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December 20, 2010 / garyalex

Diss Museum: Looking Back on 2010

It has been a year when Diss Museum gained local, regional and national awards.

  The citation for the museums ‘Oscar’ we received said that the Tom Paine Festival “successfully brought together the whole community. It took a creative and lateral approach, maximising effort and resource for great impact.”

  These prizes added to our trophy cabinet, which includes gaining Accreditation by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in 2008, and winning a Gulbenkian Award for the greatest improvements achieved with limited resources in 1993.

  Outreach work has included visits to schools and day centres, talks, presentations and tours. A powerpoint presentation on the history of Diss Common has proved popular, while the Denny Centre enjoys a specially written panto.

  In February Amy Gibbons joined us for a Murder Night and gave a dramatic reading of Diss girl Ethel Le Neve’s autobiography, as part of the Crippen murder centenary.

  In July we helped out with a Problem Solving Day at Diss High School, on the topic of Big Cats.

  In October, Dickleburgh School invited us to give a presentation on Victorian toys. So Canon Manning turned up, with top hat and cane.

  When Diss Library wanted to take part in the BBC High Street project we were asked to lead a tour and talk about the old town.

  I was pleased to hear that many people avidly read the museum columns and even cut them out to keep them.

  The small size of The Shambles building has always limited our education work. But a new chance has appeared.

  We have been invited to be a kind of heritage partner with the Corn Hall. They are bidding for big money and have realised that more boxes are ticked by our input.

  It could mean that we have greater education space and more scope to put on events.

The local junior schools have all received a booklet about the forthcoming commemoration of Thomas Manning’s 1811 journey to Tibet.

  Friends in High Places: The Manning Story will feature many memorable events. See the Diss Community Partnership website, under Friends in High Places.

  The schools will be most welcome to take part.

Basil Abbott      

Amy Gibbons as Diss girl Ethel Le Neve, mistress of Hawley Harvey Crippen, hanged for murdering his wife in 1910.

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