Museum History
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 Date   Origin   Summary 
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituary - David Russell / David Russell who died on 12 septmber 2007, was an architect with special knowledge of historic buildings, and a friend, supporter and trustee of the Museum since its inception. Born in 1922 he served as a polit in the RAF from 1940 until 1950. He spent a year studying archaeology before moving to architecture and his professional life of 50 years was spent at John Schwerdt and Partners, from 1956 until 2006. He met Museum founder Roy Armstrong in 1966, and in April 1968 became chariman of the Committee for Crafts and industries which supervised amongst other things, the development of the Museum. In 1988 he became a member of the Museum's Executive Board and remaied so until his death. He had a wide range of interests including old cars, sailing and skiing and dowsing, which he taught at the Museum. His greatest love was flying, which he was doing 2 days before he died. He photographed the Museum, a perilous operation which involved holding the joystick with one hand and hangin \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Museum gardener, Bob Holman, retires / After 20 years as Museum Gardener, Bob Holman has retired. Bob was first involved when the proposals for Bayleaf Farmhouse were discussed in May 1985. Bob was employed from 1987 to make the plan developed by Dr Sylvia Landsberg happen. The garden opened in 1989 and demonstrated what a successful and important role the gardens could play in the interpretation of the museum's exhibits. With guidance from Sylvia Landsberg Bob continued to create five other gardens; Walderton Cottage in 1996/7; Whittakers Cottages in 1998, Poplar Cottage in 1999 and Pendean farmhouse in 2001. Hangleton Cottage has a garden in which Bob has toiled for 10 years but this will be changed soon to reflect its original situation as revealed by the archaeology. From his earliest days Bob has willingly tkane walks and given talks, and has helped interpreters in Winkhurst Tudor litchen link recipes and household customs to the plants and herbs growing in the gardens.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007MSc in Timber Building Conservation / April 2007 saw the graduation ceremony for the Museum's MSc graduates. Richard Fox, Chris Howe and David Wilkins, who also received the outstanding student ward from Mitford Foulerton Trust, all received their MSc degrees. Mike Fitzgerald received his in absentia and Ken Hume will receive his in November. John Cartright and Matthew Hopgood received their PGDips.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007British White bull wins at Persil-sponsored rare breeds show! / The annual Rare Breeds Show, now in its 22nd year, was sponsored by Persil as part of its "Dirt is Good" campaign. Magnificent rare breed cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were judged in the show rings, followed by classes for livestock handlers. Practical demonstrations included spinners, weavers, dyers and a range of country crafts.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Full Steam Ahead / A two-day festival celebrating the age of steam was packed with exhibits including working traction engines and steam rollers, scale models and a narrow-gauge railway. The whole Museum site was used for displays, the highlight of which was the steam-powered carousel gallopers.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Communities come together for Romani Roots / Local members of the Gypsy community, in association with the Museum,organised the third Gypsy festival, Romani Roots, in September. Featured was a large collection of traditional vans, music and racing of "Sulkie" traps, and a number of Gypsy support and information groups.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007News in brief / Carolyn Farley, the Museum's bee keeper, helped by Heather Clover, installed bees in three hives last season. The bees survived the winter and are thriving. Two more colonies have been added this summer. The bees are used as part of the practical courses on beekeeping.

The Company Presents returned to the Museum in August for "Will at the Weald", extracts from Shakespeare's history, comedy and tragedy plays. The cast included members from Regents Park Theatre and Guildford Shakespeare Company, the five directors led by Patrick Sandford, artistic director of the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

