Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007Betty Rush / Together with her late husband, Bernard, Betty was a dedicated volunteer for over 20 years. They worked hard particularly in visitor reception and the sale of horse shoes. Bernard, who was treasurer of the Friends of the Museum for six years, was still a volunteer at the age of 91 passing away seven years ago. Betty died in in January at her Chichester home at the age of 92.
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007Walking West Sussex Festival comes to Singleton / The Museum will host the fifth Walking West Sussex Festival, run by west Sussex County Council from 10-14 October 2007. The Festival will include a selection of 20 guided walks covering distances of 2 - 12 miles, and the Museum will provide opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside and find out how our rural ancestors lived.
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007Lanterns and a dragon fire up the Autumn / During the half term leading up to the Fire Event in October 2006, local artist, Rosie Morgan led workshops to make lanterns for the grand procession at the Event. A wonderful dragon was also created to sit on top of the bon fire which was lit by flaming arrows fired by archers.
A 'forge-in' was held by the British Artisit Blacksmith' Association, there was a display of vintage and modern fire engines, including the horse-drawn steam fire engine owned by John and Rowena McDermott, and lime and charcoal burns in the woods.
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007How you can help / Join the Friends
Become a volunteer
Leave a legacy
Provide an introduction to a sponsor or grant-giving body
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007It's July, so it must be the Rare Breeds Show! / Still the biggest event of the year, more than 500 cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry take part in this agricultural show for rare and traditional breeds.
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007Learning about buildings and rural crafts through the Museum's extensive courses programme. / Historic building conservation, Traditional rural trades and cratfs, Birds of prey experience, Wildlife and the law, At home with the ancestors, Courses for museum professionals.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Images of Bayleaf / A special event will take place between 31 July and 12 August in the Downland Gridshell to celebrate Bayleaf Farmhouse, one the Museum's most popular exhibits. Gordon Rushmer, local artist and museum course tutor, is curating the exhibition which will feature a wide range of media.
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007Keeping evil at bay / The Museum has discovered a number of shoes and other items deliberately concealed in roof spaces or voids when dismantling or restoring historic buildings. Our collection has been visited by Dinah Eastop and Charlotte Dew of the Arts and Humanities Research Board Research Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies at the Universtity of Southampton in Winchester. They are currently leading a project to locate, document and research garments and associated objects found concealed in buildings.
Many reasons are given for concealmenst: one motive seems to have been for protection against perceived malevolent forces such as witchcraft, especially in the 17th century. Concealed garments are often found in caches, and may include, in addition to shoes and other garments, bottles, metal tools, fabric and leather scraps, toys, printed paper, coins, seeds and other organis matter, animal bones and pipes.Caches were commonly located at the entry/exit points of a building, such as fi \\
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Farm Management at the Museum / A new post of Farm Manager was created at the Museum and Chris Baldwin was appointed. Following the departure of Lee Harrison as horseman, a replacement is being sought. Chris is well known for his work with the working cattle, field strip system and market garden. He originally came to work in the Woodland Craft Centre.
Chris will be working with Museum Director Richard Harris and consultants over the next few months to establish a new basis for Museum policy relating to our displays of historic farming. In the immediate future four small fields will be established where Victorian farming methods of four crop rotation will be explored.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Filming agricultural machinery in action / The Collections Film Project funded by the Designation Challenge Fund (DCF) has been running since September 2006, when three recently graduated students from Portsmouth University formed the Museum's video team. Their remit is to capture footage of horse-drawn agricultural machinery as well as other museum activities. To date we have a nearly complete fim about ploughing, footage of seed drilling and the horse gin in action.
Our funding application was made jointly with the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading, who are running a parallel project to film and record traditional rural crafts. MERL may use an outside company to produce their films and we hope our team will produce at least one film for them in the spring of 2007, which will most likely record the work of the wheelright.
