Museum History
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 Date   Origin   Summary 
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007News in brief / The images of Bayleaf exhibtion took place in the summer was opened by Roger Champion, who as the Museum's master carpenter, had been intimately involved with Bayleaf Farmhouse from the beginning of its life as a Museum exhibit. Following an appeal in the Spring magazine submissions rolled in, from models of all kinds, paintings, rungs, engravings, crocheted wall hangings and photographs.
Local artist and tutor Gordon Rushmer curated the exhibition in the Downland Gridshell.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Sadly, during the year a number of volunteers have passed away / Mary Hum - worked in ticket office, shop and main office.
Monica Hannevoide worked for many years in the shop as a supervisor.
Sandy Lane worked in the ticket office, shop, mill, on car parking, guided tours and general building exhibition interpretation.
Jeff Lyons was a dedicated volunteer, both as a steward and a gridshell guide.
Gertie Whittle worked mainly in the shop.
Diana Buxton was a volunteer for many years and also a Friends Committee member.
Cynthia Haworth worked in the days of the shop when it was based in the building from Lavant.
Eve Becher, another Friend's Committee members, was a volunteer in the shop, on ticket sales and at the reception desk in Hambrook Barn.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituaries / Following the obituary for Marjorie in the Spring 2007 magazine, Dr Janet Pennington wrote to advise of Marjorie's involvement with the Wiston estate Study Group. This group was also founded by Dr Roy Armstong, the Museum's founder. The group's aim was to record all the agricultural buildings on the c5000 acre Wiston estate. In the process, the derelict Poplar Cottage and a cartshed were identified as being good examples of their type and they were subsequently rescued and came to the Museum. The group gradually faded following the deaths of key members, however we are pleased to have been offered Dr Janet Pennington's small archive from the group for the Museum library.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituaries / Lord Nathan became the Museum's President in October 1994 in succession to Sir James Waddell. He held this office until Dec 1996 when the Museum's restructuring combined the chairman and president into a single post, and he remained as a vice president until his death. (date of death not given)
He was also chairman of the Sussex Downs Conservation Board and past president of the Society of Sussex Downsmen. He was a member of the Court and Council of Sussex of Sussex University. In his prefessional life he was a prominent in the City and for many years was senior partner of solicitors herbert, Oppenheimer, Nathan and Vandyk.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Obituaries Jim Oliver / Jim Oliver died on 19 May 2007 in his 90th year having been a great supporter of the Museum and was involved with its foundation in the late 1960s. It was in 1982 that he became a member of the Sites and Buildings Committee. He became a Trustee in 1986 and in 1987 took over the Chairmanship of the aforementioned committee, which held its last meeting in 1990. He retired from trusteeship in 1995 but remained as a Vice President.
Outside the museum he was a member of the Venacular Architecture Group and of the Wealden Buildings Study Group serving as Vice-President 1984-6 and President 1986-8. In 1983 he became Deputy President of the Hampshire Field Club and was deeply involved in studies of historic landscapes in Wessex.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007People / Lucy Hockley was recruited in April 2007 to join Diana Rowsell and Rebecca Osborne in the adult courses team. Her first degree is history with german and she completed a post graduate course in Heritage Interpretation at Ironbridge (Birmingham University). The appointment will allow the course programme to be developend and expanded and this will include a second MSc via Bournemouth University. Lucy's post is funded by the Sargent Charitable Trust in addition to the financial support already received by the Mitford Foulerton Trust.
Karen Barrett, who been involved with the Museum for many years, and has formally rejoined the staff with the education team.
Lisa Pescott joined the Museum as the new administration assistant replacing Holly Elliott, undertaking general adminsitration, organising children's birthday parties and running trade stands with Sue O'Keeffe.
2007/11Magazine / Autumn 2007Landscape Conservation Management Plan under way / Following a competitive tendering process Nicholas Pearson Associates have been appointed as colnsultants to carry out research and prepare the plan. The purpose of the plan is to underpin the future management of the park by the edward James Foundation and the Museum and to guide the location and design of development proposals.
The aims are to 1) establish an understanding of the Park's development and assess its significance, 2) explore and discuss its vulnerabilities and the issues involved in its use, development and management, 3) Set a broad policy framwork for its future use and development, and 4) develop the broad policies into workable long-term strategies and actions. The plan should be ready in the spring of 2008 and the steering group includes the Edward James Foundation, the Museum, English Heritage, Chichester District Council, Singleton and west Dean parish councils, the South Downs Joint Committee and the Sussex Gardens Trust.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Sheep folding / Sheep grazing on the site is now taking place with the aid of a moving sheepfold. The hurdles are formed into two adjacent square areas, the sheep graze in one for a few days, then a hurdle in the division is removed to allow them to move from one to the other to graze a new patch.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006News in brief / Four special days are being organised in August by the Museum's schools service, Adult Education and Interpretation depts for children from less advantaged backgrounds. There will be a choice of four activities, picnic lunch provided and games for the energic.
