Tag Archives: volunteering

Object of the Month – August 2023

In April, university students Eleanor, Elizabeth and Katie joined us to help inventory the ceramic and glassware store behind the scenes at the museum.  Eleanor is continuing with the project until September.











They picked out their favourite items from the stores. This condiment stand and bottles was selected by Eleanor.

It was donated to the museum in 1895 by Dr Henry Stear. A considerable portion of the ceramics collection was bequeathed and donated to the Museum by Stear, who died in 1917.

The three bottles are labelled “Oli”, “Azyn” and “Peper”. “Azyn” means vinegar in the Frisian dialect, which is an area north of the Netherlands. “Oli” means oil in Dutch and “Peper” is pepper. This item is particularly exciting, as it provides some further insight into the Dr, with an obituary written on its base and a small accompanying image.

Henry Stear was a surgeon and worked as one of four initial doctors in the Saffron Walden General Hospital which was founded in 1866. The writing gives a positive and comedic account of Stear’s influence on the town, family, character, occupation and a physical description, and is signed Guy Maynard 1920. Maynard took over as curator of the museum from his father in 1904 and had grown up in the building.

Quote from the base:

“Short sli..t built. Kept(?) very active until extreme old age arrived. always cheerful fond of a joke until the last. He never married and supported his aged mother and 3 spinster sisters for many years. They whispered that he had loved in his youth but that the family opposition was too strong.

He was a fine example of the old school of riding doctors and known and beloved for miles around.

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… the Rose & Crown … the Market … with the … he left … which he loved. May he rest in peace and long may his memory be preserved by the many treasures which he left to the collection. Guy Maynard 1920.”

National Volunteer Week – June 2020

The first week of June is National Volunteer Week.  With the Museum still closed due to the covid-19 lockdown, we’re really missing you all especially our amazing volunteers, who are all integral to the museum’s diverse activities. We thank you all for your on-going support.  Here’s a message from us to you for #NationalVolunteerWeek  – It reads:

We miss you all so much especially our amazing volunteers and can’t wait to see you again when it’s safe

Volunteers play lots of different roles within our organisation:

Welcome Desk volunteers.  June for example (pictured holding the “When” word, has been one of our dedicated volunteers for over 20 years.  She undertakes the vital work of co-ordinating all our welcome desk volunteers –they meet & greet our visitors and provide them with orientation information, sell admission tickets and souvenirs and answer your enquiries.

Collections volunteers  (Natural Sciences, Archaeology and Human History) assist staff with vital collections tasks such as cataloguing, packing, labelling and digitising collections, they also transcribe early museum records and assist with exhibition installing. #DidYouKnow We also have verge volunteers who carry out ecological surveys of plants at 16 Special Roadside Verges in the Uttlesford District

Learning and Activity Volunteers have a vital role assisting us with preparing and running our school sessions and school holiday activities.

Last year we held a Volunteer Party for #NationalVolunteerWeek. When it’s safe to do so we will make sure we have another one!  The volunteers admired a temporary display explaining how they are vital cogs in our organisation.  They also took part in wildlife surveying with our Natural Sciences Officer, James Lumbard. 

Follow this link for a full-size PDF version  of the Volunteers Pictures  Scrapbook  or see the Flipbook version  below