Good news for museum lovers.  The school summer holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean we are done with the visiting season. In fact, September and October are usually busy months for Suffolk’s plethora of museums, many of which are small and volunteer-run. And it won’t be long before we find out which of them will be receiving this year’s countywide museum awards – including the prestigious title of Suffolk Museum of the Year. With more than 30 contenders in the mix, the judges face a tough job deciding on the shortlist. They range from some of the tiniest and quirkiest museums in theRead More →

IF you are up for the challenge of helping us to find the county’s next Museum of the Year, this could be the perfect time to venture from the beaten track and discover one you haven’t visited before!   Some of the volunteer-run museums which can only manage limited visiting hours often pull out the stops to provide an extra day’s opening on the Bank Holiday. Bentwaters Cold War Museum, near Rendlesham and HMS Ganges museum at Shotley both have a story that is uniquely local, yet part of a much wider history. Many visitors to HMS Ganges have a personal connection with the oldRead More →

With no two museums the same, in size, scope or situation, there’s really no such thing as a level playing field in the search for Suffolk’s Museum of the Year.  Large or small, they are all in with a chance of winning an Award in this year’s family-friendly category. With plenty of time left to pay any of them a summer visit, we turn the spotlight on a few more contenders, including the newest kid on the block. Few people probably realise that we even have a NATIONAL museum in Suffolk. Yet Newmarket has the nation’s National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art inRead More →

This week we are on the move in the search for family friendly things to do in Suffolk’s museums.  Although the first image of a museum that will typically come to most people’s minds is a static display of some kind, there are plenty with moving parts. And in some cases the fun starts before you even get there! Ipswich Transport Museum is located on the edge of town in the old trolley bus depot in Cobham Road, which doesn’t render it particularly visible to visitors (even the locals.)  Throughout August it operates a free Sunday bus service to and from the railway station viaRead More →

IF you are still looking for things to do in the holidays, here’s something that works in pretty much all weathers (and with all ages) – visit a museum. Don’t let on to any children who think their brains are entirely on holiday until September, but they are places that are pretty much guaranteed to stimulate a bit of informal, out of school learning. Museums are also a great way to get different generations to interact with each other, and the chances are that it won’t just be the youngest visitors who find out something they didn’t previously know. It can be hard to exactlyRead More →

The school holidays are when many of the county’s museums make a special effort to welcome summer visitors with a variety of things that will appeal to different age-groups and keep them entertained! Discovery trails, story-telling, drop-in activities, family days and mini-workshops abound. During the coming “Summer in Suffolk Museums” visitors could find themselves grooming a pony, riding on a fire engine, making a bug hotel, performing their own percussion music, designing a printed fabric bag or learning some techniques for surviving in the wild. There are lots of local museums in Suffolk (more than 50 at the last count), each with its own perspectiveRead More →

Lowestoft Rising with Museums is an Arts Council England funded project that works under the umbrella of Lowestoft Rising to improve the resilience and sustainability of three of the most popular museums in Lowestoft: Lowestoft Museum, Lowestoft Maritime Museum and East Anglia Transport Museum. Although each museum boasts a unique identity and bespoke collections relating to the preservation of Lowestoft heritage, the continuation of all these museums is reliant upon the commitment of volunteers. Therefore, to promote the many volunteering opportunities available at each site, whether with collections, as guides, visitor/café/shop assistants, or as schools and learning volunteers, each museum has been involved in aRead More →

From ponies and pirates to treasures and trails – what’s your favourite Suffolk Museum? The search is on to find Suffolk’s Museum of the Year 2017! With over 60 museums full of fascinating collections and a great line-up of summer events, it’s no easy task however! This year all the museums taking part in Summer in Suffolk Museums are contenders for the Suffolk Museum of the Year Family Friendly Award. Visitors can play their part in determining who gets to the shortlist by completing a short feedback questionnaire and voting form when they are at the museum. Or anyone can email us about their favouriteRead More →

Suffolk Museums’ reminiscence resources will be featuring throughout the week May 15 – 20 at an Ipswich event aimed at helping people living with dementia to reconnect with  activities, events and experiences. “Reliving the Moment” is a special Dementia Awareness Week  event being held at Quay Place in Ipswich, the restored and re-imagined St Mary Le Quay church site at Ipswich Waterfront, which was developed in partnership between Suffolk Mind and The Churches Conservation Trust. A range of activities and props from the past will be on display to stimulate memories and prompt conversations that can help to improve people’s to feelings of well-being, self-worth and confidence. Two of ourRead More →

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 →