Record visitors to steam museum

A Norfolk steam engine museum is celebrating record visitor numbers following a funding and volunteer boost.

A Norfolk steam engine museum is celebrating record visitor numbers following a funding and volunteer boost.

The Charles Burrell Museum at Thetford, which celebrates the history of the town's most famous industry, has received a near three-fold increase in attendance since last year.

It follows package of works costing more than £200,000 which have helped to make visible improvements to the Old Paintshop, in Minster-gate, and raised its profile.

Caroline Hack, museums and heritage development officer, said: "It has been a fantastic year for visitor numbers, which is partly down to the fact that we have been able to open longer."

"We normally get 1,200 visitors a year, but we have already had 3,373, which we are so pleased about."

The museum, which usually opens every Tuesday and on the last Saturday of the month during the tourist season, is beginning to wind down for the winter, apart from special openings for a French market on November 3 and Thetford's Christmas lights on December 1.

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But officials will still be improving its displays and starting an external refurb-ishment of the north west side of the grade II listed building, which is part of a £217,000 package of works, funded by the European Union, Norfolk County Council, Breckland Council and Thetford Town Council.

The former finishing shop was opened to the public in 1991 and tells the story of the world renowned Charles Burrell steam engine works and the people that worked there until its closure in 1928.