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After years of hard work Watton’s museum is ready to open to the public

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:49 09 March 2018

Museum4Watton is ready to open to the public on March 16. Pictured are (from left) Jackie Greenbrook, Chris Hutchings and John Greenbrook. Picture: Ian Burt

Museum4Watton is ready to open to the public on March 16. Pictured are (from left) Jackie Greenbrook, Chris Hutchings and John Greenbrook. Picture: Ian Burt

It has taken years of hard work, fundraising and negotiations but one Norfolk town is preparing for the long-awaited opening of its museum.

An early Paleolithic flint hand axe, believed to be half a million years old, which will be on display at Museum4Watton. Picture: Museum4WattonAn early Paleolithic flint hand axe, believed to be half a million years old, which will be on display at Museum4Watton. Picture: Museum4Watton

Museum4Watton will house artefacts from the town and surrounding villages’ rich histories so they can be enjoyed by the public and preserved for future generations.

Items on display will include an early Paleolithic flint hand axe, believed to be half a million years old, which was found in one of the Wayland villages.

Additionally there is a full size replica of a Roman skeleton found in Watton, known as Hero, and documents and pictures relating to RAF Watton.

The idea for a permanent museum for the town first came about in 2014 and the group was formed the following year.

Museu4Watton will be opening on March 16. Pictured is Chris Hutchings. Picture: Ian BurtMuseu4Watton will be opening on March 16. Pictured is Chris Hutchings. Picture: Ian Burt

MORE - After a “long journey” group hopes a museum will open in Watton

John Greenbrook, Museum 4Watton trustee, said: “It is terribly satisfying. It has been an ambition to have a museum which is there to stop the loss of local heritage. There had been nowhere for people to donate or lend artefacts too.”

Museum4Watton is opening on March 16. Pictured is trustee, John Greenbrook, looking at a Court Baron Minutes Book dated 1670-1708. Picture: Ian BurtMuseum4Watton is opening on March 16. Pictured is trustee, John Greenbrook, looking at a Court Baron Minutes Book dated 1670-1708. Picture: Ian Burt

He added: “I am hoping everybody will be enthused and will learn about their heritage.”

Based at Wayland Hall, the museum will be spread over two floors.

In August last year, Museum4Watton was awarded a grant of £61,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help towards, display cases, redecorate the rooms, train volunteers and buy equipment.

MORE - Group which has worked hard to bring a permanent museum to Watton receive £61,300 funding boost from Heritage Lottery Fund

There will be a research room, for people to view digitised documents and photographs and there will be a children’s corner with various activities for added interest.

Mr Greenbrook said the volunteers have been “working solidly since August” to get the museum ready for its opening on Friday, March 16 at 10am.

Despite the variety of artefacts on display - including documents and books containing the records of the court baron of the Manor of Watton Hall from 1670 to 1924 - the group are always on the look out for more items.

More volunteers are also welcomed.

A programme of talks at the museum and a Saturday children’s club will be announced at a later date.

The museum will be open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm.

For more information you can email the group at info@museumforwatton.org.uk or call 01953 797060.

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