Museum History
(3830 Records)

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2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Obituaries - Beryl Bickmore / Beryl Bickmore died on 4th December 2010 aged 72. She had been involved with the museum since 1983 when her husband, Keith, was appointed as senior warden and shop manager. Beryl helped with most of the jobs on the museum site at one time or another including car parking, ticket sales, working horses and the harvest. She served on the committee of the Friends of the Museum, was a Saturday shop supervisor and the museum's "in-house florist" for weddings and special occasions. Beryl's cheefulness and warm personality will be greatly missed by all at the museum.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Obituaries - Jill Dickins / Jill Dickins was the first of a dedicated band of garden volunteers, joining the museum in 1992. From childhood she had a passion for gardening and she was never happier than when harvesting seeds or talking to the many visitors at her favourite garden, Bayleaf.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Society of Folk Life Studies visits museum / Delegates from nine European countries attended the international conference of the Society for Folk Life Studies at West Dean in September. They made two visits to the museum over a weekend, one for a tour with Richard Harris of the buildings and one for a walk looking at the folklore of the flora present on the museum's chalkland site. The society last visited as a group more than 20 years ago.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Forty years of collecting / Although the 40th anniversary of the museum was celebratated in 2010, in fact historic artefacts have been collected since 1968. In 1968 the first item ever accessioned was a cooper's heading knife from Tamplins Brewery in Brighton, in 1969 a walking stick former came from Lintott's factory in Chiddingfold, in 1971 a set of leather horse boots and in 1972 a winnower which had been used in Lower Stoke, Kent. In 1973 a timber "bob" or "neb" was added to the collection from the Knole Estate in Sevenoaks, Kent, and in 1974 some sheep bells. A frame saw from the Goodwood Estate was acquired in 1975 and in 1976 a wonderfully carved jetty bracket came from the Old Punch House in East Street, Chichester. Two planes were chosen from a collection in 1977, a carpenter's bele in 1978 and a saddler's stiching horse in 1979. An unusual tool was acquired in 1980, a set of shears possibly used for topiary, with two sets of blades. A boxing engine came to the Museum in 1981, a plough in 1982, a \\
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Friends' News / A number of day trips have been arranged for the Friends during 2011. The first is to Polesdon Lacey on 5th May, followed by the Russell-Coates Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth on 7th June. "Famous Mothers", includes a visit to Clarence House on 9th August and on 22nd September a visit to Lacock Abbey, Talbot Museum and Village.

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends will be held on 2nd April in the Downland Gridshell at 2.30 p.m. All members are welcome to attend. The guest speaker will be the museum's new director, Richard Pailthorpe.

Three fundraising events have been arranged, a barn dance on 4th June at 6.30 in the Downland Gridshell, Gardeners' Questions on 23rd July at 2.30 p.m. in the Downland Gridshell and a Michaelmas supper on 24th September at 7 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. in the medieval house from Sole Street.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Supporting the museum's work / As an independent museum and charity we receive no external government funding. We rely solely on visitor income, grants, sponsorship, legacies and the very supportive Friends group. During 2010 a student from Kingston University who is studying surveying was offered a bursary using funding from the Newby Trust. It enabled him to attend a series of six courses exploring the field of church conservation.

Win Boucher had been a volunteer for five years, eventually coming into the museum four days a week. She felt she owed the museum so much for keeping her happy and active after being widowed. When she died suddenly in April 2010, her daughter Cathy Clark, the museum's marketing manager was able to arange a legacy in favour of the museum, even though this had not been specified in her will.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011The museum's new website / The museum launched its new-look website just before Christmas. The museum staff are now able to make changes to the website from their desks, and the site introduces on-line shopping for the first time. The museum is indebted to trustee Jeff Houlton, who created and professionally mainted the museum's original site for many years.

The site is still very much a work-in-progress, and new information is being added all the time. The website address is
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011From the Chairman / There is a freshness in the air and a feeling of new challenges ahead. Our new director, Richard Pailthorpe, took up his post on 1st January and other staff changes are afoot.

Our finances remain sound despite 2010 not being our best year financially, a combination of a downturn in visitor numbers, along with reduced spending by those who did visit. This does mean that budgets need to be reviewed to ensure that we do not drift into difficulties should economic difficulties mean that this is a trend. This is a good time for carrying out a range of operational reviews led by our new director, also a chance for some fresh thinking about our rang eof activities in pursuit of our core mission.

A planning application is now being submitted for the construction of a new lakeside caf
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Busy lifelong learning programme for museum in 2011 / The museum's courses in historic building conservation and traditional rural trades and crafts are part of a much-respected lifeling learning service in these two fields, mirroring the themes of the museum's main areas of work.

Traditional rural trades and crafts courses include such diverse work as greenwood chair making, keeping sheep, keeping pigs, bee keeping for beginners, singing Sussex songs and the country house kitchen. The historic building conservation and MSc courses continue for students.

The vernacular architecture is at the heart of our work and can be thought of as the common speech of buildings. A new series of five linked day schools explores the chronological development of houses drawing on the latest research.

