Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007News in brief / On 15 July 2,000 women and their supportes converged on the museum for the second Cancer Research UK Race for Life. The race took place through the Museum site and west Dean estate and raised around
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007News in brief / The images of Bayleaf exhibtion took place in the summer was opened by Roger Champion, who as the Museum's master carpenter, had been intimately involved with Bayleaf Farmhouse from the beginning of its life as a Museum exhibit. Following an appeal in the Spring magazine submissions rolled in, from models of all kinds, paintings, rungs, engravings, crocheted wall hangings and photographs.
Local artist and tutor Gordon Rushmer curated the exhibition in the Downland Gridshell.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007People / Jo White and Vicki Guest joined the Interpretation team as Interpreters. They will interpret the Museum's domestic buildings often in period costume, as well supervising and managing the daily routine of the working Tudor kitchen. Jo came to the Museum with a Fine Arts degree and teacher training experience, and has a passion for history, interpretation and all things creative. Vicki graduated with a MA in Museum Studies after completing a degree in Archaeology and has a great deal of expereince working with living history groups.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Collections update - Tony White's collection / Tony White hwo had been long associated with the Museum, sadly died in 2007 and being aware this was going to happen, prepared his affairs meticulously and well in advance, to include the Museum in his thoughts. He had donated many items in the past and added eight sets of team or 'latten' bells, some harness which will be used by the Museum's heavy horses, and a strwberry van or waggon. This van is a small, sprung field farm vehicle used to transport the south-east Hampshire strawberry crop tp market or reialway stations and it will be on display in Redvins Yard.
Strawberry vans were often known as 'Hayter vans' as wheelwright and carpenter Willian Hayter of Porchester was principally responsible for their popularity. This example is a 12-bushel capacity van and was supplied to Mr H Smith of Waltham Chase around 1910 at the cost of 44 gold sovereigns. It was purchased with the proceeds of selling a fine litter of porkers! Tony purchased the van and it was \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Threshing train display for Ockley Hay Barn / During the summer Paul Pinnington and Ben Headon completed the conservation and restoration of the Museum's threshing machine following a successful application to the PRISM(Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material) fund. Research has shown that it was built in 1862 making it a very early surviving example of agricultural equipment. Its original wheels had long since been replaced by pneumatic tyres, so a new set of wheels of appropriate design was produced by Douglas Andrews of Heathfield in East Sussex, which has greatly improved the appearance of the machine. The second part of the threshing train is the contractors' living van, in which the threshing gang would have been based and kept their equipment. The final part is the elevator, of which the Museum is lucky to have two similar examples and one will be conserved to join the final display. The three elements of the threshing train will be desplayed and housed in the Ockley hay barn.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Landscape Conservation Management Plan under way / Following a competitive tendering process Nicholas Pearson Associates have been appointed as colnsultants to carry out research and prepare the plan. The purpose of the plan is to underpin the future management of the park by the edward James Foundation and the Museum and to guide the location and design of development proposals.
