Museum History
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 Date   Origin   Summary 
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Report on Landscaping of the Museum - final paragraphs / Regarding compartment 3, Mr Harris felt it was important to plant some trees behind sites reserved south of the market square for buildings, since the curtilages of these buildings would be in full view. It was suggested these curtilages should include walnut, thorn apple, etc. to soften the visual image of the backs of the buildings. AGREED Mr Warren and Mr Zeuner would present a draft master plan at the next meeting to be discussed by the Committee, and that the plan would be drawn up after consultation with various individuals.
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978The Platt / Mr West had written to explain that the situation regarding The Platt remained unchanged. The Committee AGREED the removal of would not jeopardize the planning situation, and resolved to contact the Surrey Vernacular Architecture Group drawing attention to the building's fate.
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Netherhale / It was reported that Thanet District Council had taken the matter to the High Court and their case was upheld on two points of fact. Mr Zeuner said this did not alter the fate of the building. The owners, Corpus Christi, had indicated they would probably call for another inquiry. The building would undoubtedly deteriorate in the meantime.
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Croydon building / Mr West had written to say a local group had been formed to restore the buildings. The Committee AGREED the Museum's interest in it could therefore cease.
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Crawley Hall / Outstanding details relating to Crawley Hall could not be considered because of the absence of Mr Warren through illness. Mr Zeuner explained work had started on the roof and a firm was due to begin laying the Horsham stone at the end of the month at a cost of about
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Report on Landscaping of the Museum - Compartment 2 / It was explained West Dean Estate may plant a thicker road-side area in the field adjoining the Museum, providing a row of trees varying in height. Mr Zeuner said the aim was to plant an understorey of holly and yew thickening the screen which was important from a safety point of view. Mr Heymann drew attention to the importance of seeing the Museum landscaping plan and the estate plan together, rather than in isolation. Mr Zeuner explained some planting around the lake area had been done so as not to miss the autumn planting season. AGREED to leave out the field maple near the windpump. (continued in next records)
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Report on Landscaping of the Museum / Mr Zeuner said he would like the Committee to consider the report on the condition of the woodland, discuss suggestions for replanting and then consider in depth the revision of the Master Plan. Compartment 1: Gen. Hawes said the trees which needed felling in the car park area would not be greatly missed since shrubs and low undergrowth were what was needed to provide adequate screen. Mr Russell pointed out large trees would not survive since the laying of the car parks had interfered with their root system and the water table. Mr Zeuner said the aim was to screen the car parks from the Museum and thicken the belt of new planting west of the main road down from the car parks. Mr McDowall explained there was a suggestion to move the main site road partly to avoid the problems of non-paying visitors. The road would run from below Hambrook Barn through the village, the present road returning to grass. The road would be less conspicuous and quite adequate for servicing. \\
1978/1SBC Minutes / 15 January 1978Court Barn / Mr Russell reported a meeting on site with the present and retiring masters of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers to discuss the project. The Company expressed its desire for more space in the barn to establish their exhibition. Mr Zeuner felt the Company should be encouraged to present their theme and text and questions of space should arise later. It was important to encourage a first-class exhibition. The Company had expressed high hopes of gaining support for their exhibition and expected to be able to cover a wide range of aspects relating to lead working. Mr Russell had prepared drawings to submit with a planning application and building regulations drawings would be ready in the following week. Because of the soft ground in the area of the chosen site trial holes would be dug to discover whether a reinforced raft was necessary. He said Mr Harris' drawings of Court Barn and been "most explicit".
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Timber display / Maj. Gen. Hawes reminded members of the timber once on display at the Museum showing the wood in rough and polished condition and asked if this might again be out on show since it attracted the attention of many visitors.
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Boarhunt / Mr Warren reported: A suitable cruck was still awaited and a search was being made on several estates. Alderman Farmer had suggested the Museum should look on his land and Mrs Hallam suggested approaching the owners of the 'Mens' and 'Cut' woodlands. Mr Zeuner reported that earthworks in preparation for Boarhunt would begin in the next week.
