May 18 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Monday, March 11, 2013
Major internal renovations at a Norfolk museum have been completed just in time for the museum’s reopening to the public on March 20.
Workmen have been busy since February carrying out improvements to the internal ventilation system at Diss Museum’s Shambles building to enable damp to escape and help preserve the brickwork at the Grade II listed property.
The next stage will be for repairs to the building’s external brickwork by removing the cement render, which has become damp, to expose the brickwork underneath which will be repaired and repainted.
The aim of this is to help the drainage, while a new trench will be created to take run off water from the drains and guttering and pipework on the outside will be replaced with new, larger versions. There will also be small repairs to the roof.
New displays have also been set up for visitors to see, including exhibitions on the history of the town’s Corn Hall, Life Before Electricity, clay pipes, brushes from the Brush Factory and Lopham Linen and Weaving.
The reopening will also be the first opportunity to view the rare Diss Volunteer Infantry medal awarded to soldier Jabez Waller in 1811 for services to the army. The museum acquired the medal at a Fakenham auction by James and Sons auctioneers.
Another exhibition will be a wall display commemorating the 800th anniversary of the murder of Matilda Fitzwalter on the orders of King John.
The refurbishments are set to cost £37,000 in total, including a £21,500 grant from South Norfolk Council, a £2,000 grant from Diss Town Council, £5,000 from the Diss Surveyors Allotment Charity, £2,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, £1,000 from the Friends of Diss Museum, £1,000 from general donations and some legacy money from Pamela Griffiths.
Frank Howard, chairman of the museum’s trustees, said: “It is all going according to plan and on schedule. Because we have got the internal work done first we can reopen the museum and the work on the exterior can then go ahead without affecting the internal workings of the museum.”
Admission is free.
Nearly 3,000 people have supported a Facebook campaign demanding safety improvements on the A47 near Dereham set up after the latest fatal crash.
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