Halesworth and District Museum News

17 May Halesworth and District Museum News

To all our Friends and Supporters

We are delighted to announce that the Museum will be opening again on Tuesday May 18th.

We will be looking for a number of additional volunteers this season.

Stewards.

The stewards are the face of the Museum. They are our main contact with the visitors. They provide information about the Museum and feedback about the visitors. We have a number of ‘shifts’. From Tuesday to Saturday there is a morning shift from 10 to 12:30 and on Wednesdays we have an afternoon shift of 12:30 to 4pm. Stewards will arrive a few minutes before opening times and will leave a few minutes after. The Museum is hoping to extend its opening hours by having afternoon openings on Fridays and Saturdays. We will need additional stewards for these opening.

Qualifications required? None. All we need are people who are happy to talk to visitors and make them feel welcome. As to historical knowledge, you will pick that up as you go along. If you are asked a question to which you do not have an answer, it is OK to say that you don’t know. We have a form that can be filled in and someone will then get back to the visitor with an answer.

If you’re interested or would like to know more, just call Brian on 07715 679711 or e-mail the Museum at office@halesworthmuseum.org.uk and arrange a visit to the Museum for a chat and a look around.

Museum Extension.

We are expanding! The Museum has taken up the area formally used by MENCAP and will be re-opening a door connecting this space to the main display area. At the same time, we are moving large items from a store in Holton to a better storage facility in Upper Holton

We need a number of volunteers to help in this project some helping to move items, some helping to update the catalogue (we have to know where every item in our collection is), some to help with cleaning after the building work has been done and with luck someone who is willing to co-ordinate the project.

PROJECT 2021

This is the name we have given to the developments we are planning this year (and perhaps into 2022). These include the additional opening hours and the Museum extension as well as the display of the Cookley Roman silver coins and the Blythburgh Iron Age coins. In addition, we want to photograph significant items in our collection, adding the images to our computer catalogue. We would also like to extend our audio-visual offering to visitors by way of a touch-screen display. We would really welcome help in doing this.

There are a number of other areas where additional expertise would enhance the Museum’s offering to the town and surrounding villages. For example, some of the skill we could use: web site editors, graphic artists and transcribers amongst others.

They’re coming home!

People of the Halesworth area have responded magnificently to the Halesworth and District Museum’s plea for help to secure the return to the area of a hoard of Iron Age gold coins recently unearthed near Blythburgh. They are among the earliest coins produced in Britain and carry intriguing images in the shape of animals, hidden faces, swirling patterns and strange symbols. One at least is the first of its kind ever to be discovered. How they came to be left or buried over 2,000 years ago is, for the time being, a matter of speculation.

£16,150 was needed to purchase the nineteen rare pieces once they were declared Treasure Trove. The hope was to raise at least £2000 of this locally. In the event donations from local people have amounted to well over £5,000 and the Museum has successfully applied to national grant-making bodies for the balance.

Pauline Wilcock, Chair of the Museum’s Trustees is full of praise for the local response. “Thanks to the magnificent generosity of local people, we have reached our target well within the three-month period we were given. It says a lot about people’s understanding and appreciation of the importance and interest of our local history. We shall do all we can to make sure that everyone gets a chance as soon as possible to see and wonder at these incredible survivals from two thousand years ago.”

The coins should shortly be released by the British Museum where they are currently stored. Halesworth Museum is set to reopen after the next stage of lockdown is lifted, hopefully in mid-May. “For now, the next task is to acquire a secure display cabinet which will show the coins off to advantage and allow us to explain their importance”, explains Museum Curator, Brian Howard. “As a museum run by local people for local people, we owe that much to everyone who has been so generous”.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Halesworth and District Museum is at the Halesworth Railway Station Building

www.halesworthmuseum.org.uk            office@ halesworthmuseum.org.uk