Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Building the Armstrong Library / The library's volunteer team, led by the museum's historian, Danae Tankard, continues its endless cataloguing work as it prepares bequests and gifts of books and papers relating to vernacular architecture and rural life. This is punctuated by enquiries from researchers and interested individuals. The library houses books, journals and newsletters from many organisations and offprints from magazines and other sources. To find out more, you can visit on Monday or Wednesday mornings (check first if there will be anyone there), on the museum website or by contacting Danae Tankard directly on 01243 811037. Donations of books are always welcome. If they are not wanted they will go into a book sale for library funds - good fiction is happily accepted for sale.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012A tough year for harvesting / Despite the difficult growing conditions caused by the wet weather, the three acres of triticale (a wheat/rye hybrid) grown in partnership with master thatcher Chris Tomkins, have been successfully harvested by Nick Conway and Mark Buxton, using the working Shire horses, Mac and Neville. A hay crop was taken from the museum site as well as the overflow car park and part of the 10-acre field below the Pendean paddock. Some grass was cut by scythe and made a number of spectacular haycocks. It was intended to grow potatoes, but eventually decided to grow pumpkins. Unfortunately the adverse weather gave a disappointing crop. The Southdown lambs this included a "black" lamb, which along with a large litter of Tamworth piglets provided much interest and enjoyment for visitors. Two Saddleback sows have been introduced into the woodland cops at Gonville Cottage and the Pendean pigsty is also in use. In the interests of economy it has been decided to keep only two of the Sussex x Dair \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012David Martin / David Martin, of the Robertsbridge and District Archaeology Society, gave his illustrated talk three times over the weekend, explaining how he started getting interested in buildings archaeology, culminating in the efforts involved to draw plans and rescue, with the Water Authority's permission, Tindall's Cottage. They were allowed to have the building, provided they took it down and cleared the site at no cost to the Authority. Plans to re-erect it locally and sell it on came to nothing and Roy Armstrong was persuaded to put it into store at the museum.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Needlework Group helps museum homes have that "lived in" feel / The museum's 28-strong Needlework Group has been contributing a variety of textiles to the museum's historic buildings and interpretation activities for six years, and is now led by Museum Interpreter Lesley Parker and with Barbara Painter as professional mentor. They work from Gonville cottage which is periodically open for visitors to view the historic clothing.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012People / Welcome to Carole Richmond as Communications Manager. She is a highly experienced creative generalist with over 30 years communications and management experience in a variety of cultural and media organisations. Since arrival at the museum she has carried out an in-depth marketing review with a view to achieving as much value as possible from the budget.

Second retirement for Roger Champion, the museum's former Master Carpenter, at the end of November. However he has become a volunteer so his invaluable expertise and knowledge will not be lost, continuing to produce furnishings for the historic buildings such as Tindalls Cottage.

A number of new volunteer teams were developed last year, particularly focused on working outdoors. A new team began training with Jon Roberts, learning working historical coppicing methods. Three people, the "Thursday Doers" take on a wide range of jobs around the site. Meanwhile the "Tuesday" and "Wednesday" gangs work hard with paint, tar and wood, conserving bu \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012The museum goes slightly woolly / During the winter the museum was busy joining in a world record attempt to make sheep, as part of a Campaign for Wool initiative to highlight the importance of the natural material for clothing and furnishings. Small pompom sheep appeared in crevices in the museum's buildings before and during the winter half-term family activities. Barnabas, the first, assisted by the museum's Twitter site, helped encourage people to make him some friends. This was good preparation fot he Sheep and Shepherding in the south Downs exhibition on 7th - 11th April in the hall from Crawley. Displays of sheep-related artefacts from the museum's collection and demonstrations, spinning and wool dyeing will take place every day, and lamb and mutton dishes will be prepared in Winkhurst Tudor Kitchen. In the Novium museum in Chichester an exhibition on the woolstaplers trade in the city will take place on the same dates. Some of the museum's sheep will be taken into Chichester in the care of the Hum \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012From the Director / 2012 will be remembered for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games and as the wettest year ever recofded in England. All three, especially the latter, had an adverse effect on our attendances, but in spite of an 8% drop in visitor numbers the museum enjoyed a successful season. Highlights of the year include "Raising the Frame" weekend when the timber frame of Tindalls Cottage was re-erected almost 40 years after being dismantled from the site of Bewl Water reservoir. The wet autumn hampered progress but we are on target for a mid-summer completion, using the opportunity of celebrating Sussex Day on 16th June to open the cottage to view. The museum was fortunate to have a legacy of the Olympics in the form of a section of wildflower meadow, which is situated downhill from Tindalls, and was specially grown for the opening ceremony.
The Gateway Project will be continuing in 2013 and in March the outcome of our Stage 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery fund will be announced. In the me \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Friends' News We're looking forward to meeting our members at the museum during the year! And thank you for all your support / Day trips - Watts Gallery and chapel, Compton, Surrey - Thursday 9th May. Price
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Children enjoy our fantastic learning resource / The past academic year has been another busy one with the museum welcoming schools from our region and far beyond, including overseas schools who have been on study trips to the UK. A new archaeology workshop has been added to the range and offers a hands-on introduction to the subject for KS2 pupils. Other workshops cover the Tudor and Victorian periods and a range of house and home topics.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Recent Acquisitions, Planned Maintenance and Redisplays / Recent acquisitions include: a boat wagon, mostly constructed of iron; Market garden tools; Plans of a Sussex Wagon.

