Yearbook 2008

Ashwell yearbook 2008 museum report

By Peter Greener

Ashwell Village Museum


For the Ashwell Yearbook 2008


(See additional report already sent to Margaret Budgen but sent again here. I am not sure which photos I sent before so will attach more relevant ones again.)


Apart from the Senuna replica given to us by the British Museum other work has been going on behind the scenes.


In May we were awarded ‘Full Accreditation’ by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in its nationally agreed scheme. To meet the requirements we had to achieve a number of clearly defined standards relating to governance and management, user services, visitor facilities and collections management. The whole thing meant an awful lot of office work for us to plough through and although the benefits may not be immediately visible to the public in the long term we will provide a better service and have easier access to expert advice and outside funding.


All this could not be accomplished without the team of volunteers and the Friends who keep the museum clean and running well. There are work groups on Monday evenings and Thursday afternoons when we document, display and preserve the collection. These are the best times to catch me if you have any queries or want to see something special from the archives or photograph collection. Indeed we will positively encourage you to use the museum’s resources to carry out research into Ashwell history either on your own or as part of a group. It would be very nice to see some publications or a website to develop out of this.


As ever we have had a great variety of donations this year. I ‘advertised’ in the paper for a scythe as we didn’t have one from Ashwell and was inundated with offers but we could only accept one. Saved since the 1930’s to end up in the museum were 4 paper bags used by Westropes Stores to sell loose sugar. We were pleased to accept the records of the ‘Ashwell Mens Club’ and an impressive set of scrapbooks from Alan Picking. Trawling the internet I discovered a copy of Charles Walkden’s book ‘Our Fields and Cities or Misdirected Industry’ which has some interesting chapters on Ashwell life in the 1880s. For more recent history we were given a watercolour by Peter Gilman of the ‘Last Elm’ and also the records of the Cottage Garden Renovation Project.


We have also had some family albums containing very interesting photographs which although not for donation we have been able to scan them to allow us to keep copies for ourselves and provide copies for the owners. In this digital age we can now preserve precious documents and make them more accessible. We look forward to another exciting year preserving and presenting Ashwell’s past.



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