoming new recruits, but I have also been set the challenge of forming new teams, and with the new friendships we have been able to achieve projects large and small. We have a new picnic area under the trees near Poplar Cottage and a new lime kiln and teaching area for lime slaking and brickwork. We have a resotred clay pit and the bell-frame enclosure moves closer to completion. A Wednesday team joined the famous Tuesday Gang and a hands-on Friday team has joined forces with volunteer Alan Wood to continue projects in the demonstration area. The Museum can also boast the formation of a wattle-and-daub team whose first project is starting shortly - and having spent a weekend scythe training I hope a scything team will soon follow".

"A warden's day is a patchwork of beautiful images, forward planning, friendly discussions, crises (averted) an \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Springline Project / The Museum again hosted the English Heritage-inspired springline project run in partnership with the Sustainability Centre at East Meon. Ten youngster aged between 13 and 15 spent a very busy hands-on day getting a taste of local building crafts. The aim is to encourage them to consider careers in the traditional crafts that have been an important element in their own local villages for centuries.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Friends' News / 2010 Spring Tour to Worcester and the West Midlands - 22-27 April: the itinerary will include accommodation at Fownes Hotel, lunch at Snowshill Manor, seeing Birmingham "back to backs", a visit to Cadbury World, lunch at Ragley Hall, the Black County Living Museum and a visit to Bowood for lunch and time to look round the house and grounds. For an application form please call Michael Piggott on 01730 813126.

Friends' Social Events 2009: in June the Friends visited Parham House, July saw us off to Knole House in Kent, September the visit was to the Brigith Museum and a visit to Milestones Museum in Basingstoke is planned for December.

Honorary Membership: At the Friends' AGM in May honorary membership was conferred on Bob Easson, who recently retired as the Museum's Visitor Services Manager.

Gift Aid: Any taxpayer can help by signing up for Gift Aid. If you have not already made the declation for Gift Aid, please consider it now.

Membership: for all membership queries please con \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Book Review: The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale / The novel is set in the mid 18th century. The central character, Agnes Trussel, is a member of a family living in Poplar Cottage and, although the scene soon changes to London, memories of the Sussex countryside form a constant refrain in the narrative. I found it beautifully written and extremely engaging - a highly recommended read, and the Museum can take pride in our association with it.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Collections Update / Recent Acquisitions: Set of grave markers found in an early 19th-century section of the churchyard at Shipley church; butcher's basket, about 90 years old, plus photographs of the original owner's shop in Hurstpierpoint which closed in 1917; agricultural worker's smock; and a brass measuring gauge, about which very little is known and further investigations are taking place.

Collections update: Wheelwrights' tools have been lent to a redisplay of a historic workshop at Mount Edgcumbe House near Plymouth. The loan period of three years has been agreed, after which the loan will be continued or the items returned; about 80 artefacts are loaned each year for Pulborough Harvest Festival and are displayed around the town in related shop windows; West Dean and Boxgrove schools - the Penny Farthing bicycle and child's tricycle to West Dean School for a few weeks and an old school seat and desk with lid and inkwell holder was lent to Boxgrove School, together with a working oil lamp; about \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Museum's 40th Anniversary - From the Chairman / The Museum was first opened in September 1970. Over the years it has been an eventful journey, and a great story to tell on the 40th Anniversary.

A number of working groups have been set up to tackle various projects such as plans for a book, a DVD, a weekend party full of public events, a fund-raising dinner and a conference (or two). It is hoped that the climax for the year might be a visit from a member of the Royal Family. Firstly, though, a commemorative 2010 calendar is now on sale.

Looking to the future, it is felt that the time is right to make a wider contribution to the community at large. Examples of this might be providing a gateway to the new South Downs National Park, broadening our work experience off to your people and providing something special for new citizens. These areas are all under discussion.

It looks as though 2010 will be another enjoyable and memorable year in the journey of this great Museum.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009New evidence of Pendean's history uncovered / Danae Tankard, the Museum's social historian, has recently uncovered new information about the inhabitants of Pendean Farmhouse. She discovered that Pendean and the adjoining farm of Hurstlands, both held by members of the Clare family, are depicted on a map of Cocking, Midhurst and Woolavington, made in 1632 or 1633.

Pendean - shown as a house and barn - is described as "Richard Clare's house and land". Hurstlands is described as "Henry Clare's house and land called Hurstland". Richard Clare bought the lease to Pendean in 1609 and was probably responsible for building the house that we have at the Museum. Henry was Richard's younger brother.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Gordon Rushmer's rural landscapes / The Museum is pleased once again to be the venue for an exhibition of works by local painter and war artist, Gordon Rushmer. Gordon will exhibit paintins of rural landcapes and other scenes in Crawley Hall from 11th to 16th May 2010. The works will be available for sale and Gordon will be on hand throughout the week to talk to visitors.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Obituaries - Martin (Tim) Heyman, John Veltom, John Herniman, Dr J Geraint Jenkins, J Kenneth Major and Ray Finucane / Tim Heyman, who served as a trustee and chaird the Friends for six years, died aged 83. His contribution to landscape matters at the museum was considerable, nourished by his love and knowledge of trees.

