More Gershom-Parkington clocks than ever to be on display at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Gregg Brown
More of a famous clock collection than ever before is returning to public display in Bury St Edmunds.
There were protests in the town in 2006 when the Gershom-Parkington collection – one of the finest compilations of antique clocks in the country – was dismantled and packed into storage due to the closure of the Manor House Museum.
Ever since, townspeople have been keen for the whole collection – worth £8million to £10m – to return to permanent public display.
It can now be revealed that about 85% of the antiques are now out for the public to see at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury, with heritage officer Alex McWhirter adding that as many as is practically possible would be joining them soon.
He said: “By the end of this year, the intention is that people will be able to come and see anything that is worth seeing from the Gershom-Parkington bequest. When I say anything worth seeing, that’s not to denigrate anything in the collection, but people need to understand that some of the Gershom-Parkington bequest are pieces of clocks.”
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All of the Augsburg clocks are now on display, as well as the bracket clocks and watches. Mr McWhirter said a wall is now being built so the additional long cases – grandfather clocks – can be added.
“There will be a special opening within the next couple of months,” he said. “What we are doing will be here to be enjoyed for many years.”
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Councillor Christopher Spicer, who is a Friend of Moyse’s Hall Museum, said it was “very good news”. He added: “We, the borough, are the trustees of the collection and it’s our duty to try and display as much of it as possible.”
Mr McWhirter said there were probably about 200 items in the Gershom-Parkington collection, adding that when the Manor House Museum closed there was a period of storage for some of the clocks while space was created at Moyse’s Hall Museum.
He added that it was also important to have temporary exhibitions at the museum to entice visitors in.
Sarah Stamp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “I’m very aware we have a very extensive heritage collection and I’m very keen we make the best of that by giving people the opportunity to see and enjoy the treasures we have.”
Mr McWhirter said people could arrange with him to view items not on display. He also directed people to the eHive website, https://ehive.com/, where they can view a lot of the collection.