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New curator at museum

PUBLISHED: 17:35 28 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:47 07 July 2010

From the old working boots of a farmer from days gone by to tractor driving certificates achieved by members of the Women's Land Army, Gresssenhall Farm and Workhouse is a treasure trove of trinkets that give people a snapshot into Norfolk's rural past.

From the old working boots of a farmer from days gone by to tractor driving certificates achieved by members of the Women's Land Army, Gresssenhall Farm and Workhouse is a treasure trove of trinkets that give people a snapshot into Norfolk's rural past.

Many of the museum's 32,000 historical delights are currently tucked away in storage, but new curator Megan Dennis has long-term plans to make sure more and more of them are put out on display.

Dr Dennis, who lives in Hingham, said: “Gressenhall is a fantastic collection and one of the things I would like to do is to make all the collection accessible to people.“We have wonderful objects in store so one of my key aims is to get more out of the stores and into the limelight, or perhaps take visitors into the stores.

“Every day I find something new I did not know we had at Gressenhall. It is wonderful discovering all these magical objects and fantastic stories.”

Among the many artefacts Dr Dennis hopes to bring out of the storerooms are old farm machinery and a collection of rural costumes such as old smocks, workers boots and patched up trousers.

There is also a large collection of records, sheet music and elaborate dresses from the Old Time Dance Hall in King's Lynn, lots of uniforms and other artefacts from the Women's Land Army, and an extensive archive of printed leaflets and posters about rural life in Norfolk.

The museum's collection of photographs is another area which Dr Dennis would like to see reach a wider audience and she hopes to put the pictures, that include images of farmers out on the fields to official school photographs to pictures of old buildings, on a computer database for people to access.

She would also like to encourage more people to get involved in volunteering at the museum and encourage more joined-up work with Gressenhall and Norfolk's archaeology departments.

Dr Dennis, 30, said starting her new role as curator felt like she was “coming home”.

She did work experience at the museum when she was a pupil at Litcham High School, and from July 2005 to October 2007 worked in the museum's archaeology department before becoming the learning manager for King's Lynn Museums.

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