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Museum Finishes Off Season

Neil Haverson Published: 01 November 2023

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Helen Munday

Following a successful season Wymondham Heritage Museum has closed for the winter. Visitor numbers for the season increased and judging by the comments in the visitors’ log, they were most impressed. Reaction is summed up by this entry in the children’s log.

“I never knew before that Wymondham was so interesting but now I realise that everything has a great heritage.”

While more are needed, the museum had sufficient volunteers to enable it to open for longer hours on Thursdays and Fridays and The Bridewell Tearoom has been able to open at weekends. Entry to The Tearoom is free.

Tearoom manager Helen Munday says: “With opening more hours we are seeing more customers from the museum and walk-ins plus a few regulars. I've got new tablecloths on the tables as well as old cups for the sugar and numbers shaped as the market cross. The new coffee machine can produce Americanos, Lattes and Cappuccinos, and we have new additions to our lovely homemade cakes and scones. It’s all thanks to the amazing volunteers that keep the place going to make it a friendly place to visit..”

Bed warmer and tools

Adding colour to the Tearoom is the display of artwork by local artists which changes monthly.

In addition to stewarding and serving in the Tearoom, volunteers look after everyday tasks including household supplies and maintenance while the collections team catalogues artefacts and assesses and logs potential donations. The museum has many items which there simply isn’t room to display.

Over the next few months, the volunteers will be sprucing up The Bridewell and preparing new displays for 2024. If you can spare time to help, for stewarding email volunteers@thewhm.org.uk, for the Tearoom it’s tearoom@thewhm.org.uk.

There is one final chance this year to visit The Bridewell when the museum turns festive for Wynterfest. It will be throwing open its doors on Sunday November 29th between 12 and 5pm – and there’s free admission. Don’t miss this chance to have a look at the displays that showcase the town’s history and have thrilled visitors over the summer.

Sun Inn on Damgate Street

As you go round, just think of Christmases past. How would those characters in the dungeon have spent Christmas 200 years ago with only the resident rat for company? The two recreated shops would have closed for the holidays having sold everything needed to enjoy the big day. The Damgate Stores had everything for cooking the meal plus a few treats such as Cadbury’s Chocolate biscuits, or a tonic if you’re suffering from festive fatigue.

From the Little Dustpan, a bed warmer for a chilly Christmas Eve or perhaps some tools to put under the tree for Dad’s toolbox.

The noisy Gane machine in the Brushroom that inserts the bristles into the stock will have fallen silent as the workers take a welcome break from their labours.

Imagine those pubs, featured in the display of Wymondham’s lost watering holes, thronging with townsfolk making merry.

Vigor Tonic pack

Visitors can get into the Christmas mood with a mince pie from the Bridewell Tearoom, along with a piping hot tea or coffee.

Pick up some stocking fillers from the shop. Items include a selection of pens, keyrings, rulers, mugs, children’s activities, plus a wide range of books about the fascinating history of the town and the surrounding area. Many by local authors.

The museum and Bridewell Tearoom will be open for Wynterfest on Sunday November 29th from 12 noon until 5pm with free admission.

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