Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Protest as museum collection dismantled

08:19 21 November 2006

TIME UP: Protesters outside the Manor House in Bury St Edmunds, as work begins to remove the antique clocks

TIME UP: Protesters outside the Manor House in Bury St Edmunds, as work begins to remove the antique clocks

PROTESTORS gathered outside a Suffolk museum yesterday as one of the finest collections of antique clocks in the country was dismantled and packed into storage.

PROTESTORS gathered outside a Suffolk museum yesterday as one of the finest collections of antique clocks in the country was dismantled and packed into storage.

The Gershom-Parkington clock collection was taken from the Manor House Museum in Bury St Edmunds despite banners being paraded outside in the hope of halting the move.

But St Edmundsbury Borough Council continued to pack items in the wake of a decision last December to close and sell the museum and move its collections to alternative locations.

Simon Pott, protester and chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Society, said there were fears for the safety of the antique clocks as they were being transported and put into storage.

“We think it is a tragedy - these are delicate time pieces - they haven't been running since the end of March and they can't just be wound up they will have to be taken to bits.

“There is a lot of support to keep the collection - it is worth between £8 and £10 million - it is a world famous collection.”

Viscount Alan Midleton, renowned horological expert and former curator of the collection, said he understood how the protesters felt, as he was saddened the clocks were being taken from the museum.

“I was curator here for 20 years until I left in about 2000 - after 20 years of looking after this collection and displaying the clocks I'm obviously quite sad to see them being packed away.

“The collection was given to Bury as a memorial for a 21-year-old who was killed in World War Two - it is odd it is being taken down so soon after Remembrance Sunday.”

“It's my job to make sure everything that belongs with each clock is packed with it.

“I do hope to see it all displayed together again, if it isn't I will be very disappointed - it is the best collection outside the national collections.”

Some of the Gershom-Parkington collection is set to be on display at Moyse's Hall along with various other items from Manor House museum, which is ready to be sold early next year.

Cllr Paul Farmer, portfolio holder for arts and culture, said every step had been taken to ensure the clocks were packed and moved safely with specialists in fine art removals transporting the collection.

“It's very sad people feel they need to protest - the building is important to some people and some are concerned about the clocks.

“Everything is being done to ensure the collection is being kept safe.”

Fact file

n Manor House was built between 1736 and 1738 for Elizabeth, second wife of John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, whose main residence was at Ickworth, some three miles away.

n A review into St Edmundsbury's heritage services showed that only 11,341 people visited the museum in 2004/2005.

n It is expected that closing the Manor House museum will save council tax payers an estimated £212,000 in 2007/2008.

n The Gershom-Parkington clock collection was given to the town by Frederic Gershom-Parkington as a memorial for his 21-year-old son, John, who died in action in 1941.

0 comments

Fans of Tom Jones show off their memorabilia as he performs at The Regent Theatre in Ipswich in November 1992

In the last few weeks he has made his return to The Voice UK but back in 1992 Welsh superstar Tom Jones was gracing the stage in Ipswich.

Cllr John Spence

Households in Essex are due to pay an average of £33.50 extra next financial year in council tax under plans unveiled by County Hall and fire chiefs.

Sudbury's Saturday market is not as well attended as the town's Thursday market

Market traders in Sudbury who are facing a 5% increase in stall fees this year will be asked how the twice weekly markets could be made more attractive to shoppers.

Pigeon Point, Tobago

It was a country like no other. Here’s what I loved about the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago and why you should grab the chance to visit.

Members of Suffolk County Council will meet in Endeavour House next month to approve the budget.

Council tax bills across Suffolk are set to rise by just under 3% in April to help pay for social care across the county.

Foxhall Day Centre in Ipswich

The closure of a “crucial” day care service would be a “real loss” to an Ipswich community, a councillor has said.

Sealand

A tiny independent mini-state off the Suffolk coast is bracing itself for an influx of migrants – due to the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24