Museum stalwart steps down as Halesworth venue celebrates 30th anniversary

Halesworth and District Museum celebrates its 30th anniversary. Sue Clapson (right) and Pauline Wilc

Halesworth and District Museum celebrates its 30th anniversary. Sue Clapson (right) and Pauline Wilcock with Brian Holmes and Brian Howard. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A museum has celebrated its 30th anniversary with an event which also marked the retirement of one of the venue's founding members and its chairman for the past 20 years.

Halesworth and District Museum celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Halesworth and District Museum celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Although 77-year-old Brian Holmes has stood down from the role at Halesworth and District Museum, he is not giving up all his links and will continue to act as a steward.

He said: 'I have spent a third of my life with this place.

'We have a very good team which is why I chose now to retire. We've got a lot of people with lots of skills that I don't have and they work very well together and I thought I would leave on a high.'

The museum has been based in the town's Victorian railway station since 2000 and features displays which will take you back 10,000 years, to the earliest settlers in the Blyth Valley.

Mr Holmes, who was a teacher at Edgar Sewter Primary School, said he had seen a number of changes during his time with the museum.

'Over the years, we became a charity and we've got backing from Suffolk county,' he said.

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'We are accredited and this has allowed us to get funds from other places and in 2013 and 2014, we became runner up in Suffolk's Museum of the Year competition.'

The museum is now working to appoint a new chairman to work alongside the 37 volunteers who currently help run it.

Among them is Brian Howard who is looking forward to a number of new ventures for the coming year.

He said: 'We've got a model of Halesworth as it was in the 1530s and visitors are able to press a button and get a commentary. We now want to have a three-dimensional computer model where people can take an imaginary trip around the town and be able to fly down the street and around the church.'

Some donations have already been received towards the £4,000 cost and fundraising is taking place. The museum is also hoping next year to install a plaque at the station to remember the station master, his wife and their servant who were killed when Halesworth station was bombed in 1941. The three were the only civilian casualties from the town during the war.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 12.30pm and Wednesday afternoon from 2pm until 4pm. The museum will be closed for Christmas from December 12 until January 19, however should anyone want to visit during this time, they are asked to email the museum to arrange for a volunteer to open up.

More details are available at halesworthmuseum.org.uk/wpress/

Is your organisation marking a special anniversary? Email lynn.crombie@archant.co.uk