The aims are to 1) establish an understanding of the Park's development and assess its significance, 2) explore and discuss its vulnerabilities and the issues involved in its use, development and management, 3) Set a broad policy framwork for its future use and development, and 4) develop the broad policies into workable long-term strategies and actions. The plan should be ready in the spring of 2008 and the steering group includes the Edward James Foundation, the Museum, English Heritage, Chichester District Council, Singleton and west Dean parish councils, the South Downs Joint Committee and the Sussex Gardens Trust.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituaries Jim Oliver / Jim Oliver died on 19 May 2007 in his 90th year having been a great supporter of the Museum and was involved with its foundation in the late 1960s. It was in 1982 that he became a member of the Sites and Buildings Committee. He became a Trustee in 1986 and in 1987 took over the Chairmanship of the aforementioned committee, which held its last meeting in 1990. He retired from trusteeship in 1995 but remained as a Vice President.
Outside the museum he was a member of the Venacular Architecture Group and of the Wealden Buildings Study Group serving as Vice-President 1984-6 and President 1986-8. In 1983 he became Deputy President of the Hampshire Field Club and was deeply involved in studies of historic landscapes in Wessex.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007DCMS/Wolfson Fund supports new vehicle and implement gallery / The gallery store and display a number of vehicles that are currently stored away from the Museum site. Thanks to the DCF most of them them have been cleaned and photographed. The site for the new building will be a narrow strip of land running from Whittakers Cottages to the clump of trees to the east of Poplar Cottage. The building is a pole barn shelter with a monopitch roof which will be planted with sedum grass.
Two other buildings are also being erected to shelter and display horse drawn vehicles and agricultural equipment, one being a lean-to behind the Witley Joiners shop and the other, the Ockley Hay Barn which will house the newly restored threshing drum and hay elevator.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007People / Lucy Hockley was recruited in April 2007 to join Diana Rowsell and Rebecca Osborne in the adult courses team. Her first degree is history with german and she completed a post graduate course in Heritage Interpretation at Ironbridge (Birmingham University). The appointment will allow the course programme to be developend and expanded and this will include a second MSc via Bournemouth University. Lucy's post is funded by the Sargent Charitable Trust in addition to the financial support already received by the Mitford Foulerton Trust.
Karen Barrett, who been involved with the Museum for many years, and has formally rejoined the staff with the education team.
Lisa Pescott joined the Museum as the new administration assistant replacing Holly Elliott, undertaking general adminsitration, organising children's birthday parties and running trade stands with Sue O'Keeffe.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Hay barn to be re-erected this winter / The hay barn from Court Farm, Ockley in Surrey, having been in store since 1985, will be re-erected this winter at the top edge of Gonville field. Planning permission has been received, foundations dug and the timbers repaired and analysed. It will be used to store and display the recently restored threshing drum, dating from the 1860s, and our hay elevator, together with the 'Best' living van standing adjacent, thus showing the main components of a threshing train.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007News in brief / Carolyn Farley, the Museum's bee keeper, helped by Heather Clover, installed bees in three hives last season. The bees survived the winter and are thriving. Two more colonies have been added this summer. The bees are used as part of the practical courses on beekeeping.