Many staff and volunteers have been able to attend short courses and conferences thanks to the Museum Friends. Courses include first aid, health and safety, fire safety and food hygiene, all necessary to the safe running of the Museum. The Museum has also been the venue for a two-day emergency planning and salvage training for museum personnel in the region. The Renaissance South East sharing Ski \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Southwater Smith is put on the map / The Museum's forge, or blacksmith's shop, the Southwater Smithy, has been in regular use by practising blacksmiths for demonstrations for visitors and for the forging of iron items required in the restoration of the exhibit buildings and other projects around the site. The late Geoff Busbridge, who died in 2005, was keen to ensure its continued use. Volunteer blacksmith, robert Smith, suggested a "forge in", which took place last October. A number of blacksmiths bring their own hearths and tools, working together as a team to produce a piece representing the art of the smith. A totem pole was constructed and set up outside the smithy. Robert smith has also run a children's activity at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge, in July this year. This included making horse shoes with the children.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007The Museum in Winter / Warm fires provide a welcome in some of the 46 buildings and workplaces forming the Museum's main exhibits. "A Sussex Christmas" will again provide a seasonal focus to visits between Christmas and New Year. The annual Tree Dressing event takes place on 2nd December from 12.30 p.m. and people of all ages can take part in the lantern-making workshop, watch morris dancing, listen to story telling, plays and songs and finally join in the lantern procession, dancing round the tree while it is being dressed. Mulled wine, mince pies and roasted chestnuts will be served. The annual carol singing takes place on 10th December at 7 p.m. During the Sussex Christmas event tasty treats and mulled cider will be served at Bayleaf farmhouse and Winkhurst Tudor kitchen. Festive music, a Museum trail, children's activities and storytelling will take place at different locations around the site.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Dendrochronology and its use at the Museum / Dendrochronology, the dating of wooden objects by dating the trees from which they were created, uses the patterns of growth revealed by tree rings. Dendrochronologists have developed "master curves" of growth patterns covering thousands of years. The date of the last year the the tree was growing, the year it was felled, usually indicates the year the building was constructed. However, in many cases the outer rings are missing, either having been hewn off or decayed. Samples have to be taken for dendrochronologists to measure ring widths, and these have to be a cross-section of the tree. This is done by obtaining cores using a coring tool which leaves a small hole about half an inch in diameter. The cores are then mounted, sanded and polished to reveal the detail of the rings and sent to the dendrochronologist. A number of the Museum's buildings have been dated using dendrochronology including the Upper Hall from Crawley, the Hall from Boarhunt and the Barn fr \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Curriculum changes mean new opportunities for schools / The new academic year, thanks to changes in the curriculum, will be an exciting one. The changes include developing pupils' creativity and enabling them to see how their studies relate to the world beyond the classroom. The museum has many opportunities to deliver learning in this way. West Sussex launched this year's initiative "Creativity across the Curriculum" in September with 15 schools.

Earlier in the year the Museum hosted a "Teachers' Primary Citizenship Conference". Over 40 participants took part. A similar event is being planned for next June.

The "Year of Food and Farming" has begun and the Museum is working with three schools to give children the opportunity to learn about food, farming and the countryside, along with related environmental issues.

