Project aims to bring museum to market town

RAF Watton history. Pictured: 82 Squadron Blenheims Line Up at Watton.

RAF Watton history. Pictured: 82 Squadron Blenheims Line Up at Watton. - 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.

RAF Watton history. Pictured: Pilot Officer Dunford-Wood, as married at Watton Register Office in Se

RAF Watton history. Pictured: Pilot Officer Dunford-Wood, as married at Watton Register Office in September 1939 and lived in a rented house at Thompson with his wife. - Credit: Submitted

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.'

RAF Watton history. Pictured: 7 Air Gunners of 21 Squadron just before the Squadron was posted here.

RAF Watton history. Pictured: 7 Air Gunners of 21 Squadron just before the Squadron was posted here. - Credit: Submitted


You may also want to watch:


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.

Most Read

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 museumforwattontown@gmail.com.

Do you think a Watton museum is a good idea? Contact reporter Doug Faulkner at doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus