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Couple's amazing collection of Halesworth memorabilia goes on display

PUBLISHED: 07:29 14 February 2016

Halesworth memorabilia collectors Sue and Alan Clapson are exhibiting their collection at Halesworth Museum.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Halesworth memorabilia collectors Sue and Alan Clapson are exhibiting their collection at Halesworth Museum. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Sue and Alan Clapson's 'Halesworth' collection started when they bought a single piece of crested china from a car boot sale in 1999.

Halesworth memorabilia collectors Sue and Alan Clapson are exhibiting their collection at Halesworth Museum.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherHalesworth memorabilia collectors Sue and Alan Clapson are exhibiting their collection at Halesworth Museum. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Seventeen years later, they own nearly 150 pieces of memorabilia associated with the town they live in.

Mrs Clapson said: “When I moved here in 1999, I went into the museum to have a look and there was a collection of crested china and I thought it was quite pretty and wondered if I could buy it myself.

“I bought the first bit at a car boot sale in Kessingland. And from there, it’s snowballed!”

The couple’s collection now includes postcards of the town, bottles, photographs, signs and almost everything in between bearing some link to Halesworth, including several pieces of china adorned with the crest of either the town, or the ancient manor of Halesworth.

They visit car boot sales, auctions, antiques fairs and scour the internet for special items to add to their ever-growing collection.

And they are now sharing it with the town in the form of a display cabinet at the Halesworth and District Museum, with the crested china which started it all off in pride of place.

Mr Clapson said: “They came about when the railways opened up and people started getting out of the cities and into the countryside.

“They would collect a bit of crested china from the place they’d visited. It was big in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.”

One of his favourite pieces in the collection is a matchstick dispenser 
that the couple found. It was discovered during building work in 
the town, which probably used to belong in one of Halesworth’s pubs.

Brian Howard from the museum, said: “We’re hoping people will see it and think ‘I’ve got something to contribute to the museum’.

“It’s here to show Halesworth off, but part of Halesworth is the people who live in it.

“It’s a way of getting people in the area to contribute so it’s their museum.”

The collection will be on display until the 
beginning of April. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 12.30pm and Wednesday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm.

Have you got a Halesworth story? Email the details to polly.grice@archant.co.uk

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