Project aims to bring museum to market town
- Credit: Submitted
A new museum has been proposed for Watton, to encourage more interest in the town's rich history and to bring in more visitors.
The idea has won support from town councillors and community figures, as the groundwork begins on finding a location for a new heritage collection, and the expertise to make it a success.
Project co-ordinator Bonnie Roberston said: 'George Freeman MP was recently quoted as saying Watton is a 'town on the edge'. And despite the growth in population in the town and its surrounds there has been no expansion of facilities or amenities.
'The excellent series of books produced by The Wayland Partnership Development Trust record much of what is already known about Watton and a museum would complement the research by displaying artefacts from over the years.
'This is very much a community project. Local people – from local schools to the retired – will be welcomed with their stories and donations of memorabilia into the safekeeping of the museum.'
While any solid plan is still some way off, Watton Town Council has agreed to support the ideas in principle, and the positive response has marked the beginning of the process.
The council wants to look into the feasibility of any such scheme, and where a museum could be housed.
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Watton Town Council clerk Jacqui Seal said: 'The idea is a lovely one coming from the public and we support it but we need to look into the feasibility. It will most likely require a building with its own access.'
Previously there had been a museum in Watton based around the RAF air base and the military history in the area.
The museum was forced to close when the building, provided by the RAF, was no longer available.
Jan Godfrey, whose husband Ken helped run the RAF museum, said it would be nice to have a museum in the town but it could be difficult to find a suitable venue.
She said: 'I totally support the idea and no one would be happier than me and my husband to see a new museum.
'You have got to find a building which is fit for purpose and then if you want Heritage Lottery funding you have to meet certain conditions and that can be very expensive.
'There is a lot of stuff around that could go into a museum so I don't think that would be a problem.'
The project, A Museum for Watton, will depend on the support of townspeople. Anyone with skills such as IT, fundraising, publicity or market research who would like to help make the museum a reality should contact the team at email@example.com.
Do you think a Watton museum is a good idea? Contact reporter Doug Faulkner at firstname.lastname@example.org.