Lynne Ward tells us more about what Laxfield Museum has been during the lockdown periods…
Despite being closed to the public due to the pandemic, Laxfield & District Museum has still played its part in local history projects and research, such as supplying the local primary school with artefacts and photographs to assist their geography and history sessions, responding to online enquiries from family and local historians and being part of the community project, which is restoring All Saints Church bells. Being part of their successful National Heritage Lottery Fund grant means the museum has been able to create a new gallery in our former office space and we are in the throes of mounting a display of the old bell wheels, ropes and clappers, plus a history of the church bells and the current restoration process.
The museum has also played a facilitating role in a Suffolk Artlink Connect project, which went under the title What’s in Your Shed? Artist Caitlin Howells visited our museum by appointment this autumn and spent time seeking inspiration about Laxfield, and the way we are all connected, from our displays and collections. She finally found a starting point for the village based community project in our shed, a complete garden shed, which was gifted to us some years ago in its entirety and was reconstructed with its contents in the main gallery of the museum. From there the idea grew to encourage anyone to participate by finding ‘strange and wonderful bits and pieces stowed away in their sheds’.
On the 16th October owners of the ‘bits and pieces’ brought them to the churchyard and were encouraged to arrange them and press them into clay. These, together with impressions of chosen pieces from the museum ‘shed’, were subsequently cast in jesmonite and the final works are displayed around the village – an open air museum.
www.makedoandfriends.co.uk (Suffolk Artlink)