Why a Museum for Watton?
- Museum 4 Watton was first suggested in June 2014 via a letter to the Town Council explaining the principles. The letter was acknowledged by the then Town Clerk on behalf of the Council and support confirmed. It was to investigate the practicality of creating a Museum for Watton, in Watton, about Watton. This lead to the formation of our group, which had its first meeting in October 2014.
- Watton is the only market town in Norfolk that does not have a Museum, yet it is steeped in unrecorded history.
- Our increasingly diverse and expanding population has little or no knowledge of the town.
- Our heritage must be recorded and preserved before it is forgotten and disappears forever.
WE BELIEVE PRESERVING OUR PAST FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS IS PARAMOUNT AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE A PART OF OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION AND WATTON’S EVOLUTION
Where are we now?
- Our Project Team has grown from 4 to 10 members and up to 30 volunteers, poised for further action.
- We have devised a logo accepted within Museum circles, opened a Bank account and put an insurance policy in place.
- Become Members of Museums Norfolk, and of the Association of Independent Museums, with one of our team a Member of The Museums Association, and appointed to the board of Museums Norfolk.
- Devised our ‘pop up’ display and exhibited at Watton Carnival, The Wayland Show, Watton Military Show, Watton Firework Display and Watton Christmas Market.
- Undertaken extensive market research which shows a strong general public interest in and wishes for a Museum 4 Watton.
- Created and put in place a comprehensive Constitution.
- Applied for, and received, CIO status (Charitable Incorporated Organisation).
- Devised and adopted a three year combined Project and Business Plan.
- Have been asked’ by the Milestone Society to maintain the milestone at Grid Ref. TF924005
- Received artefact donations from several sources, including Norfolk Museum Services, and cabinetry/furniture from Artangle and Farnham, Neatishead Air Defence and Downham Market Museums.
- Have been given the Web Site ‘History of Watton’ to continue, update and develop for the future.
- Located one of the Bloodhound Missiles originally based at Watton, with the possibility of borrowing it, also the ‘Gate Guard’ from RAF Watton. a Gloucester Meteor
- Agreed with Messrs Bennett Homes the financing of manufacture of a full-sized model of the Inhumation that was found on Norwich Road, to be displayed in public venues until we have suitable premises.
- Have received a small grant and recognition from Watton Town Council.
- On 24th. May 2016 Watton Town Council voted, with one vote against, that ‘in principle the Museum 4 Watton Group will be supported in its plans to establish a museum at Wayland Hall.’ Negotiations are in progress and funding is being explored, expected costs are £20,000
- November 2016. A lease is drawn up to allow Museum 4 Watton to use the front of Wayland Hall for our first permanent Museum. A Heritage Lottery bid is being compiled to fund the necessary alterations cabinets and fixtures.
- March 2018 after lots of hard work and a successful conclusion to the Heritage Lottery Grant bid the museum opened its doors to the Public in March 2018
- March 2019 – our first anniversary recorded some 5000 visitors to the museum!