Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011The Roadshow rolls! / Some 2,200 people descended on the site from 9.30 a.m. with the queue snaking from the car park in Greenways field to the market square, dotted with tables, chairs and umbrellas ready for a bevy of antiques specialists to cast their eye over treasures unearthed from attics and the back of dusty drawers.
Although cool and cloudy, the rain held off and the contingency marquee proved surplus to requirements. Costumed interpreters from the museum offered the visitors samples of gingered-bread sweetmeats to help pass the time. Thirty volunteers helped steward the queues and looked after refereshments for the antiques specialists - a long day, ending around 7.00 p.m., but an enjoyable one.
BBC Radio Sussex broadcast their afternoon programme live from the Roadshow and there was an extra camera crew shooting the programme in 3D, the first ever BBC programme to be filmed in this format.
Two programmes were made for the Roadshow from the single event, and are likely to be broadcast on 1st \\
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011How textiles help interpret the museum's exhibits / A major element for our forebears was the need for textiles, whether to clothe themselves or furnish their dwellings. The museum's Needlework Group was established in June 2006 with the financial backing of the Friends of the Museum and the support of consultants Barbara Painter and Ruth Goodman. The aim was to explore the rich heritage of historical clothing, needlework and handicrafts as part of our domestic interpretation, producing historically accurate clothing to be worn by staff and volunteer interpreters.
The group meets once a month but members who are also house stewards can often be seen carrying on with their work in the houses at other times.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011500 Animals gather for the Rare Breeds Show / Perhaps the museum's most popular event, the Rare and Traditional Breeds show too place again in July with more than 500 cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry gathering for this delightful agriculture show. The next show will be 22nd July 2012.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Four Hundred schools represented on museum school visits / The last school year (September 2010 to July 2011) saw nearly 18,000 children from nearly 400 different schools visiting the museum. Around 5% of these are designated as Special Educational Needs schools whose students benefit hugely from the multi-sensory experiences offered at the museum.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Professional potter offers his services / Professional potter and long-time member of the Friends, Tim Bartell has offered to become our regular potter, making replica wares for Winkhurst Tudor kitchen. With the heavy use the kitchen equipment gets every day it is inevitable that occasional breakages occur. Anything that is cracked can be used elsewhere as a general exhibit but items that are used for cooking food that will be tasted must be perfect to comply with environmental health standards. So we are always in need of replacement items, which cane become quite costly. Tim will be at the Christmas Market on 12/13th November selling his wares.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011In Brief - Festival of British Archaeology / The Museum joined in with the Festival of British Archaeology in July with an exhibition on our reconstructed peasant house from Hangleton and the excavation of the deserted medieval village. Danae Tankard's text and illustrations were joined by artefacts from the dig, all of which could be handled by our visitors.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011News / Site improvements: Over the last six months a number of improvements and general maintenance tasks have been carried out. These have included the painting of Longport farmhouse and the Toll House, the erection of a new picket fence around the Toll house, various fencing and walling repairs around the site, an extended pig pen behind Pendean farmhouse, new car park signage and the re-plastering of the front of Whittaker's Cottages.
Using the Armstrong Library: Much recent hard work in the museum's Armstrong Library in the upper hall from Crawley has led to this very important aspect of the museum's work becoming much more user friendly.
Local food and cookery: The museums Food and Farming Fair is one of the first events of the year. More than 80 stands offered a wonderful choice of produce.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011In brief / New caterers for the museum's caf
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Forty years of collecting / The collection includes a broadcast sowing machine, a gin trap, sack lifter, smock, felling axe, seed drill, notice boards, timber crane, team bells, living van, pitsaw box, mallet, hop press, horse shoe "spare", cattle wagon, bench drill, spiritual midden, Sussex foot plough, strawberry wagon and grave markers.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Friends' News / The Friends is a support organisation fo the museum, which runs fund-raising events and social activities for its members. It is one of the largest museum Friends groups in the country with some 5,200 memberships, representing about 12,000 individual members. So far it has raised a total of
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011People / Cathy Clark was the museum's marketing manager for over eith years, responsible for advertising, press relations, posters, literature, road signs and much more, all the elements needed to ensure a high profile for the museum. She also organised the Sustainability, Tree Dressing, Early Music and Father's Day events. Cathy has moved to a new marketing role with a firm in Chichester, but stays in contact with her many friends at the museum.
Two new trustees have been warmly welcomed, along with two new members of staff.
Jennie Peel, a former Schools Services Manager at the museum, is currently head of Conifers School, Easebourne, a post which she also held before her museum appointment. Jennie will provide a professional view on education matters. Elaine Sansom has over 20 years' experience working in the museum and heritage sector and is currently an independent museum consultant.
