Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Toys on Display

December has seen Santa's elves working hard at the Museum to unpack the bulk of the Toys & Games collection from store and transfer it across to a new display in cases in Room 2 (previously used for domestic items).

Previously-hidden gems include a game of 'Trench Football' from World War One, a Victorian pull-along elephant toy found on King's Dyke and a variety of space-age items from the 1960s.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Museum Instagram Launched

Whittlesey Museum joins the smartphone age with the launch of a new museum Instagram feed:

The image-based social network is already used by many UK museums and allows users to build and share a personal photo album of their own pictures.

The Whittlesey Museum feed specialises in photographs of the local area, museum objects and things that are happening at the museum.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wind Farm Grant Awarded

This month we are feeling grateful to the Burnthouse Farm Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, a charitable fund managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, who have just granted Whittlesey Museum £825 towards the cost of new shelving for Room 5! Updates will follow as the shelving is installed and filled up as part of our ongoing timeline of local history. We hope to be able to bring quite a few objects out of our stores as a result of this grant and cover topics such as The Draining of Whittlesey Mere, Traditional Fenland Life, Victorian Whittlesey and World War One.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Surprise archaeology at Whittlesey Museum!

Brushing away some loose soil immediately outside the back door of our replica Forge has exposed a lovely section of original brick floor from the time when the back buildings of the old Town Hall used to be a caretaker's cottage. 
We hope to be able to keep the bricks visible now to share them with the public.

Whittlesey Festival 2015

 A good day was had by all at the Whittlesey Festival 2015, with unseasonably sunny weather.  More than 200 visitors took advantage of free entry to the Museum to meet some real museum objects, get their faces painted and see parts of the 2016 Straw Bear being built to the accompaniment of some live music.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Full Accreditation for Whittlesey Museum

We are very proud today at Whittlesey Museum because we have just had our Full Accreditation renewed by the Arts Council for another three years!

The Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for UK museums. To qualify, museums must meet standards on how they are managed, for the services they offer, and on how they care for collections.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Museum Shop Revamp!

The Museum Shop area has been revamped this week, with several exciting new products including Hedingham Fair greetings cards, museum badges and pencils and even a new Whittlesey Museum exclusive Straw Bear Dress-Up toy (only 80p!)...

Of course, you can still buy the previous range of local history books and leaflets including the ever-popular Millennium Memories of Whittlesey series, now only £1 per booklet.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Local Mangle Restored

After much work over the winter, volunteers have just completed the restoration of a large local mangle which will now be taking up a permanent home in the museum yard.

The mangle was made in Whittlesea during the 19th century and is decorated with ornate ironwork designs including suns and crowns.The pale green colour of the new paintwork was especially mixed to represent the original colour of the mangle, matched against flakes of the original paint.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Summer Exhibition celebrates 200th anniversary of Waterloo

Did you know that local celebrity Sir Harry Smith fought at the Battle of Waterloo during the early part of his career, or that his young wife Juana was told that he had died there and rode 60 miles over the battlefield searching for his body before the pair were reunited?

This summer's exhibition at Whittlesey Museum commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June using first-hand accounts of the battle written by Sir Harry Smith and Juana Smith. Come and find out for yourself about the role that the Prussian army played on the day, the looting of teeth from the dying to use in dentistry at home and Europe's first prisoner of war camp at Norman Cross in Peterborough.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Redisplay of Room 6

Regular visitors may have noticed gradual changes happening to the displays in Room 6, formerly the 'Information Room' at the back of Whittlesey Museum.

The museum reference materials have been moved into Room 1 and the shelves and writing desk that went with them have gone, allowing a rearrangement of the display cabinets to make a lot more space in the room.
Wednesday work team volunteers have since been hard at work repainting (ably demonstrated by our youngest volunteer, pictured) and installing new visitor attractions such as a touch-table, family activity boxes and a DVD screen.

When the redisplay is completed later this year Room 6 will form the first half of a timeline of Whittlesey's past, beginning when the clay in the brick pits was being laid down under the Jurassic sea and stretching up to 'Cromwell Country' and the Civil War.
The second half of the timeline, covering the period from the first wholesale fen drainage up to World War Two, will be installed in Room 5 at a later date.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Volunteer Social - 2.30pm Sunday 8th March

Whittlesey Museum is holding a Volunteer Social on Sunday, from 2.30pm at the museum. If you currently volunteer, are interested in volunteering in the future or just want to find out about what is going on at the museum, please come along for tea and biscuits and a short presentation before moving on to a local pub!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New Trading Stories Exhibition

This week sees the installation of the latest and final touring exhibition from the Fens Museum Partnership.

Called 'Trading Stories', the displays are based around a pair of dressers filled with objects representing bygone Fenland crafts and trades. Come and see how many you can recognise!

Entry to the exhibition is included in the usual museum ticket price of £1 for adults and 40p for children.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Straw Bear 2015

A good day was had by all at the 2015 Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesey this weekend.

Whittlesey Museum had a large number of visitors, helped by the free Photographic Society exhibition in the upstairs room of the Old Town Hall - many people who entered the building looking for one attraction ended up visiting both, a success all round!

New images of the Straw Bear and dancers taken on the day, (as well as at the Burning of the Bear on Sunday) will feature in updates to the Straw Bear display within the museum.