2007/3Magazine / Spring 2007Events Diary 2007 /
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Wooden scaffolding for Cowfold Barn re-thatching / Being so used to seeing steel scaffolding it comes as a surprize that wooden scaffolding was used as late as the 1930s. Peter Betsworth , who works at the Museum, can remember wetting the scaffold ropes in his first days in the buidling trade - they should not be allowed to dry out! In the early 1980s the late Geoff Kent erected wooden scaffolding as a demonstration. Cowfold Barn having its thatch replaced through the winter of 2006/2007 was an ideal opportunity to provide wooden scaffolding for Thatcher Chris Tomkins to use. Charlie Tyrrell, a stonemason and member of the international Guild of Knot Tyers agreed to erect the scaffolding, having learnt the technique from his father. Larch poles measuring 6in in diametre at the butt were sourced from Abingdon, Bershire and 1150 metres of rope made from manilla were used.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Landscape Conservation Plan will examine visitor centre site / Following the planning meeting on 15 November 2006, at which our outline planning application for the new visitor centre was discussed, it was decided that because it contravened established planning policies it should be referred to the Council's Planning Applications referral Committee (PARC). The proposed meeting date was 20 Dec, the benefit of the meeting being that PARC considers the application afresh with whatever new information the applicant wishes to submit. The Museum argued successfully that the timescale was too short and it was agreed that the meeting could be arranged when we were ready.
A further complication arose because Englsih Heritage, as statutory consultees on planning applications within registered historic parks, (of which west Dean is one) were not consulted until after the 15 Nov meeting. Subsequent discussion convinced us that the best course of action was to join forces with the Edward James Foundation to commis \\
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Celebrating Romani lifestyle / The Museum's beautiful downland setting makes an appropriate backdrop to this colourful celebration of Gypsy culture and displays, demonstrations, music and information about the traditional Romani way of life.
Romani Roots - 15/16 September 2007
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Collections update / Domestic range from Peter Carter from Bognor Regis which will go on loan to Worthing Museum. They will return the current loan range they have, which will replace the range in Whittakers Cottages.
Plough - from the Museum of English Rural Life, which was a duplication within their collections. It is wooden bodied, probably from the mid 19 century.
Flour cleaner donated by Mrs Toomey of Waldron, it is labelled as 'Gardner's Patent Rapid Sifter and Mixer' and we believe it is used for cleaning flour.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Timber yard develops / To join the restored and re-erected timber crane in the Timber yard, a saw pit has been added. A bay of the workshop opposite the wood yard was used to restore the heavily-used boat wagon and in May 2007 the cattle shed from Coldwaltham, which currently houses an exhibition of the landscape, will be moved to the yard to house tools, equipment and demonstrations.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Bayleaf - a Wealden all house from Chiddingstone, Kent / Bayleaf, perhaps the most iconic building to be re-erected at the Museum, is a timber-framed Wealden hall house from Chiddingstone in Kent, and has 6 rooms, 4 on the ground floor and 2 upstairs. Built in 2 phases, the earliest part has been dendro-dated to 1405-1430 and this consisted of an open hall and service end. This was probably attached to an earlier structure, which stood where the solar or upper end bay now stands. It is believed that the upper end bay that gave the building its present form was added in the early 16th century, repalcing the earlier structure.
The parish of Chiddingstone, comprising about 6000 acres and with an estimated 475, is on the western side of the Kent Weald, close to the Surrey border. Overall the Kent Weald was the poorest of Kent's agricultural regions and within the Kent Weald the western Weald was poorer, less indurtialised and more sparsely populated than the other Wealden districts.
The origins of Bayleaf \\
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007The games Tudor children played / A new workshop has been developed by Schools Manager Jennie Peel during the winter and encourages pupils to explore the differences and similarities of their own play and that highlighted in the Breugel print 'Children's Games'. By using replica toys created by Museum carpenter, Roger Champion from the Bruegel print, children are encouraged to discover how children once learned and played.
The activity is being offered as either a workshop at the Museum, or through Outreach and as a laon box.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Threshing drum to be restored / PRISM, the fund for the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material, have been approached to fund the conservation and repair of the Museum's Marshall threshing drum, built c1875.
It was acquired in the 1980s from a Mr Stevenson, who farmed in Ashdown Forest. A few structural repairs are needed as well as a full repaint and 4 new tyres are also to be built to replace the existing pneumatic ones. Paul Pinnington and Ben Headon will undertake this restoration work.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Power!! / Promoting the Heavy Horse Spectacular 2 & 3 June 2007 and the Steam Festival 18 & 19 August, this being a new event for 2007 featuring steam engines, steam rollers and lorries, working models, model boats on the lake and a variety of steam-orietated trade stands.
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