Michael Stevens joined us at the beginning of the season as a part-time shop supervisor; he previously worked for Da \\
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Danae Tankard / Danae first came to the museum in 2005 as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate on a partnership project with the University of Reading. On 1st January 2011 Danae was appointed as the museum's historian, working three days a week. She leads the furnishing projects on exhibit houses and contributes to the museum's training and adult learning programmes, carries out additional research on exhibit buildings and writes for publications. Her own research focuses on the social, domestic and economic lives of the rural poor in 17th-century Sussex. Danae is also employed part time as a senior lecturer in history at the University of Chichester.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Trees for Tim Heymann / In March three trees, Sorbus Domestica, were planted as a memorial to Tim Heymann, past Chairman of the Friends and a Trustee of the museum. They were donated by Lady Elizabeth Benson, also a museum Trustee, who grew them at Cucumber Farm, Singleton. Tim's wife, Angela, and daughters Sarah and Helen, and other members of the family and friends were present at the planting. Tim had been involved with the museum since 1969 (a year before it's opening) until his death in 2009.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Horse Power / Heavy horses were, in June, once again back at the museum for the annual Heavy Horse and Working Animals event which showcases the abilities and versatilities of our lagest equines - a reminder of the days when horse power drove the country's economy and a taste of the different ways in which draught horses are still in use today. Among other events the St Giles steam powered fire engine demonstrated the extinguishing of a real fire.
In October the Autumn Countryside Show provided another opportunity to see heavy horses at work, ploughing alongside vintage tractors.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Bursaries support historic building conservation training / Seven people have undertaken free training at the museum in the past year, thanks to a bursary scheme supported by the Newby Trust, one of whose aims is to support artisan training. Each bursary covered a different discipline: Coppice crafts, Stonework, Church conservation, Historic building conservation, Timber framing, Historic brickwork and Vernacular architecture. Each bursary allowed the student to attend a number of short courses in their chosen discipline.
The museum has been able to offer two sets of new bursaries this year, one focusing on training in the repair of timber framed buildings, with the support of the anstruther Family, and the other on practical timber framing, supported by the late Mary Cohen.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Museum's award-winning course programme for 2011-2012 / In the Historic Building Conservation section courses will include the Weald Forest Ridge project, Vernacular Architecture series, Building conservation day schools and signwriting and hand tools. Traditional rural trades and crafts a number of new subjects have been introduced for 2012 such as Botanical illustration, Papier mache, Ropework animals, Hedgerow preserves, the beauty closet of the 18th century and warming winter rememdies. Other advanced courses in a range of subjects include a Watercolour masterclass and several textile days - Improvers' Spinning, Knitting, Rag-rugging and Crochet.
A record number of the museum's MSc students, 14, will graduate at the same ceremony - several having earned distinctions for their work.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Studying the buildings of the Weald / The Wealden Buildings Study Group had its foundation in an extra muraul studies course on timber-framed buildings at Southampton University in the 1960s. It was run by Reg Mason FSA, a professional quanity surveyor, eminent scholar and local historian, he has long been interested in vernacular architecture. From the start Reg was keen that this should be a study group rather than simply a conservation group. The inclusion of the word "Wealden" in the title refers to his naming of the distinctive house-type of the region.
The group is involved in the compliation of a database bringing together the results of individual building surveys. It retains strong links with the museum and its archives are lodged in the museum library.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Keeping up appearances at Whittaker's Cottages / Whittaker's Cottages, a pair of cottages originally built in the 19th century, has undergone several patch repairs to the ashlar plasterwork on the front - which imitates stonemasonry used in grander buildings - since the structure was re-erected at the museum. Earlier this year it was clear that the time had come for major maintenance. Initially the museum considered taking the top coat off, stabilising the substrate with lime-wash and adding a final coat. But large fragile areas were discovered, which would be further weakened by removal of the top coate. It was decided to replace the whole elevation. The stud work was de-nailed ready for re-application, but the lower sectaion had suffered rot. So, under carpenter Joe Thompson's supervision, battens were placed to provide a fixing for the laths.
2011/10Magazine / Autumn 2011Interpreting Poplar Cottage / Poplar Cottage, originally from Washington in West Sussex, is thought to have been built between 1630 and 1650. Since opening the exhibit in 2000 only the outer ground floor room has been fully furnished. It was decided that a more rubust interpretation could be achieved by focusing it around the (fictional) life of a rural craftsman whose craft activities took place within the home. Shoemaking seemed a good choice; most villages had a least one shoemaker.A considerable amount can be learnt about the activities of shoemakers from probate inventories. A range of replica shoemaker's tools are being made and a pair of replica shoes was commissioned from a specialist historic shoemaker, together with a part made up pair and a closing block.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Weather hits visitor numbers in 2010 / 2010 has been, in some ways, a difficult year for the museum. The year part of the season suffered from prolonged cold weather and snow. The weather improved after Easter and so did the visitor numbers, but we then had a very wet August. The autumm then improved with a good Autumn Countryside Event and Christmas Market. Then for the second time in the same year we suffered from heavy snow and ice in December. For several days we were unable to open as the whole site was covered in sheet ice. This was frustrating and disappointing as it was over the period when the Sussex Christmas is staged. Difficulties arose for informing people of the closure via local radio and the website as the website crashed on Boxing Day and was unavailable until late morning. Overall the visitor numbers for 2010 were 143,692.
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