The Company Presents returned to the Museum in August for "Will at the Weald", extracts from Shakespeare's history, comedy and tragedy plays. The cast included members from Regents Park Theatre and Guildford Shakespeare Company, the five directors led by Patrick Sandford, artistic director of the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

Many staff and volunteers have been able to attend short courses and conferences thanks to the Museum Friends. Courses include first aid, health and safety, fire safety and food hygiene, all necessary to the safe running of the Museum. The Museum has also been the venue for a two-day emergency planning and salvage training for museum personnel in the region. The Renaissance South East sharing Ski \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007MSc in Timber Building Conservation / April 2007 saw the graduation ceremony for the Museum's MSc graduates. Richard Fox, Chris Howe and David Wilkins, who also received the outstanding student ward from Mitford Foulerton Trust, all received their MSc degrees. Mike Fitzgerald received his in absentia and Ken Hume will receive his in November. John Cartright and Matthew Hopgood received their PGDips.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007British White bull wins at Persil-sponsored rare breeds show! / The annual Rare Breeds Show, now in its 22nd year, was sponsored by Persil as part of its "Dirt is Good" campaign. Magnificent rare breed cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were judged in the show rings, followed by classes for livestock handlers. Practical demonstrations included spinners, weavers, dyers and a range of country crafts.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Poplar Cottage - a wasteland cottage from Washington, West Sussex / Poplar is a building of a distinctive type, with two rooms on the ground floor, two rooms above and a smoke bay at the gable end and a hipped terminal at the opposite end. A smoke bay is an intermediate stage of development between the open hall and full chimneys. This cottage was a wasteland cottage, that is a landless or near landless cottage built either on a wayside verge or an an encroachment on common land. They became common throughout the Weald & Downland region during the period 1580 to 1650. Common land refers to non-arable and unenclosed parcels of land on a manor such as wastes, woods and pasture. It was owned by the manorial lord but tenants had the right to its natural products for food, fuel and materials, and pasture for animals. An Act was passed in 1589 against the erection of cottages on common land as it was recognised as a growing problem. Cases of illegal cottage building were dealt with by the manorial courts and t \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituaries / Lord Nathan became the Museum's President in October 1994 in succession to Sir James Waddell. He held this office until Dec 1996 when the Museum's restructuring combined the chairman and president into a single post, and he remained as a vice president until his death. (date of death not given)
He was also chairman of the Sussex Downs Conservation Board and past president of the Society of Sussex Downsmen. He was a member of the Court and Council of Sussex of Sussex University. In his prefessional life he was a prominent in the City and for many years was senior partner of solicitors herbert, Oppenheimer, Nathan and Vandyk.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Southwater Smith is put on the map / The Museum's forge, or blacksmith's shop, the Southwater Smithy, has been in regular use by practising blacksmiths for demonstrations for visitors and for the forging of iron items required in the restoration of the exhibit buildings and other projects around the site. The late Geoff Busbridge, who died in 2005, was keen to ensure its continued use. Volunteer blacksmith, robert Smith, suggested a "forge in", which took place last October. A number of blacksmiths bring their own hearths and tools, working together as a team to produce a piece representing the art of the smith. A totem pole was constructed and set up outside the smithy. Robert smith has also run a children's activity at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge, in July this year. This included making horse shoes with the children.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Dendrochronology and its use at the Museum / Dendrochronology, the dating of wooden objects by dating the trees from which they were created, uses the patterns of growth revealed by tree rings. Dendrochronologists have developed "master curves" of growth patterns covering thousands of years. The date of the last year the the tree was growing, the year it was felled, usually indicates the year the building was constructed. However, in many cases the outer rings are missing, either having been hewn off or decayed. Samples have to be taken for dendrochronologists to measure ring widths, and these have to be a cross-section of the tree. This is done by obtaining cores using a coring tool which leaves a small hole about half an inch in diameter. The cores are then mounted, sanded and polished to reveal the detail of the rings and sent to the dendrochronologist. A number of the Museum's buildings have been dated using dendrochronology including the Upper Hall from Crawley, the Hall from Boarhunt and the Barn fr \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Curriculum changes mean new opportunities for schools / The new academic year, thanks to changes in the curriculum, will be an exciting one. The changes include developing pupils' creativity and enabling them to see how their studies relate to the world beyond the classroom. The museum has many opportunities to deliver learning in this way. West Sussex launched this year's initiative "Creativity across the Curriculum" in September with 15 schools.

Earlier in the year the Museum hosted a "Teachers' Primary Citizenship Conference". Over 40 participants took part. A similar event is being planned for next June.

The "Year of Food and Farming" has begun and the Museum is working with three schools to give children the opportunity to learn about food, farming and the countryside, along with related environmental issues.

Ten young people from South Harting and East Meon were brought togetherfor a workshop as part of the Springline Project which gives them the opportunity to learn about the history and d \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Communities come together for Romani Roots / Local members of the Gypsy community, in association with the Museum,organised the third Gypsy festival, Romani Roots, in September. Featured was a large collection of traditional vans, music and racing of "Sulkie" traps, and a number of Gypsy support and information groups.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituary - David Russell / David Russell who died on 12 septmber 2007, was an architect with special knowledge of historic buildings, and a friend, supporter and trustee of the Museum since its inception. Born in 1922 he served as a polit in the RAF from 1940 until 1950. He spent a year studying archaeology before moving to architecture and his professional life of 50 years was spent at John Schwerdt and Partners, from 1956 until 2006. He met Museum founder Roy Armstrong in 1966, and in April 1968 became chariman of the Committee for Crafts and industries which supervised amongst other things, the development of the Museum. In 1988 he became a member of the Museum's Executive Board and remaied so until his death. He had a wide range of interests including old cars, sailing and skiing and dowsing, which he taught at the Museum. His greatest love was flying, which he was doing 2 days before he died. He photographed the Museum, a perilous operation which involved holding the joystick with one hand and hangin \\
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