Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
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 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 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 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 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 2009Bedales School and the Weald and Downland Museum / The school and the museum have had a long association. A barn, then located at Sotherington, was offered to Bedales School by the Earl of Selborne, and was dismantled and re-built by Bedalians, under the guidance of John Rogers. The Barn was re-opened in 1983 and has remained the hub of Bedales Outdoor Work to this day. Bedalians have now not only removed and rebuilt another 18th-century barn, but have recently created from scratch two oak-framed buildings of their own. The school has had a school farm since its foundation in 1899 and today it is stocked with Jacob's sheep, ducks and chickens. Many country skills are learned in one of the barns.
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 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 \\
2009/3Magazine / 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 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 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 2009Whittaker's Cottages patchwork quilt / A patchwork quilt has been made for the children/s bed in the Museum's Victorian cottages. The fabrics and design were chosen to reflect the status of the occupants, fabrics likely to be available to them in 1890 and sewing techniques of the period. Designed and made last year by three members of the Museum's needlework group, the quilt will join the "log cabin" design patchwork quilt made by the group in 2007 for the double bed in the main bedroom in the cottage.
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009New partnerhip with the University of Chichester / Over the years the Museum has developed strong links with universities in the region, mainly Bournemouth and Reading. Our first KTP associate, historian Danae Tankard, opened up links to the History Department at the University of Chichester when she became a member of the department, teaching a module called "History, Heritage and Interpretation" for the first time this term. This led to meetings with the University's Vice Chancellor and to the Deputy Dean for Research and External Relations. It has been agreed that as part of our joint contribution to the Cultural Olympiad in 2012 the Museum and University would collaborate in organising a major global conference about open air museums. The timing is particularly appropriate as both open air museums and the Olympic movement both originated in the 1890s and share many of the same aspirations.

These are ambitious ideas and a global event requires a great deal of hard work and planning, so funding appli \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009New gallery will feature traditional building crafts / Ten years ago a polytunnel was erected behind the Market Square, in which Roger champion repaired the timbers of Poplar Cottage. This was an important step in opening up our work to visitors - dress rehearsal for bringing al our workshop facilities on site in the Downland Gridshell.

The polytunnel has had many uses since Poplar Cottage was re-erected in 1999. However, it was only to be a temporary structure and we intend to replace it with a permanent building. Last year a grant of 66% of the construction costs was awarded, and this year we will raise the balance of the cost and apply for planning permission. We hope to erect the new building in the summer.

It will be used primarily to house a completely revised version of the exhibition currently displayed in Hambrook Barn, showing the processes and products of traditional building crafts. Although very important, some of these displays are many years old. The new building will provide a marvel \\
2009/3Magazine / Spring 2009Frank Gregory's mill heritage moves online / Frank William Gregory (1917-1998) was the Sussex authority on traditional mills, and a frequen visitor to the Museum as part of his life-long interest in wind and water mills. Now 'Frank Gregory Online' (FGOL) has been launched to enable the public to access his important records. He painstakingly sketched, photographed and made notes at each mill he visited. Over 65 years he built up an invaluable record of windmills and watermills, many of which have long since disappeared.

Frank's work was left to the Museum in 1998 and the Frank Gregory Online project ensures that his records can be accessed easily for the public. His books, which he also left to the Museum, are now fully catalogued and intergrated with the Museum's Armstrong Library.

On 17th September a Frank Gregory Symposium will include the first progress report on the results of this exciting project and will offer a first glimpse of some of the fascinating material in Frank's collection. To book \\
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.
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