Ten young people from South Harting and East Meon were brought togetherfor a workshop as part of the Springline Project which gives them the opportunity to learn about the history and d \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Collections update - Tony White's collection / Tony White hwo had been long associated with the Museum, sadly died in 2007 and being aware this was going to happen, prepared his affairs meticulously and well in advance, to include the Museum in his thoughts. He had donated many items in the past and added eight sets of team or 'latten' bells, some harness which will be used by the Museum's heavy horses, and a strwberry van or waggon. This van is a small, sprung field farm vehicle used to transport the south-east Hampshire strawberry crop tp market or reialway stations and it will be on display in Redvins Yard.
Strawberry vans were often known as 'Hayter vans' as wheelwright and carpenter Willian Hayter of Porchester was principally responsible for their popularity. This example is a 12-bushel capacity van and was supplied to Mr H Smith of Waltham Chase around 1910 at the cost of 44 gold sovereigns. It was purchased with the proceeds of selling a fine litter of porkers! Tony purchased the van and it was \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007DCMS/Wolfson Fund supports new vehicle and implement gallery / The gallery store and display a number of vehicles that are currently stored away from the Museum site. Thanks to the DCF most of them them have been cleaned and photographed. The site for the new building will be a narrow strip of land running from Whittakers Cottages to the clump of trees to the east of Poplar Cottage. The building is a pole barn shelter with a monopitch roof which will be planted with sedum grass.
Two other buildings are also being erected to shelter and display horse drawn vehicles and agricultural equipment, one being a lean-to behind the Witley Joiners shop and the other, the Ockley Hay Barn which will house the newly restored threshing drum and hay elevator.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Hay barn to be re-erected this winter / The hay barn from Court Farm, Ockley in Surrey, having been in store since 1985, will be re-erected this winter at the top edge of Gonville field. Planning permission has been received, foundations dug and the timbers repaired and analysed. It will be used to store and display the recently restored threshing drum, dating from the 1860s, and our hay elevator, together with the 'Best' living van standing adjacent, thus showing the main components of a threshing train.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Threshing train display for Ockley Hay Barn / During the summer Paul Pinnington and Ben Headon completed the conservation and restoration of the Museum's threshing machine following a successful application to the PRISM(Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material) fund. Research has shown that it was built in 1862 making it a very early surviving example of agricultural equipment. Its original wheels had long since been replaced by pneumatic tyres, so a new set of wheels of appropriate design was produced by Douglas Andrews of Heathfield in East Sussex, which has greatly improved the appearance of the machine. The second part of the threshing train is the contractors' living van, in which the threshing gang would have been based and kept their equipment. The final part is the elevator, of which the Museum is lucky to have two similar examples and one will be conserved to join the final display. The three elements of the threshing train will be desplayed and housed in the Ockley hay barn.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Timber framing in the weald & Downland / Joe first visited the Museum as a 10 year old school boy and remembers seeing a timber frame in the course of erection, which was probably Pendean. He
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007People / Mark Buxton joined the Museum in Easter 2007 as horseman. He had been head horseman at the Royal Parks, based in Richmond Surrey and had visited the Museum over the past 13 years to attend the Heavy Horse Spectacular. Prior to this Mark was with the Royal Marines after which he worked on charter boats in the south of France and later for British Aerospace.
Shortly after joining the Museum a new Shire, Mac, was acquired. He is 10 years old and bred by the notable Shire breeder, the late Denys Benson. He is an old-fashioned sort of Shire with good draught qualities and is already working with Neville as a pair.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Poplar Cottage - a wasteland cottage from Washington, West Sussex / Poplar is a building of a distinctive type, with two rooms on the ground floor, two rooms above and a smoke bay at the gable end and a hipped terminal at the opposite end. A smoke bay is an intermediate stage of development between the open hall and full chimneys. This cottage was a wasteland cottage, that is a landless or near landless cottage built either on a wayside verge or an an encroachment on common land. They became common throughout the Weald & Downland region during the period 1580 to 1650. Common land refers to non-arable and unenclosed parcels of land on a manor such as wastes, woods and pasture. It was owned by the manorial lord but tenants had the right to its natural products for food, fuel and materials, and pasture for animals. An Act was passed in 1589 against the erection of cottages on common land as it was recognised as a growing problem. Cases of illegal cottage building were dealt with by the manorial courts and t \\
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007People / Jo White and Vicki Guest joined the Interpretation team as Interpreters. They will interpret the Museum's domestic buildings often in period costume, as well supervising and managing the daily routine of the working Tudor kitchen. Jo came to the Museum with a Fine Arts degree and teacher training experience, and has a passion for history, interpretation and all things creative. Vicki graduated with a MA in Museum Studies after completing a degree in Archaeology and has a great deal of expereince working with living history groups.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007News in brief / On 15 July 2,000 women and their supportes converged on the museum for the second Cancer Research UK Race for Life. The race took place through the Museum site and west Dean estate and raised around
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