Yearbook 2002

Report from the Museum in the 2002 Ashwell Yearbook

By Peter Greener

From the Ashwell Village Museum for inclusion in the 2002 Yearbook.



2001 has been another exciting year for the museum. We had our long awaited ‘Grand Opening’ on a fine and warm mid-summer day. In the afternoon we invited a class of school children to cut the ribbon, they represented the future of the museum and the fact that some enthusiastic schoolboys started the whole collection in the 1920’s. This connection was continued in the evening when the wife of one of our founders, Win Sheldrick, did the honours. Old and young Ashwellians, those involved in the building project and other local dignitaries packed the museum and Parish Room eager to see how we had spent our grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The most popular new exhibit, especially to be photographed in, was the recreated ‘Bucket and Chuck it’ outside loo. Have we really spent £100,000 on an architect designed building to house an outside toilet inside?


Another very popular feature, that required some time to browse, was the exhibition arranged by the Ashwell Photo Club entitled ‘Snapshot of Ashwell in the Millennium’. As the name implies this was their overview of life in the village during the year 2000. Only a selection could be put on display but now the whole collection has been donated to the museum for us to preserve. Thank you the Photo Club.


This was also the first of what will become a programme of changing exhibitions. On display now are a variety of odd treasures that has either just been donated or we have been unable to show owing to lack of space. From fireplace to tennis racket and bread peel to bicycle it shows the diversity of our collection that always has one thing in common – Ashwell.


The next exhibition due to open on 12 May for the ‘Ashwell at Home’ will be about the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations and Coronation. What were you doing in 1952, 1953 or 1977? We would be pleased to consider any photos or commemorative material you may like to offer for the exhibition.


Our big disappointment of the year has been the closure of Ashwell Education Services and the consequent drop in usage by school children. We have spent some time trying to work out where to go next but it will be very hard to replace the quality and size of service provided by David Short and his team.


The museum is part of the village and thanks must go to the many people who help out in all sorts of ways. To the Friends for keeping it open for visitors, to the WI for keeping it clean (it should be easier now the building work is over!), to curatorial helpers on Monday evenings and Thursday afternoons and the Sunday Tearooms for tea and cakes. If you have any queries or would like to help please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.   


Peter Greener    Hon Curator    742956

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