Developments at the Long Shop Museum

leiston_ls_8663

Long Shop Museum, Leiston © David Gill

The Long Shop Museum in Leiston has been awarded £2 million by the HLF (“Long Shop Museum in Leiston awarded lottery grant“, BBC News 19 October 2016). The works were owned by the Garrett family from the 18th century.

The grant is part of a £3 million project to transform the site (“New lease of life for world’s first assembly line“, HLF Press Release 19 October 2016). This will assist with:

Alongside vital repairs, the project will help provide an enhanced visitor experience with new activities: the creation of a reminiscence café, a community hub and a Youth Shed where young people can gain basic engineering skills and find inspiration in the achievements of Richard Garrett, his descendants and those who worked at the site.

New displays will feature the Museum’s own extensive collections – from sickles to steam engines – and draw on the Garrett Archive at Suffolk Record Office to explore the history of industry and science, tell the stories of the workers and reveal more about the lives of the Garrett family – including Elizabeth Garrett who became the first woman in Britain to qualify as a doctor.

Stott Park Bobbin Mill

IMG_0227_Stott

Stott Park Bobbin Mill © David Gill

The Stott Park Bobbin Mill in Cumbria was in use from 1835 (when it was founded by John Harrison) until its closure in 1971. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1974 (and is now in the care of English Heritage). One of its chief functions was to make bobbins from locally harvested wood for use in the cotton mills. The mill is located at the south-west corner of Lake Windermere.

Stott_Park_DOE

1983

The first DOE guidebook was prepared in 1983 by Ian Ayris and Peter White. The introduction states: ‘The mill buildings and the machinery are predominantly Victorian. It is scarcely different in appearance today than it was over 100 years ago. It is, therefore, a unique and important monument’. The cover indicates the then vision for the bobbin mill: ‘An Industrial Museum’.

The fully illustrated guide has sections on the products; the bobbin masters; the bobbin mills; the bobbin makers; and bobbin making.

The acknowledgements notes that the DOE ‘will be pleased to hear from people who have further records, photographs or information on the history of the bobbin industry’.

Stott_Park_EH_red

2015

The present fully illustrated English Heritage guidebook by Peter White is divided into two main sections, tour of the site, and history of the mill. There is a description of each feature of the mill and its outlying buildings. There are several special features including child labour; powering the mill; apprentices, journeymen and masters; the cotton famine; and the workhouse. There is a section on the 1980 interview with Jack Ivison and his memories of the working mill.

 

World’s First Twinned Archaeological Sites

IMG_0999_med

Grime’s Graves © David Gill

Last night (14 July 2016) we attended a ceremony to celebrate the World’s First Twinned Archaeological Sites: Grime’s Graves in Norfolk and the Hoshikuso Obsidian Mines in Japan. There was a warm welcome from the Mayor of Thetford.

IMG_0998

Grime’s Graves © David Gill

We were given a tour of one of the pits, and then a walk round part of the site to Canon Greenwell’s Pit (not open to the public).

IMG_1004_med

Grime’s Graves, Canon Greenwell’s Pit © David Gill

This was followed by speeches, and a signing ceremony between the two archaeological sites.

IMG_1011Med

Grime’s Graves © David Gill

IMG_1012_med

Grime’s Graves © David Gill

The party of Obsidian Ambassadors then sang to us, followed by further music suited to a perfect summer evening.

IMG_1015

Grime’s Graves © David Gill

Travel Back in Time with King Raedwald

communityrailpromotion

In March 2016 the Department for Transport announced a £1 million fund to make it easier to travel by rail. Minister Claire Perry MP has spoken about the ‘great ideas’ that had been put forward.

A group of us proposed a project, ‘Travel Back in Time with King Raedwald’. This will involve using proximity prompts to encourage visitors to move from viewing the Sutton Hoo finds in the British Museum, the UK’s top tourist attraction (see here), to the find-spot in Suffolk. The app will provide information about how to get to Liverpool Street, how to buy tickets, where to change (at Ipswich), and where to alight (Woodbridge or Melton). It will then have further details of where to buy food and coffee, and how to walk (or find other transport) from the station.

Minister Claire Perry MP announced the winners yesterday (“Rail tourism winners announced“, 25 May 2016). The competition “offers grants to rail operators for innovative ideas and trials and is aimed particularly at heritage railways and community rail partnerships. It hopes to encourage more tourists and make it easier to explore the UK by rail.”

‘Travel Back in Time with King Raedwald’ was one of the 17 winners and the team members are looking forward to delivering the project over the next year.

Claire Perry MP commented: “We want to show the best of British to our visitors and Heritage and Community Railways are part of that package. I am delighted that this project is one of 17 national winners across Britain. I look forward to seeing the scheme develop, providing another great reason to visit Suffolk.”

The Long Shop Museum

IMG_8655

Long Shop Museum © David Gill

The Long Shop Museum in Leiston celebrates the output of the engineering company of Richard Garrett & Sons. The displays record the remarkable industrial output of this small Suffolk town including a wide range of agricultural equipment including traction engines and seed planters. During the First World War the plant produced aircraft, and in the Second World War guns for ships.

IMG_8661

Weathervane at Long Shop Museum © David Gill

Donkeys at Carisbrooke Castle

This is one of the more unusual features of Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. This comes from a British Pathe news bulletin of 1963. The castle was placed under state guardianship and is now part of English Heritage.

The well was dug after 1136, and is some 49 m deep. The first recorded mention of the use of donkeys to turn the wheel dates to 1696.

A more recent video from the BBC shows the revised conditions in 2011, although some of the older Ministry signage can still be spotted.