Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Beech Room, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Gressenhall, Beetley, Dereham, NR20 4DR

Items
No. Item

20/22

Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the ensuing year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Kybird be appointed as Chairman for the ensuing year.

21/22

Vice-Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Duigan be appointed as Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year.

22/22

Minutes

Minutes:

(A)     MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 28 FEBRUARY 2022

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record.

 

(B)     MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 JUNE 2022

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record.

 

 

 

 

23/22

Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2022.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record.

24/22

Minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 461 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2022.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record.

 

25/22

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillors Bowes, Eagle and Bushell and Ward.

26/22

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman stated that the works to transform Norwich Castle were well underway, work had started in summer 2020, with the reopening of the area due to take place in 2023. It remained a work in progress, and he said that Members of the Breckland Area Museums Committee would be welcome to visit, and if interested this could be arranged with Dr Hanley, Assistant Head of Museums. Members agreed this would be beneficial and Dr Hanley would make the necessary arrangements.

27/22

Urgent Business

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.

Minutes:

None.

28/22

Declaration of Interests

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.

 

Minutes:

None.

29/22

Ancient House Museum Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive a report from Oliver Bone, Curator of Ancient House Museum.

Minutes:

Dr Robin Hanley, Assistant Head of Museums for Norfolk Museums Service (NMS), provided Members with a Covid-19 update on the situation across all NMS sites. He explained that Covid-19 remained a risk and was being managed on a service-wide basis. Although site operations had reverted largely to pre-pandemic numbers in terms of capacity, there were still restrictions in some rooms due to ventilation limitations. Areas continued to be ventilated as much as possible and when this was not possible the numbers of visitors and staff were restricted. Hand sanitisers and enhanced cleaning regimes remained in place. Dr Hanley stated that it was unsure what Autumn and Winter would bring with regard to an increase in the spread of Covid-19 however, in terms of operational response, it could not get any worse, and he felt that teams were ready to respond to any change and were well equipped to deal with them.

 

The deployment of CO2 monitors, supplied through Norfolk County Council, had been really effective and had played a critical part to bring back into use some back-office space for staff and volunteers. Dr Hanley stated that it continued to be a challenge, but that they were committed to safe working across all NMS sites and were confident that this could be managed.

 

In line with Norfolk County Council practice at office hubs, non-frontline NMS staff had been able to return to the workplace. NMS had also implemented NCC Smarter Working and Hybrid Working principles across teams, which identified patterns of home and office-based working for teams and individual staff members.

 

The Curator of Kings Lynn and Thetford Museums, Oliver Bone presented the report on activities at Ancient House, Museum of Thetford Life covering the period from June to July 2022.

 

Building works at the former King’s Head public house, a listed building next door to the Ancient House had caused disruption to the Ancient House Museum last winter. The King’s Head remained covered in scaffolding following the involvement of Breckland Council and the Health and Safety Executive. It did not affect the current operations of Ancient House and the NMS would work closely with Norse to ensure this continued and reached a suitable conclusion for all.

 

The Ancient House programme of events planned to exhibit a different exhibition each year. This year the display had been about Thetford Treasure and featured a selection of items from the late Roman hoard of gold jewellery including an inscribed silver spoon found on the outskirts of Thetford in 1979. It also displayed Roman items from the temple site at Hockwold which had included some rare and carefully reconstructed glass vessels, pewter tableware and copper alloy figurines. The Hockwold Hoard would be moved on to the Lynn Museum in Kings Lynn for display in October 2022.

 

Recently the museum’s staff had devoted their energies to the museum’s Vikings, History on Your Doorstep exhibition which had opened to the public on 16 July 2022. Museum staff had worked with the project team at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29/22

30/22

Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse Report pdf icon PDF 566 KB

To receive a report from Andrew Smith, Operations Manager – West.

Minutes:

The Operations Manager for East and West, Andrew Smith presented the report that covered the period from June to July 2022.

 

Despite the ending of legal restrictions, a number of the COVID-secure systems and procedures implemented across NMS sites during the pandemic remained in place, with a focus on keeping staff and visitors safe through minimising any risk of infection through transmission. Sites continued to provide hand sanitiser stations and some directional signage. The wearing of face coverings was now optional, and visitors were encouraged to follow respectful distancing. The pre-booking of tickets was no longer a requirement but again remained optional. Site capacity limits had largely reverted to pre-pandemic levels.

 

The new Gressenhall Events Officer, Fiona Ashley, had now completed two months in post. The events programme for the 2022 season continued to run across the four operational models, which would be reviewed at the end of the calendar year to assess visitor attendance and feedback.

 

The four operational models included:

 

·         Special event days – major events which required full event staffing and set up, including the use of large parking fields. A premium ticket price applied for these event days to reflect the high level of activities taking place. Free admission continued to be provided to Norfolk Museums pass holders and Friends of Gressenhall members. The very successful Apple Day would take place on 16 October 2022.

 

·         Days with a Difference – smaller themed events which required a smaller staffing complement and utilised core parking. These events were aimed at attracting audiences of 500-800 visitors and were offered free to Norfolk Museums pass holders and Friends of Gressenhall members.

 

·         Norfolk School Holiday Activities – extra themed activities delivered each day of the Norfolk School holidays, with minimal increase in staffing. Free to Norfolk Museums pass holders and Friends of Gressenhall members.

 

·         Ticketed Events – pre-booked and pre-paid events. These events were held outside of standard opening hours or out of the main season, offered at a reduced charge to Norfolk Museums pass holders. The Bat Walk event held on 26 August 2022 had sold out.

 

 

The temporary exhibition, Georgie Meadows: Stitched Drawings, had been well received by visitors and 550 visitors had left their own drawings in response to the themes of the display as part of an interactive element. On 16 June 2022 Georgie Meadows joined the curator for an Artist Introduction Webinar to further discuss the themes of the exhibition. This was the first online webinar event hosted by Gressenhall and following positive feedback by attendees, it was hoped that more of these events would be held in the future.

 

The Arts Council funded project Full Steam Ahead, which had provided funding to restore the 1922 Farmer’s Foundry steam engine to working order was drawing to a close. The project had explored opportunities to diversify volunteering opportunities relating to steam, and recent activity had focussed on creative opportunities. Young Steam Curators facilitated by the Kick the Dust project had created pop up interpretation exploring the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30/22

31/22

Co-Option of a Non-Voting Member

To discuss the co-option of an additional non-voting Member.

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed the co-option of Councillor Roy Brame to join the Breckland Area Museums Committee as a non-voting Member. Councillor Brame was a Trustee of the Charles Burrell Museum in Thetford and the Chairman felt this was an opportunity to work together with a two-way flow of communication. This was seconded and agreed by Members. Councillor Kybird would contact Councillor Brame direct to invite him to join the Committee.

32/22

Next Meeting

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on Monday, 21 November 2022, venue to be confirmed.

 

Suggested dates for 2023 meetings are as follows:

 

20 February 2023 (alternative could be 27 February 2023)

5 June 2023 (alternative could be 12 June) – AGM

11 September 2023 (alternative could be 18 September 2023)

20 November 2023

 

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting to be held on Monday, 20 February 2023 in The Beech Room, Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse Museum, Fakenham Road, Gressenhall, NR20 4DR.