Evening talks for 2011 will all be delivered by speakers who are experts in their field. These include The Story of the sussex Pub, Barge Building in West Sussex and East Hampshire, The Wildlife of Chichester Harbour \\
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Being a Trustee - testing but rewarding / Eddie Burch has completed five years as a trustee and explains that it is a very testing but rewarding experience. He was required to produce a CV for scrutiny and make a presentation concerning his motivation and qualification to take on trusteeship. His role became clear and was precise: a supporting and watching brief for education provision for children and adults, and also for Health and Safety.

The schools and adult education teams, well staffed and strong, seem to meet their objectives successfully. Regarding Health and Safety he is of the view that risk assessment should enable activities and projects to take place safely, not prevent or curtail them.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Re-thatching Catherington treadwheel house / Visitors were able to watch the thatcher at work repairing the roof the treadwheel house from Catherington.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Museum Friends' vital contribution / The Friends of the Museum makes a significant financial contribution to the museum's day-to-day operation. Last year's grants amounted to
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Change of date for Festival of Steam / The date of the Steam Festival has changed since it was first publicised last year and will now be held on Saturday/Sunday 13th and 14th august.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011News in Brief / The Schools Services Department has just appointed, as Schools Services Assistant, Kathryn Creed, an archaeologist specialising the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods. The new year started with re-booking school visits postponed by the snow and ice. The schools team, with the help of volunteers, are developing some new workshops which will be launched at the annual Teachers' Preview day in February when teachers are invited to visit the museum on a Saturday with the families to explore the possibilities for school visits.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011HRH The Duke of Gloucester to open two new exhibits in April / The museum will be honoured by a second Royal visit within a few months when HRH the Duke of Gloucester officially opens the Building Crafts Gallery and South Wonston Church on 5th April. The Building Crafts Gallery has already started to fulfil on of its roles, as a useful base for school workshops and shelter in bad weather. The main permanent use of this structure is to house a new gallery. Displays of traditional building crafts will be mounted on the interior walls. Some displays will be relocated from Hambrook Barn, which can then be re-organised to help visitors understand what is on offer at the museum.

St Margaret's Mission Church from South Wonston is being sited to the north of Whittakers Cottages and adjacent to the bell frame from Stoughton. The timber frame of the church has been repaired and re-erected by Joe Thompson with assitance from other members of the in-house team. The interior will contain some of the original furnis \\
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Richard Harris retires / More than 100 people gathered in the new Building Crafts Gallery on 7th December for a tea party to mark the retirement of Richard Harris as museum director. Chairman, Paul Rigg, spoke about Richard's work and presented him with ascroll depicing a section from Jane Borodale's book "The Visitor". On behalf of the museum community Diana Rowsell presented him with a hand-crafted box made from locally-sourced Holm Oak, one of his favourite trees. Steve Corbett, museum trustee, presented him with a laminated timber contour map of the Lavant Valley embellished with a gold and ruby pin brooch in the shape of the museum logo. Finally, Roger champion presented him with a "throne" he had made for him in the style of the chair in Pendean Farmhouse.

In response Richard said what a privilege it had been to serve the museum for 35 years and as director for the last 10 years. He will continue in his teaching role and will assist in other projects as needed. The afternoon was rounded off with \\
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Collections Update / Recent acquisitions for the collection are: ox horn knobs, a water pump, trugs, the carpentry tools of Reginald George Corke and a bee skep.

Many museums around the country are rationalising their collections and in autumn 2010 the museum was contacted by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust about some items they wished to dispose of. The Trust had a group of high quality working farm machines and were offering them to us. We use a number of mostly horse-drawn machines, some acquired specifically for agricultural operations. This offer gave the opportunity to acquire fully restored and working examples to replace those which are now in quite poor repair.

We therefore took delivery of a Bamford mower, a Massey Harris binder, a Horsnby trusser, a turnip drill, a Smythe seed drill and an unusual tyre bender which will be used in the woodyard instead of the accessioned example which will return to the safety of the Gridshell store.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Richard Pailthorpe starts work as the new museum director / Richard Pailthorpe took up his post as museum director on 1st January. He says it is a great honour, particularly at the time of the Ruby anniversary. He first introduction to the museum was as one of the 7,000 visitors who came during September 1970. He was instantly inspired by Roy Armstrong's visionary project.

He brings a wealth of expertise and experience, including a signifant previous role at the museum from 1979 to 1995. He studied estate management at Reading University and subsequently worked at the goodwood Estate, Syon Park which is the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, moving on to Parham Park, near Storrington in 2006.

Richard says that he is very much looking forward to working again at the museum and meeting the challenges ahead in these difficult economic times. It is a very special place and above all it is the people at its heart, the staff, volunteers, Friends and supports, who make this possible.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Flashback to a cold winter! / Snow and icy conditions made visiting the museum treacherous in December but there were plenty of good opportunities for photographers.
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Visit of HRH The Prince of Wales / HRH The Prince of Wales visited the museum in November 2011 as one of the final events of the Ruby anniversary year. He took a tour of the museum, meeting staff and volunteers. His tour ended in the Jerwood Gridshell where the National Society of Master Thatchers presented a number of demonstrations including thatching with different materials, hurdle making and coppicing. He was met by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West sussex, Gordon Tregear, and the museum director, Richard Harris. On his tour he met visiting schoolchildren and visited the Tudor kitchen.
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