It has been a year in which we gained Accreditation, produced our Forward Plan for the next five years, gathered funds for substantial building repairs and met the Dalai Lama.
Our displays were well received and led to much outreach activity, particularly the Church School 150th anniversary, the American Trail and On the Square.
All involved partnership work with the organisations – the school, three airfield associations and the Freemasons. They all provided much of the material, while many of their members came to see the displays.
I was interviewed by the pupils and wrote a play about the school’s history which they performed for parents. I gave a presentation at the Masonic Lodge, produced a son-et-lumiere for Thorpe Abbotts and organised an American Lunch, both of which received press coverage.
These events fitted in with the county-wide Norfolk ’s American Connections project and were featured on their website. The American events also made money for the museum. All those displays were featured separately in press articles.
It is matter of seeing the bigger picture, rather than just having things in a display case. The ideas created: partnership work, extra visitors, outreach and educational activities, links with a regional project, increased press coverage, good will and money for the repairs.
Last year’s project, Friends in High Places, had a fitting finale in June when we re-created the meeting of a Manning and the Dalai Lama, 200 years after the first time.
In September we were back at the Burston Rally and had a stall at a fair the same weekend.
In October I spoke in role as General Maitland at a Pulham dinner commemorating the R34 airship. This helped the Pennoyer Centre in their American Connections celebration, while kicking off a mutual project to celebrate the centenary of the first double Atlantic crossing by air.
Basil Abbott Merry Christmas