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Beccles Museum curator retires

PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:48 01 August 2010

THE curator of Beccles Museum has retiring at the end of what has been the most successful season in its history.

John Brodribb, who has been curator for three years and involved with the museum for five, retired when the season closed on Sunday.

THE curator of Beccles Museum has retiring at the end of what has been the most successful season in its history.

John Brodribb, who has been curator for three years and involved with the museum for five, retired when the season closed on Sunday.

He leaves on a high, having seen visitor figures for the season break the 3,000 mark, the highest ever in a single season.

John believes the success has been down to the number of events that the museum has put on, as well as the arrival of the historic Sir John Leman painting in January.

“Just last week we broke through the 3,000 mark at another of our successful family fun days on Monday,” he said.

He added that the help of local groups such as Beccles Helping Hands, Waveney Revels and early music group Cantocordia had been extremely important in helping make such events successful.

John is retiring because he is leaving Beccles with his wife Wendy to start a new life in south Devon, where they will help run the museum at the South Devon Railway heritage line.

He has long had an interest in railways, and has worked for a number of local rail organisations including the East Suffolk Travellers Association and the East Suffolk Line Community Rail Partnership.

He will be handing over the role of curator to Pam Finch and her assistant Jenny Willer. “They have so many ideas,” he said. “The museum's going to go from strength to strength.”

“It's been tremendous fun,” he added. “And if it's not fun it's not worth doing. I will miss Beccles, particularly the people who make it. It's a beautiful town.”

Stewards and friends of Beccles and District Museum gathered for a lunchtime buffet to say thank you and farewell to John and Wendy.

Ian Hinton, chairman of the trustees of the museum, presented them with a water colour painting and gardening vouchers. They were also presented with a cake made by Bernie Broom, a volunteer at the museum, which was cut by the couple and shared by everyone.

The Beccles and District Museum is now closed for the winter, and will reopen in April 2010 with an exhibition about Clowes Printing Works.

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