Ipswich and Colchester museums were successful in the first bid for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which will go towards the ‘Transforming People to Transform Museums’ project. The scheme will enable the two museums, alongside the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, the Long Shop Museum in Leiston and Palace House in Newmarket to train eight trainees per year on 12 month placements over the course of three years. A spokesman from Colchester and Ipswich museums said: “One of the aims of the project is to work towards ensuring that those that work in museums better reflect the diversity of theirRead More →

We are delighted to be adding to Suffolk Museums’ stock of loan resources, meaning that care homes and community groups in the Ipswich area will soon find it easier to borrow one of our Rekindling Memories mini-kitchen cabinets or wardrobes. The new resources will  be available to borrow from Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich as well from the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket and Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. Ideal for use with befriending groups, day care centres and in residential homes they provide a wonderful focal point for a memory sharing session. Each comes with its own reminiscence prompts and handling objects to bring back  memories of growing up and going outRead More →

The Mid Suffolk Light Railway and Leiston’s Long Shop Museum both featured at some length on the edition of  Great Railway Journeys, first broadcast on 13th January BBC2. Filmed last May, Michael Portillo clearly enjoyed himself riding on the footplate and meeting volunteers at the Middy. He also spent time finding out all about Richard Garrett and his industrial legacy at the Long Shop.Read More →

  First came news that GAINSBOROUGH’S HOUSE in Sudbury, birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, had received Heritage Lottery Fund support of £4.73 million, including a development grant of £280,700, to transform itself into a national centre and one of the region’s leading heritage museum and galleries. Then came the announcement of a further £1.9 million worth of support for the LONG SHOP MUSEUM in Leiston, beginning with an initial £161,200 towards Transforming the Long Shop, which will finally realise long-awaited plans for the restoration and redevelopment of this unique industrial site. Alongside vital repairs and structural work the redevelopment project will include new displays and activities, a communityRead More →

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has opened the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art in Newmarket. The Queen is Patron of the National Horseracing Museum which  houses an internationally significant collection of objects, paintings, trophies and silks,  now showcased across 12 new galleries in the Trainer’s House and King’s Yard Galleries. A gallery named ‘Under Starters Orders’ tells the story of how the sport originated and the role Newmarket played in the development of racing from the 17th Century onwards. “Royal Connections” explores the stories and associations between monarchy and the “Sport of Kings”,  from the time of James I onwards and includes items on loan from the Royal Collections. Other galleries celebrate legends of theRead More →

The two museums with the biggest smiles on their faces at 2016 Suffolk Museum of the Year Awards last night were Southwold Museum and Leiston’s Long Shop Museum – which scooped  Suffolk Museum of the Year and the new Special Family Friendly Award respectively. But the good news and happy faces did not stop there. Ipswich Museum received the Learning and Access Award and was congratulated for its training museum and the innovative ways it was seeking to attract new audiences and young people. The East Anglia Transport Museum in Carlton Colville won the Object of the Year Award, having topped an on-line public poll with itsRead More →

Six Suffolk museums received congratulations and official recognition of their newly confirmed Arts Council (re) accreditation status at the recent annual general meeting of the Association for Suffolk Museums held at the Museum of East Anglian Life. Pictured below (centre ) is Panel member Philip Wise who kindly did the honours, with representatives from Dunwich Museum, Gainsborough’s House, Lowestoft Maritime Museum, Mid Suffolk Light Railway,  St Edmundsbury Heritage Service and Suffolk Regiment Museum.Read More →

Pictured receiving their Awards at the Fitzwilliam Museum are (l to r)

Museum volunteers from The Long Shop in Leiston, Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury and the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket have carried off awards in no fewer than five of the seven categories at the regional SHARE Museums East Volunteer Awards held in Cambridge. Pictured above are individual winners Sheila Sorley from Leiston’s Long Shop Museum (centre) who won Front of House Volunteer, and Phil Giller from the Museum of East Anglian Life (far right) who took the Behind the Scenes award. Robert MacGibbon (far left) represented the Leiston Long Shop’s “Men’s Shed” team, who were Highly Commended for the Community Award. Liz Cooper (second left) wasRead More →

Mini wardrobe

The Rekindling Memories project set up in Suffolk several years ago brought museum partners together with social and health care professionals to create a bank of locally held resources for loan to residential homes or day care centres. Then came Rekindling Memories at Home, a spin-off initiative in which smaller, portable collections of museum handling materials for use in the community are loaned out to a variety of different organisations, including the Alzheimer’s Society and Suffolk Age UK. Now we have two  new loan resources to offer in the form of scaled-down models of an old-fashioned kitchen cabinet and a free-standing wardrobe which come with original items to  remind people of growing up or goingRead More →