The Friends of the mUseum have been given a log-cabin design quilt, which will be raffled at the Autumn Countryside Celebration (7 & 8 October)
A total of
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Knwledge transfer associates appointed / The first associate (history) to be appointed under the KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) Scheme, in conjunction with Reading University, is Danae Tankard. Her remit is to research the social and economic background to our main exhibits so that we will be better equipped to answer our visitors' most common question - what was life like for the people who lived in our houses?
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006New oxen pair to begin training / The Museum's pair of oxen Lamb and Leader were expected this year, to be seen around the site, ploughing, carting, rolling and harrowing. Leader was frightened by a loose dog and his behaviour became unreliable. Regretfully the pair had to be replaced and we now have a pair of heifer calves bred at Brinsbury College, their names being Gwen and Graceful.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Friends news /
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Museum hubs? Renaissance in the Regions? Designation? Accreditation? What are these? / Museums work within a much more regualted framework than in the past, following a number of government initiatives intended to enhance museum provision.
Renassaince in the Regions is a nationwide project designed to improve standards and increase resources in museums. Museum "Hubs" have been created in each English region and each hub had four or five main partners, always larger museums. The Hub partners are provided with money to undertake various projects, many to do with improving access in all its forms to museums and their collections. They are expected to be centres of excellence and leaders of their regional museum communities, piloting new ideas and providing examples of best practice for wider application, cascading their successful initiatives down to the other "non Hub" museums.
Accreditation is a scheme to ensure that all museums reach a good standard in their security, govenance, care of collections \\
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006News in brief / Various groups and users of the Downland Gridshell conservation workshop.
The MG Car Club will be holding their summer gathering at the Museum on 6 August 2006, with some 200-250 cars expected.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and the Worshipful Company of Plumbers are to hold a two-day Conservation of Decorative Leadwork conference at the museum during May 2006.
Children's Activity days at the Museum.
Vegetables of all shapes and sizes. Old varieties of vegetables will once again be grown for sale within the Museum shop. They are produced by Chris Baldwin from the market garden within the arable fields.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006New additions to the Collection / A very rare hay press came from Peter Hall of Newdigate Surrey, its origen being Betchworth. Also added is an interesting collection of hop tallies and tokens, which were transferred to our collection from Horsham Museum, these originally having been used in Kent and Sussex. A grain crusher came from Leila Frodsham of Haywards Heath, who found it in an old mill she had purchased. A very sound and complete Sussex wagon came from Tony White of Yapton, West Sussex which may be used as a replacement for our site waggon.
A churn stand was donated by Mr Boam of Fittleworth, West Sussex which was still in its original place outside a farmhouse. The stand has now been restored and situated by the Museum entrance.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006News in brief / Joan Harding, who died in June 1993, kindly donated a wonderful series of pottery models she produced as a result of her study and recording venacular architecture. She founded the Domestic Buildings Research Group (Surrey). The modesl are to be sited at the top of the stairs in Crawley Hall.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006John Hurst and archaeological reconstructions at the Museum / John Hurst, a pioneer of medieval archaeology in Britain and a leading authority on medieval pottery and deserted medieval villages, died in April 1003. He was a great supporter of the fledgling Museum in the 1970s. Along with Eric Holden, he excavated part of the Hangleton deserted medieval village, and their reports are published in Sussex Archaeological Collections part 1 in 1963 by Eric Holden and part 2 in 1964 with John Hurst and his wife Gillian. The article tells the history of the Museum's Archaeological Committee, and mentions the Saxon weaver's sunken hut reconstruction and its removal in 1983.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Hangleton Cottage and its medieval village / The medieval village of Hangleton is situated above the village of Hove about two miles from the sea. The estimated population in the early 14th century was 200. It formed part of the Fishersgate Half Hundred, together with the neighbouring manors of Aldrington and Portslade, situated within the Rape of Lewes. The lords of the manor from 1291 to 1446 were the de Poynings, a Sussex genrty family with lands in Sussex, Kent, Suffolk and Norfolk. The village site was exavated between 1952 and 1954 by Eric Holden and John and Gillian Hurst when plans for additional housing overspill threatened to and did remove all traces of the village for good. In total remains of 12 building groups (20 buildings) were excavated, covering a period of 13th to 15th century.
The Museum's cottage is an amalgam of 2 bulidings because no one house was sufficiently well preserved to allow for
reconstruction on its own evidence. The cottage was built with flint walls to a height that \\
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Trug workshop moves to the Museum / The Museum was approached in Dec 2005 by Mr Robin Tuppen who had run the long-established trug workshop for the last 25 years. The firm was initially set up by Thomas Smith of Herstmonceaux , East Sussex in the 1820s. Latterly Mr Tuppen had battled to keep the craft alive but as it was no longer comercially viable, he was keen that the contents of the workshop should not be broken up and sold. To this end he contacted the Museum and the workshop arrived just before Christmas 2005. He is hopeful he will be able to demonstrate the art of trug making within the museum.
2006/3Magazine / Spring 2006Report from the Schools Services Dept / 2005 saw 24000 children coming to the Museum, (3000 more than 2004). They are mostly primary schools, but visits are also increasing from secondary schools, colleges and trainee teachers reflecting the value of the museum and its collections as a vehicle for learning.
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