Pauline Wilcock explains all:
Halesworth & District Museum recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment which has added new space for the Museum to reveal local history from the Bronze Age, the Roman occupation, the Victorian era, and far more. Also, in this Platinum Jubilee year, we can reveal how the town celebrated the coronations of not just one, but two queens.
We are still at Halesworth Station, but a great deal else has changed. The premises have been extended and refurbished, and stocked with exciting new exhibits, many with interactive features. And there are flexible spaces for talks, community events and even drama.
At the reopening, on 2 May, Rosemary Lewis, Chair of Halesworth Town Council, opened the Museum to reveal an array of fascinating insights into the history of life in our town and the surrounding villages.
For example, there are tangible links with the Roman Emperor Nero, and Boudicca. Silver coins from those times and golden coins from the Iron Age, before the Roman invasion, unearthed in Cookley and Blythburgh respectively, are on display for the first time.
We also now have a second hoard of local Bronze-Age axe heads, dating back around 3,500 years ago. The new display, on loan from the Royal Armouries, Leeds is on show alongside our unique Wissett Hoards. Many of these ancient objects look new and toolbox-ready, despite lying in the soil for over three millennia.
‘Uncle Billy’s Box’ has divulged another wealth of intriguing local information. This family heirloom was recently found to contain a chronicle of Halesworth life going back to the early 19th century, in the form of more than 200 personal letters. A fascinating interactive exhibit enables you to hear the ‘voices’ of this family in their own words. These documents, written by members of the Lincolne family, bring to life Halesworth’s celebrations for Queen Victoria’s coronation and the founding of what would become the United Reform Church on Quay Street, plus a wealth of other local and national issues of the day. Fast-forwarding to the 20th century, we are also displaying local memories of Coronation Day 1953.
The Museum has also recently offered extended opening times which are:
• Tuesdays, 10.00am to 12.30pm
• Wednesdays, 10.00am to 4.00pm
• Thursdays, 10.00am to 12.30pm
• Fridays, 10.00am to 4.00pm
• Saturdays, 10.00am to 4.00pm
Entrance is free, but donations are welcome. Hope to see you at the museum soon.