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Proposals for Future Building Programme / Mr Zeuner explained that the financial situation of the Museum was less healthy than at this time last year. Activities in celebration of Silver Jubilee Year and bad weather had contributed to poor attendance. The general financial situation also meant that fund raising was more difficult, with firms and trusts who do agree to help distributing smaller amounts. Mr Zeuner felt the Museum should not embark on several major projects at once, as soon as Crawley, the Mill and Lavant were completed. A priority for the near future was the Museum's agreement to provide a building suitable for an exhibition of traditional leadwork. The Worshipful Company of Plumbers were eager to establish such an exhibition at the Museum and had first made the suggestion two years ago. Mr Zeuner suggested Court Barn would be suitable for this purpose, combined with an exhibition on timber conversion. The Worshipful Company would finance the exhibition and had support from the industry i \\
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Court Barn / The Committee heard the background to the dismantling of Court Barn at Lee-on-Solent and regretted that there had been no possibility of saving it on its own site. They also regretted the circumstances which led to the dismantling. The barn, which is in good condition, is in store.
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Crawley Hall / Mr Warren reported that he and Mr Zeuner were not entirely satisfied with the carrying out of detailed work on the site, and added that a clerk of works post would be helpful. The only visual change suggested in the conversion work of the Crawley Hall was on the east gable where Mr Warren was suggesting tile hanging to soften the impact of the wall facing the entrance.
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Croydon building / Mr West was hoping to get permission to enter the building and record it, now that building consent for demolition had been granted.
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977North Cray House / Mr Warren said a number of members would visit the store where the timbers of the jettied hall house were stacked to check its condition. It had been offered to the Museum and, if it was in an acceptable state, it was felt the Museum would accept it. Mr Warren explained the building had been dismantled to make way for a road widening scheme in Bromley. Possible damage may have resulted from flooding in the store two years ago, although the timbers had been re-stacked. The building was to have been re-erected by the local authority, but after a change of heart, it was offered to the Museum. The building had been comprehensively recorded and had been in good condition when dismantled. A corner building, it had been an arch braced frame rather than a down braced frame and a long triple tenon joint in one of the wall plates which was quite unusual. It was felt the section which had been replaced with brick could be re-erected in timber framing since there was sufficient evidence to posit \\
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977The Platt / Mr West reported he was awaiting confirmation in writing from Mr Atkins, Mr Elliot's son-in-law, that the Museum could remove the building providing permission was granted for two houses on the land.
1977/7SBC Minutes / 3 July 1977Lavant House / Mr Warren reported: building regulation approval would soon be sought. Estimate for heating both Lavant and Crawley had been received but the amount was higher than Mr Warren had hoped -
1977/4Members' Magazine No. 9 / Spring 1977The beginning / A 3-page article by Roy Armstrong. He was upset by the refusal of the builders of Crawley new town to respect the older buildings, and in 1965 formed a committee to promote an open air museum for the Weald. R. T. Mason was involved. Sites near Brighton were supported by Lord Cohen, but later the Edward James Foundation was approached. Mr Jermy, the agent at West Dean, was sympathetic, and Edward James cabled agreement from America
1977/4Members' Magazine No.9 / Spring 1977Museum Accounts / Income
1977/4Members' Magazine No.9 / Spring 1977Director's Notes
(Last Autumn & Summer School 1977) / Chris Zeuner reports on his attendance at a conference in Stockholm concerning open air museums. The Idlewilde Trust gave him a grant for the visit. In 1978 the Association will hold its conference in UK, including a visit to the Museum.
In August a summer school will be staged every Wednesday from 1330 to 1600 at the Museum. Children of all ages for 20p each. Adult help needed. Contact Heather Jackson (later Heather Champion) (Information Officer).
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