Agenda and minutes

Venue: Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse Museum, Fakenham Rd, Gressenhall, Beetley, Dereham NR20 4DR

No. Item



To elect Chairman for the ensuing year.



Resolved that Councillor Clarke be appointed Chairman for the ensuing year.



To elect a Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year.



Resolved that Councillor P Duigan be appointed Vice Chairman for the ensuing year.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 February 2017.


The minutes of the meeting held on 27 February 2017 were confirmed as a correct record.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies had been received from David Blackburn, Oliver Bone and Councillor Eagle (NCC).


Chairman's Announcements (if any)


The Chairman congratulated Councillor Richmond on his appointment as Vice Chairman.


He thanked Gressenhall Museum staff for the comprehensive and informative tour of the Collections Gallery.


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.




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.






Report by the Curator, Oliver Bone.


Dr. Robin Hanley presented the report for the period March – June for Ancient House Museum Thetford.


1.1   Thetford Remembers 1914-1918. He advised on 11th November 2018 Ancient House would be involved with Thetford Town Councils evening beacon lighting event to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

An exhibition was planned for Ancient House representing the peace and aftermath of the First World War and would contribute to Norwich Castle’s event running from August 2018 to early 2019. He advised that Kate Thaxton, Curator, would bring together all local commemorative exhibitions.


1.3  The Story of Thetford Pulp Ware Exhibition. He advised the exhibition would end

      December 2017 and had been supported by Arts Council England (ACE).


2.1 He confirmed work was continuing to create a permanent gallery dedicated to  

Duleep Singh. Working with Essex Cultural Diversity whose focus was   celebrating diversity, a Punjab festival was planned for July 2018. He advised funding schemes offered by Heritage Lottery and ACE were being investigated.


2.2 The new temporary exhibition, to open at Ancient House December 2017 was    

       planned to be “Handmade”. The display would cover different material with

      sections on textiles, ceramics, wood, metal and stone.


3.1  Holiday activities. An events flyer had been produced promoting activities during

       the school summer holidays. This flyer had been widely distributed and sent to

       local schools.


3.4  The current programme of learning opportunities for schools remains relevant  

       and current to the needs of the schools in a demanding time with budget and   

       curriculum changes. In total across the 10 museum sites there had been 50,000

       school children visit. 2331 of these visited Ancient House. It was noted that

       elsewhere in the Country school visit numbers had decreased but had increased

       at Ancient House.


4.2  A column remained present monthly in the Thetford and Brandon times

       newspaper. This highlighted the exhibitions and events at Ancient House and

       proved the venue was effective at being kept in the public eye.


4.3  Social media. Ancient House currently had 2481 Twitter followers and 551 likes

       on Facebook. It was highlighted that both the History Club and the Teenage

       History Club raised awareness of the Museum through Social Media. He advised

       Melissa Hawker kept alert to local and national social media campaigns, “Kids in

       museums” take over days had been very effective in their use of social media to

       highlight the Museum.


5.2  The Museum remained part of the “Teaching Museum Programme”. Trainees

       joined for 12 months on a paid scheme with a development programme. He

       advised trainees need no formal qualifications just an enthusiasm for museums

       and heritage. Sam Bellotti is the current trainee, with time being spent at both

       Lynn Museum and Ancient House. The previous trainee Imogen Clarke had now

       started a full time job at the Fan Museum.


Account funding – Over the last three years Norfolk Museum Services had received £4 million in funding through the Arts Council England’s “Major Partner Museum” programme. He advised that from April 2018 this funding stream would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.



Repot of the Operations Manager (West), Hannah Jackson.


Hannah Jackson – Operations Manager West presented the report for Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse to members.


Cllr Clark noted that 137 visitors visited Gressenhall on the Lottery Players preview day that had stated it was their first visit, he queried whether the reason for their visit that day had been captured.

HJ advised that the event had been free of charge to Lottery Players and had been picked up by the local press and social media. It was understood these visitors used the free entry as an opportunity to visit.


Cllr Richmond noted the marquee was in the ground and were people using it for wedding service and reception.

HJ confirmed the most recent wedding used the Chapel only for their service. There were three more weddings booked for 2017 and they were all using the site for the service and reception. She advised they respond to the needs of each individual couple.

Cllr Richmond asked who provided the catering.

HJ confirmed the Mardlers Rest café on site was used for all catering needs.


Cllr Ward queried on the flyer it stated the only assistance dogs were permitted on site and was this a new rule.

HJ confirmed it was in place prior to her employment and she understood the policy was driven by livestock issues.


Cllr Richmond advised that it would soon be the bi-centinary anniversary of the Suffragette movement and were there any events planned for this.

RH confirmed that it was being looked at for Norwich, the Shirehall had submitted a draft bid for Heritage funding however he would feedback the potential for an event at Gressenhall.


Cllr Clark queried if the recent Symphonic concert would run again in future years.

HJ advised there had been 270 visitors at the evening performance and would explore future opportunities.

RH commented that the logistics for holding the event were comprehensive and to replicate it at the same high standard would require additional funding.

Cllr Darby advised he attended the concert and had thoroughly enjoyed it.




Collections Review and Rationalisation Programme 2015-18 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Report by the Head of Norfolk Museums Service, Steve Miller.

Additional documents:


Samantha Johns – Collections and Development Manager presented the report.


Cllr Clark queried if the preferred option for the items listed was to transfer to another museum as opposed to disposal.

SJ confirmed if items couldn’t be transferred the museum would retain them rather than dispose of them.


Cllr Ward queried if item 35 was an incorrect photograph.

SJ confirmed it was. The item is a clock and not a soda syphon as pictured, it was an incorrect image link.


Cllr Ward asked if the Museum service had a cigarette machine in the collection.

SJ advised there was no specific note confirming the service had one in the collection however the one listed did not fit with the collection policy and had no local connection.


SJ advised the items would be advertised through the Museum Journal. She suggested that at the next Breckland Area Museum Partnership meeting held at Gressenhall, members might wish to have a tour of the collection store to view the items and storage.


Resolved that the objects listed in the report be advertised for transfer or disposed of.