Thursday, 21 March 2019

One month to go!

We're starting to get really excited about our opening weekend on the 21st and 22nd of April now, and we're showing that excitement by...erm... tidying up! Both the entrance kiosk and the tea room have had a morning's work from our team of enthusiastic volunteers and both are now ready to welcome visitors. We've started to sell season tickets and the events programme will be ready soon. Look out for more next month, and put us in your diary for a Sunday or Thursday this season!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

February News - Burwell Museum needs you!

Could you be part of our team? 

We're gearing up for the start of our season on the 21st of April, and a big part of that is recruitment for our new Sunday museum assistant. The job ad is below - email if you want more information! Otherwise this month has been one of getting things organised, and taking advantage of the slowly improving weather to get some painting done. We hope to have a tidy, freshly painted museum to show off in the summer season!
Best wishes,
Burwell Museum and Windmill are looking for a: 

Temporary Museum Assistant
Contract: 21 April - 26 October 2019
Hours of work: Sundays - 10:30-17:30 (early finish possible on quiet days)
Salary: £9 per hour

About us:
Set among beautifully preserved historic farming buildings, Burwell Museum tells the story of a bustling fen-edge village. Alongside the 19th-century mill, displays from the everyday to the amazing vividly recreate Burwell life through the ages.

About you:
We are looking for an enthusiastic, responsible and personable museum assistant to join our small friendly team.

You must be capable of taking responsibility for the museum and other volunteers.

This role would be ideally suited to someone looking to gain some customer services/museum experience.

You must be prepared to undertake a DBS (criminal record) check, and either possess or be willing to undertake first aid certification.

Most importantly you will need to have a genuine enthusiasm for the museum and its collections.

The role:
In this role you would act as duty manager on a Sunday, to include:
- Opening the museum (involves some heavy lifting - training provided)
- Dealing with visitors and other ‘front-of-house’ duties
- Event Management
- Volunteer Management

For a full job description, further details and an application form, please contact Alison Giles, Museum Manager on

Application deadline noon on Wednesday 13th March; interviews planned for Sunday 24th March Anchor

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Merry Christmas from Burwell Museum and Windmill!

Not much else to say at this time of year, really - I'm spending this month tidying the filing cabinet, which wouldn't make for thrilling reading...
Best wishes, and thank you for your support in 2018,

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

End of year report

We've had a great year, and to celebrate we've put together a report of what we've been up to and what we plan to do next. Comments and questions welcome!

In 2018…
We had at least 3715 visitors  (up from 3573 last year and 3371 in 2016). We collected 380 evaluation forms and they showed that 84% of visitors would be very likely to recommend us to others. Many also specifically mentioned helpful, knowledgeable and/or friendly volunteers.
Volunteer work
4,184 hours logged so far this year – many thanks for signing in and out! Work done in 2018 has included:
Mill maintenance including fitting new stones and tun
Site maintenance including painting ploughs and doors, general maintenance of lawns
Vintage vehicles work on Holsman and Austin, redisplay of smaller items
Dorothy Grainger exhibition
Photo digitisation and revamp of newspaper cuttings
Checking light and pest levels
Front of house – tea room, kiosk and windmill
School and group visits

Opening weekend and Easter Egg Hunt:      327 visitors  
National Mills Weekend:                                628 visitors 
Classsic Car day                                                88 visitors     
Summer Fete                                                   70 visitors (estimate) 
Children’s holiday activities                          384 visitors + October
Tea and talks                                                    85 visitors
Heritage Open Days                                        271 visitors
Funded projects
Tea room refurbishment and card reader system – Cambridgeshire County Council £500
Mill for All Seasons – Heritage Lottery Fund £7000 this year
Evaluation – SHARE museums East £500
Co-op fund for new paths – amount to be decided, collecting in November
Parish Council support for Heritage Open Days £200

Plans for the winter
Vintage Vehicles project – costumes for mannekins and Austen 7
Make all exhibits which contain asbestos safe for the public and for volunteers
Arts award project with Burwell Village College
Classes on Thursdays for Newmarket U3A  (starting in January, French conversation and crafts)
Linda research on the history of the museum
Tidy up including sheds, workshop and builders store
Possible aims for the next three years (covered by the forward plan which we will be writing over the winter)
Make the museum easier to maintain
Make the museum easier to run on open days
Create closer links with the school and other community groups
Continue to record, protect and improve our collections
Generate enough income to keep the museum running without regular grant funding

What else do you think should be here? What would you like to know? Where would you like the museum to be in 3 years’ time?

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Tea and Talks programme for the Autumn

Now that the summer holidays have finished and the rain (which mysteriously always seems to prefer Thursdays when we're running children's activities) has stopped again, I can attempt to follow my original plan of updating people on our news at the start of each month. At the moment I'm really excited about our Tea and Talks programme, which has some great speakers (and free biscuits, once you've paid to get in):
Once we've finished those and heritage open days (see the last blog post), we just have October half term and the volunteers' tea party and end of season meeting to go. Many thanks to everyone who has supported us so far, and we hope to see you at something before the end of the season!

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Heritage Open Days 15 and 16 September

We're putting the finishing touches to our plans for Heritage Open Days on the 15th and 16th of September (well, that's my excuse for having spent large amounts of time this morning researching local cheese...). We're offering free entry to the museum and mill for the whole weekend, opening as usual from 11am to 5pm with last entry at 4pm. We've persuaded 5 of our volunteers to give talks on their areas of expertise, so the programme looks like this each day:

12pm Paul Hawes     The history of the museum
1pm   Hazel Crane     Dorothy Grainger, local photographer
2pm   Frank Czucha   Memories of Burwell
3pm   Jim Neale         Burwell buses or the Burwell archive
4pm   Steve Crane      Railways in Burwell

We'll also have our storyteller on Sunday, craft activities and hopefully lots of homemade cakes to sell. Heritage Open Days is a really good event to be part of, and I'm really pleased that our exhibition on local photographer Dorothy Grainger fits in so well with their "extraordinary women" theme. We're looking forward to a great weekend!

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Activities for the Great British Summer

Just as the school summer holidays start, I'm sitting in the museum office wearing my coat and watching precisely no visitors wander round a wet, windswept museum... However, that gives me lots of time to let people know about our summer holiday "Museum Explorers" activities, which happen every Thursday in the holidays from 1.30 to 3.30:

Thursday 2 August

Meet the Romans

Did you know that there were Romans in Burwell? Explore what their lives might have been like, test your archaeology skills on real Roman pottery and design your own pot.



Thursday 9 August

The Farming Year

Explore the Barn to find out more about how people would have lived and worked in Burwell when it was mostly a farming community. Dress up, handle our mystery objects and design your own farm.


Thursday 16 August

Burwell at War

Find out how Burwell was affected by the First and Second World Wars in the Nissen Hut and Anderson shelter. Handle objects from both conflicts and create your own medal.


Thursday 23 August

Burwell Life

Visit the upper gallery to find out more about school, shopping and everyday life in Burwell. Try out a new career as a telephonist, shopkeeper or teacher and learn to make a rag rug.


Thursday 30 August

Meet the Mill

Finish the holidays with a visit to the windmill – are you tall enough (at least 1.1m) to climb all the ladders to the top? Don’t worry if not, as there is plenty to do on the ground floor!