Heritage centre to 'finally' welcome back visitors following postponed reopening

Discover Downham will reopen to visitors on July 22.

Discover Downham will reopen to visitors on July 22. - Credit: Discover Downham/ Archant Library

Discover Downham is set to welcome back visitors this month as it finally reopens the centre following 'dismay' at having to postpone it.

The trustees at the Downham Market centre "reluctantly" pushed back the reopening date in June due to the delay in lifting lockdown restrictions.

But are now excited to reopen on Thursday, July 22, with volunteers eagerly awaiting welcoming back visitors once again.

Trustee Kathleen Wiseman said: "It will be good to open our doors again. With more people taking holidays at home this year we hope Discover Downham will attract more visitors to the town."

Harold and Francesca Cruz Drewry in the courtyard at Discover Downham.

Harold and Francesca Cruz Drewry in the courtyard at Discover Downham. - Credit: Discover Downham

A new summer exhibition about Downham Market stationer and photographer Herbert Raby will be among the displays on show.

The centre said the Raby collection is a "comprehensive record of every aspect of town life" over a period of around 30 years in the early 1900s, which covered celebrations, fetes, town improvements and disasters in Downham Market and the surrounding area.

Discover Downham has also improved its children’s area which now sees a range of costumes on offer for children to dress up in. 

Harold and Francesca Cruz Drewry at Discover Downham.

Harold and Francesca Cruz Drewry at Discover Downham. - Credit: Discover Downham

Volunteer Marion Batt said: "It will be so nice to open the doors again so everyone can see the changes over the past few months.

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"We hope there will be more people in the area on holiday and that they will visit the centre and grab a coffee while they sit and watch our latest Raby photo presentation."

Discover Downham also plans to hold a special event on September 19 named ‘The Humble Spud’ which includes exhibits, a film show, children’s activities and agricultural machinery on the centre's car park.

The volunteer-run centre, which records, researches and conserves the history of the town and the surrounding villages of the old Clackclose Hundred,  is free to visit and will be open again on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 4pm, and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.

A coffee morning will be held on Friday, July 30 from 10am to 12pm with homemade caked, a bric-a-brac stall and a raffle. 

For more on membership or volunteer opportunities visit discoverdownham.org.uk or email info@discoverdownham.org.uk