Planned maintenance includes: the animal pound; Watersfield stable; Pevensey windpump.

Redisplays include: the Gypsy caravan; Goodwood cattle shed: Redvins yard; Watersfield stable.

An exhibition of the work of Jonathan Newdick was held in the Downland Gridshell in July. His drawings were of traditional buildings in West Sussex, mostly close to Petworth, in varying states of repair and disrepair.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012The museum at Lithuanian lifelong learning conference / Lucy Hockley, School Services and Project Manager, gave a presentation at the Lifelong Learning in Open Air Museums conference at the Lithuanian Open Air Museum in September. Lucy spoke about the provision for families at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Free site tours prove a great success / New free site tours trialled for a six-week priod in the summer proved to be a great success. Based on the former "Ten-minute talks" and delivered by volunteers, they are a different and easily-manageable way of passing information to visitors about selected buildings.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Struggling with the weather - and four-footed adversaries / In common with gardeners everywhere this year we have really struggled against the weather conditions. Carolotta Holt and her team have had to make several sowings of vegetables such as runner beans and peas. The spinach and beetroot have been chomped, while red orach has disappeared and even the flowers of the geraniums have been nibbled off. With damage from slugs, snails, rabbits and fungal diseases, this has left our crops seriously depleted.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012In Brief / Donations box: a new donations box has recently been displayed close to the entrance and after eight months takings stood at around
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012New Trustees, and retirements / Two new Trustees for the Museum have been appointed, Jim Dicks and Simon Knight, and three others, Jeff Houlton, Kate Mosse and Noel Osborne have retired.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Friends membership numbers have continued to grow / Despite the inclement weather this summer membership has grown. This year the Friends have enjoyed four day trips. These were Vann Garden, Godalming, Surrey; Wiston House, Steyning; Highclere Castle, Newbury; and Clandon House and Hatchlands, Surrey.
The summer Barn Dance was a huge success and enjoyed by all who came. The autumn was busy with the re-erection of Tindall's Cottage, and the Friends are supporting this project by selling tiles and pegs as part of the fund raising to complete it.
Next year two other fund-raising events are planned, the first being a Murder Mystery supper performed by Funtington Players, and the second a dinner with a celebrity speaker.
On 8th December this year an Afternoon of Song and Poetry entitled "A Sussex Calendar" will be held in the Building Crafts Gallery, performed by the Cotillion Folk Group.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Sunny Rare Breeds Show brings out the crowds / The Rare Breeds Show in July saw some 6,000 visitors enjoying one of the south's biggest gatherins of farm animals. The show attracted the highest-ever entry of farm livestock - over 650 animals and the biggest-ever fleece and handsput classes in the handspun marquee.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Memories of the steam age / The traditional Festival of Steam brough a host of exhibits of the steam age, including 20 road steam traction engines, road rollers and agricultural traction engines, 30 accurate scale model engines, steam motor cars, a steam gramophone and bicycle, model steam-driven boats on the lake and ride-on narrow-gauge railways. One of the most popular features was the steam-powered carousel gallopers at the centre of a recreated small village fair, including a magnificent showman's engine. Two steam engines recreated their original working tasks in the historic working woodyard, and powered the museum's restored 1862 Marshall threshing drum. Next year's event is on 17/18 August.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012New exhibition introduces visitors to the museum / The updated introductory exhibition in Hambrook Barn, supported by the South Downs National Park's Sustainable Communities fund, has now been completed. It introduces the visitor to the South Downs National Park, the geological structure of the Weald and the North and South Downs, which gives rise to our traditional vernacular buildings, and the museum's place within the area, using visual and three-dimensional displays with a minimum of text.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012People / Patricia Wilkinson, who was a devoted volunteer at the museum, died on 17th May at St Richard's Hospital, aged 76.

Patricia Haigh has died at the age of 68.

Tony Smallman has died at the age of 86.

Ruth Stock died in March.

Peter Iden also died in March aged 66.

Henry Warner, Head of Operations, and Chris Baldwin, Stockman, left the museum at the beginning of the year and Laura Dyke, School Services Officer, was married in the summer and left to join a new project based in Portsmouth. Lucy Hockley was appointed as Schools Services and Project Manager. Lesley Denham has joined the Adult Education team. After nearly five years Lisa Clarke left to work at a Selsey-based company, Check-a-Trade and Katie Jardine has joined as Receptionist and Admin Assistant. Kate Shears has been appointed as part-time Events Assistant. John crane, one of the volunteers, has joined the museum's team of part-time wardens, as has Nigel Smeeth.
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