The door to local history opened wide for me when I joined Crawley Museum Society (CMS) 28 years ago – initially attending monthly meetings and trips to local museums.
Roger Bastable the late local historian, asked my husband Michael and I if we would use one of our lorries to help move the stored artefacts from The Tree to Goffs Park House Annexe. ( This is now in the process of a reverse move)
I then volunteered as a steward at Goffs Park, working with several different curators over time. Meeting many people, some local, some from overseas, even people who thought Crawley didn`t have any history. No two sessions were ever the same but always interesting.
I was asked about ten years ago by our then curator Janet Roskilly if I would be interested in audio history interviewing; I was very interested.
What evolved was a liaison between the WRVS and CMS to start a audio history course for volunteers. The course was run by Sussex University, who sent tutors and equipment to our group learning sessions held at the Hawth. I worked with the WRVS on this project for several months then had to hand back the recorder.
The museum was able to obtain our own Marantz recorders and I continue with interviewing to record our local history when requested.
After assisting with The Road to Crawley project and the Worth, Three Bridges and Pound Hill Exhibition held at the Hawth seven years ago I started with the support of our curator, Helen Poole to give talks on Worth and the surrounding area.
With Bill another volunteer we continue to give slide show and talks on Three Bridges and Worth to local groups and clubs to further local knowledge and raise funds for the museum.
Volunteering at Crawley Museum has certainly enhanced my local knowledge and brought Crawley’s history to more people in the community and given me a great deal of pleasure.