Museum History
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 Date   Origin   Summary 
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 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 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 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 2007Events Diary 2007 /
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 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 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.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007Historic clothing project launched / The Museum has a clear policy for interpretation of our exhibits - people come first! 'Person to person' is our cornerstone, recognising a key strength is the extent to which visitors can talk to stewards, guides and interpreters, who demonstrate activities, some of whom wear period clothing. Our policy is to restrict the use of historic clothing to certain appropriate activities, and these are always used in the 'third person' interpretation rather than 'first person'.
The aim of the project run by hannah miller, Head of Interpretation together with social historian Ruth Goodman and historical costumier Barbara Painter is to produce a comprehensive stock of replica historic clothing with complete outfits that cover a range of sizes as well as all the appropriate periods. The project is expected to run for four years and the first phase has been funded by the Friends of the Museum
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007News in brief / Covers the wide range of groups using the Museum, wedding of Kate Easson (daughter of Volunteer Services Manager), WI groups, Councils on away-days, a group of Dutch farmers were entertained in the Gridshell by the South Downs Joint Committee and the latter location was used for several wakes as well as a funeral service for Jennifer Hayes, a frequent visit to the Museum in her role as a child minder.
2007/3magazine / Spring 2007News in brief / Timber frames for sale following the completion of the successful Timber Framing from Scatch Courses that took place during the summer of 2006. Price range
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 2007Children discover the countryside and history / Children enjoy the Museum in so many ways, whether they visit with family and friends for half term activities or Wonderful wednesdays or with school groups.
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 2007Courses Programme 2007 - Building Conservation and the use of traditional materials and processes / List of courses and dates
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Timber framing at the Weald and Downland / Joe first visited the Museum in the 1970s as a school boy and was enthralled to a timber frame partly erected, probably Pendean Farmhouse. As a fledgling timber-frame carpenter 10 years later he came back, each time seeing something new in the frames being erected at the Museum. He became 'carpenter in residence' in 2002 and 30 years after his first visit still finds the detail and arrangement of the timber frames fascinating. He uses the timbers as a resource for the historic carpentry courses he teaches in the Jerwood Gridshell Space. In 2007 courses have included cutting and pitching a spire with steeplejack Peter Harknett and architect John Deal, and prefabricating and erecting a North American-style frame.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Collections update / Keepers Hook - donated by Mike Bulpett form Chidham, he acquired it from a game keeper who had made it by hand from leather and hooks to advertsie the effectiveness of his pest control. The hook was strapped to a fencepost and from it would hang what had been trapped eg rats, moles, crows and the like.
Horse shoes - A nationally significant collection of around 500 horse shoes were generously given by Ken Smith, having collected them over a 25 year period. They range from the 11th and 12th cenury to the present day. Ken has kindly agreed to return to the Museum when he retires to catalogue them.
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