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New era at Beccles Museum as curator steps down

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 November 2015

Beccles Museum curator Alan Wheeler hands over the position to new curator Robert Bacon (left)

Beccles Museum curator Alan Wheeler hands over the position to new curator Robert Bacon (left)

© Archant 2015

A new era has begun at Beccles and District Museum as its curator steps down.

Alan Wheeler has been a volunteer at the Ballygate museum for four years, two of which were spent as curator. But this week he handed his duties over to retired headmaster Robert Bacon.

Mr Wheeler said: “I’ve been trying to build the connections back with other groups in the town and try to get people back into the museum.”

During his stint at the museum, Mr Wheeler oversaw the renewal of its accreditation and worked closely with organisations such as Beccles Town Council, which he said had been “very supportive”.

“We’ve been involved in the open gardens weekend, the charter weekend, we had a stall at the hospital fete and we’ve had a number of visiting groups, including 500 schoolchildren,” said Mr Wheeler.

“I’ve learnt a tremendous amount about the town through people asking questions and I’ve met a huge number of people.

“I will still stay involved as a museum steward - but I’m happy to hand over the day to day responsibilities.”

Taking on those responsibilities, Mr Bacon, who has been a museum volunteer since July said: “My passion has always been history, so this is a bit of a dream for me.”

The winter season while the museum is closed will give him an opportunity to learn the ropes ahead of reopening to the public next spring. Mr Bacon said: “It’s like when you take on any new job, you have to come in and experience it all before you get a clear picture of the way ahead.

Alan has been very generous and given me a huge amount of information. He has done a fantastic job and I want to carry on in that vein.”

Chairman of the museum trustees Jack Walmsley added: “I’m extremely grateful for the work that our past curator has done. He’s had a considerable influence in the four years that he has been involved.”

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