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Village museum unveils new home after five year battle for its future



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A five-year battle to secure the future of a village museum has ended in victory following the opening of its new home.

The Narborough Museum and Heritage Centre has been without permanent premises since its original home in the former Methodist Chapel was put up for sale in 2016.

But now, following lottery, council and business support, as well as residents' donations, a new museum complex has been opened in Pentney Road.

Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..David Turner (Museum Curator) (front left) pictured in front of the museum buildings, along with District and Parish Councillor Peter Wilkinson, (centre) who cut the official tape to open the Museum, with volunteers and guests at the opening ceremony..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712559)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..David Turner (Museum Curator) (front left) pictured in front of the museum buildings, along with District and Parish Councillor Peter Wilkinson, (centre) who cut the official tape to open the Museum, with volunteers and guests at the opening ceremony..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712559)

The site is opposite where the village's old railway station once stood and has two cabins containing a model village, a collection of mammoth bones and displays on the village's old aerodrome and rail link.

There is also a small library dedicated to Norfolk and aviation history, while a barn has been converted for a workshop and display area.

It showcases a range of historic farm equipment, which has been donated by villager Les Harrison.

Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..David Turner (Museum Curator) pictured in one of the museum buildings..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712556)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..David Turner (Museum Curator) pictured in one of the museum buildings..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712556)

David Turner, the museum's curator, said he had thought "never again" when the museum had to leave its former home in 2016.

He said: "We had 10 years in the old Methodist Chapel and that worked quite well.

"When we had to get out I thought that was it. It's a great feeling to open it now."

As well as donations from local residents, the project has also received Heritage Lottery and Breckland Council funding, as well as a contribution through the Tesco Bags for Life programme.

Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..District and Parish Councillor Peter Wilkinson, who cut the official tape to open the Museum, is pictured with one of the displays..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712400)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..District and Parish Councillor Peter Wilkinson, who cut the official tape to open the Museum, is pictured with one of the displays..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712400)

Many of the volunteers involved with the project have previously been part of the work to renovate the village's historic old bone mill.

Parish and district councillor Peter Wilkinson, who opened the museum, said it was "amazing" to see the completed project at the ceremony last Thursday.

He said: "They're dedicated residents of Narborough and they're not just doing it for themselves or today but for future generations.

Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..Ralph Rainbow with his Model Train Engine..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712557)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..Ralph Rainbow with his Model Train Engine..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712557)

"It's wonderful to see it all open. It's incredible what they have done as a volunteer group."

Initially, the museum will be open on Thursdays between 11am and 4pm. Groups of up to 10 people can be accommodated.

Anyone who would like to visit outside those times should contact Mr Turner on 07769 602601 to make arrangements.

Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..Stephanie Ellis with some of the displays..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712558)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..Stephanie Ellis with some of the displays..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712558)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..One of the many displays on show..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712402)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..One of the many displays on show..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712402)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..One of the many displays on show..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712332)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..One of the many displays on show..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712332)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..One of the many displays on show..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712399)
Official Opening of the New Narborough Local History Museum on Thursday 29th July 2021..One of the many displays on show..Picture Paul Marsh. (49712399)


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