The move to the new museum buildings at The Tree is an exciting time for anyone interested in local history, and offers a good opportunity for people to get involved in researching and talking about the development of Crawley. This is especially so as it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the announcement of the post-war New Town in 1947.
Being a volunteer offers excellent opportunities to indulge an interest in local history. I started working with the Museum earlier this year, and have been mainly involved in identifying and numbering items in the collection, and packing them for the move to The Tree. This has included everything from the remains of early pottery found during excavation work around Crawley, to modern ceramic pieces produced as local souvenirs, to scale models of buildings that are no longer standing.
I have also been able to put some of my professional skills to use in writing brief comments to go with some of the permanent exhibits for the new museum – a real challenge to put someone’s life into one hundred words!
Working with curator Helen Poole and her team, even in this small way, has been a real education, not only in the history of Crawley, but also in what needs to go on behind the scenes in a museum.
There is still a lot to be done before the new museum can open, so new volunteers are always welcome. And why not join Crawley Museum Society, and find out more about the history of our town, going back many hundreds of years.
Graham Crozier, Museum Volunteer.