John Veltom, a West Sussex farmer, who was a trustee of the Museum from 1986 to 1993, has died aged 82. He brought a great deal of knowledge and experience of farming and farming history to Museum Trust meetings.

John Herniman died in May aged 75 after a short illness. For many years he led the Tuesday Gang, a group of volunteers who undertake a wide range of practical tasks around the Museum site. He was also a member of the Friends committee and a leading volunteer in the Lurgashall Mill team, where he was latterly involved in training new recruits. He undertook guided tours and ticket sales, and was involved in the care of artefacts in the Museum's collection.

Dr John Geraint \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Peer into the potting shed / Museum gardener, Carlotta Holt, has established a potting shed in the stables attached to the school from West Wittering. She is using it to dry herbs and seeds, display garden produce and store seeds for use. Tools are neatly hung on the walls and jars of ointments and oils are on display. The shed is not only useful but also utterly delightful! Visitors can peer inside, and we hope they will be able to do so every day in the season.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Working cattle training as a team / The Museum now has two pairs of Sussex X cows being trained as working cattle. Gwynne and Graceful are the older pair and Rose and ruby the youngsters - four and three-year olds respectively. Chris Baldwin, the Museum's farm manager, has been training them since they were calves and both pairs have now strated to learn the considerable skill of ploughing.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009The Beeding Tollhouse - an icon of 19th-century turnpikes / The first Turnpike Act was passed in 1663, following which Turnpike Trusts were established, empowered to finance Road improvement by issuing mortgate debt which allowed them to raise considerable sums of money. Income from tolls was to be applied to the payment of the interest on the money borrowed and ensure future road maintenance. Each turnpike act appointed a body of trustees to manage the trust. These were typically men of local importance, such as local landowners, justices of the peace and members of parliament.

In Sussex in the 1770s a large number of cross-county routes were begun. After 1800 a number of trans-Weald roads linking London to the resorts were added. Some of these involved the repair of existing highways or were short stretches of new Road inteneded to shorten routes or avoid steep gradients. The Beeding turnpike Road, established by act in 1807, fell into this category, providing an alternate route through the Adur gap \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Steam-powered sawing in the Museum's Woodlands / Visitors to the Steam Festival in august were treated to a display of steam-powered timber conversion in the Museum's working Woodyard. It was an inspiring sight for the public over the two-day event.

The job taking place was a real one. The heavy ash baulks being swing onto the saw bench belonged to the Museum which wanted to convert it into planks for use in building restoration and conservation. Using the Museum's restored hand-operated crane, built about 1900, the timber was swung into position on the bench. Great care and precision is taken to line up the timber and machinery before the engine's power is cranked up, the belt revolves and the giant circular saw slices effortlessly through the timber. The steam engine was provided by Michael Lugg, and the saw bench by Peter Mellersh. They were assisted by the Museum's woodsman, Jon Roberts. The team also produced oak cladding for Ockley Hay Barn and oak fencing for use at the stables.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Access Project - first funding secured / The Museum has received the first funding for one of the elements of the proposed Access Project -
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009Courses / Historic Building conservation: This continues to grow and the take up of courses has been very encouraging, showing that the quality vocational training is valued by companies and individuals.

Traditional rural trades and crafts courses: This has expanded again to include many new and exciting courses. Alongside existing favourites of coracle making, poultry husbandry and rope work we now offer leather carving, tile making, cane seating and rush-hat weaving. Practical courses include historical inks and how to make your own herbarium. Other courses include ageing through the ages, tapestry workshop and traditional Sussex songs.
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 2009News from the Schools Service / Transformational Learning conference: The Schools Services Department was delighted to host another teachers' conference in June - Transformational Learning - delivered by Primary Matters.The day consisted of inspirational speakers, interactive workshops and a tremendous drumming workshop by students from Thomas A'Becket and Buckingham Park Schools.

40 years of Museum school visits: As an integral part of the Museum's Ruby Anniversary celebrations the Schools Services Department will be creating a display featuring memories of school visits over the last 40 years. Please ask your friends and family for any memories of a school visit that could be used in the display (if possible with an indication of a date). Written memories, anecdotes and pictures from visits would all be welcome. The display will be opening in January 2010, so contributions need to be submitted by the end of November 2009.

Museum's Schools Services awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality B \\
2009/10Magazine / Autumn 20092009 - success in a difficult season / The 2009 season began in a period of economic gloom with major insitutions collapsing around the world. The Museum made the decision to postpone some proposed projects and looked very carefully at all our costs.

We had no indication as to how visitor numbers would be affected by the situation, but as the season unfolded we were able to maintain numbers and by the end of August we were 3% up on 2008. We were also achieving the budget that we had set before the collapse of the financial institutions around the world. There is no doubt that the dramatic devaluation of the Pound agains the Euro has encouraged people to holiday in the UK and there have also been more visitors from Europe to the Museum. Our event programme has proved very popular and the weather has been kind. So, at the end of the year, the Museum's finances will remain in a sound condition and be ready for the undoubted challenges of 2010.
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