Woodbridge Museum ready to celebrate local people after year of lockdown closure

Work at Woodbridge Museum is almost complete

Work at Woodbridge Museum is almost complete - Credit: Katy Sandalls

Woodbridge Museum is preparing to reopen it's doors after a major facelift after being closed for more than a year. 

The museum, which is based on Whisttocks Place, has had a complete redesign and will now focus on the stories of important local people. 

Curator John White and April Groen who helped redesign the space

Curator John White and April Groen who helped redesign the space - Credit: Katy Sandalls

Among those is Edith Pretty, whose story has gained substantial coverage recently in the Sutton Hoo film, The Dig. 

Also featured in the museum are Victorian painter Thomas Churchyard and poet and translator Edward FitzGerald. 

Deputy curator Dr Elizabeth Clutton fixing the displays at Woodbridge Museum 

Deputy curator Dr Elizabeth Clutton fixing the displays at Woodbridge Museum - Credit: Katy Sandalls

Dr Elizabeth Clutton, deputy curator, said: “It will be good to be part of our community again.


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"After a year of hard work behind closed doors, we are greatly looking forward to the re-opening of the museum.

“We hope to increase our outreach activities – topics under discussion include the development of an oral history archive.

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“Taking advantage of our riverside location, we also hope to progress our work with our heritage neighbours, the Tide Mill and the Longshed, on educational visits and other projects.”

A feature of the redesign will be a special family area, where younger visitors will be able to give their views on the museum, with pencils, crayons and colouring sheets provided.

The museum will re-open in May 

The museum will re-open in May - Credit: Katy Sandalls

The exhibits within the museum have been substantially reorganised to make the most of the available space, with a new lighting system that will display them to their best advantage.

The artistic redesign was carried out by April Groen, a local businesswoman and resident who drew on her earlier expertise in running retailers, building companies and restaurants.

April Groen setting up the new children's space at the museum

April Groen setting up the new children's space at the museum - Credit: Katy Sandalls

She said: “Using the soft, muted colours and shape of the river for inspiration, I’ve revamped the museum to make it interesting and accessible for everyone.

“I’ve added better lighting to show off the new, clear displays, and the modern logo designed by my daughter, Gabriella Pond, completes the refit.”

The Woodbridge Museum is ready to re-open after a year of closure

The Woodbridge Museum is ready to re-open after a year of closure - Credit: Katy Sandalls

It is hoped the exhibition of many of the works of Thomas Churchyard, set for last April and May but which had to be cancelled after the first national lockdown, will go ahead in the autumn.

This is the first of a planned programme of such events to use the new exhibition space above the museum.

The museum opens on May 22.

Woodbridge Museum has been closed for over a year

Woodbridge Museum has been closed for over a year - Credit: Katy Sandalls


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