Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse
Report by Robin Hanley.
Robin Hanley presented the report (originally prepared for the cancelled meeting in December).
He gave a brief update of the events during the period from October to December, many of which had been adversely affected by bad weather.
The Christmas experience event had gone ahead despite snow and freezing temperatures, thanks to an enormous effort by staff to make the site safe. It was a tribute to the whole team that there had been no significant incidents.
The introduction of the smaller event days had worked well and attracted good visitor numbers without the need for the additional staffing required on the larger event days. They allowed a bigger programme of events at a reduced cost.
The Heavy Horse Day was one such smaller event and evaluation had been carried out on that day to determine the sort of visitors it attracted. It had been expected to appeal to a specialist audience, but results showed that the visitors were split between older people and families with young children and had generally appealed to a wider audience of largely local people from Dereham, Swaffham and Norwich.
The information gathered would help with the planning of future events. The list for 2011 was almost finalised and would be issued at the next meeting. It was broadly similar to 2010 with both large and small event days. A booklet was being prepared to help market the events and to explain the differences so that visitors would be clear about what type of event they were attending.
The 2011 programme of events would include:
- February Half Term – farm based activities
- Spring Working Day on 3 April
- Easter and Food Fair combined, on 25 April
- Royal Wedding event, on Sunday 1 May with a May Day theme
- History Fair, on Sunday 29 May – moved from its traditional Bank Holiday Monday spot to avoid competition with other events in the area
- School summer holidays – lots of activities, crafts, theme trails, guided walks, etc
- Looked After Children’s Day
- Father’s Day
- Homes on the Road, on 26 June, celebrating traveller traditions
- Harvest Day, during the summer holidays and focussed on the farm
- Village at War, on 28 and 29 August
- Heritage Open Day
- Heavy Horse Day
- Apple Day
The Christmas event was to be reviewed and was not likely to be repeated in the same format. Instead the intention was to provide two or three pre-booked, half day Victorian Christmas activity days, linked with the schools programme.
The museum would also be supporting the Night at the Museum event. Jan Pitman, Learning Manager explained that they were trying to link the learning department with general public activities. The Night at the Museum would be held in the evening and would include a haunting and a murder! Participants would deal with different issues of relationships and the evening would end at about 10.30pm.
Other developments at the museum included the Land Army Gallery which was due to open May/June time with a big publicity push. ... view the full minutes text for item 7
Report by Robin Hanley.