3,000 YEAR OLD TREASURES COMES HOME.
A HALESWORTH MURDER RECALLED.
PRECIOUS BRONZE AGE FINDS RETURN TO HALESWORTH.
Community News November 2012
3,000 YEAR OLD TREASURES COMES HOME
By the time this edition of Community News appears, the Wissett Hoard will be back in our part of the world. On 26 October, Museum Curator, Mike Fordham, and Treasurer, Brian Holmes, will at long last collect from the British Museum the two groups of Bronze Age axe heads, spears and rapier blades discovered last year by metal-detectors in a field at Wissett.
All this has been made possible by the generosity of local donors to the Museum’s Save The Hoard Campaign. Once the fifteen objects, all over three thousand years old, have been received at the Museum they will be prepared for the delicate and highly skilled conservation work which will be necessary before they can be displayed in the Museum next year.
There is still a need of further funding to cover the cost of this essential work and if you would like to be associated with the task of ensuring that this precious treasure is preserved for ever for us and for future generations, please get in touch with the Campaign Manager, Brian Howard.
A HALESWORTH MURDER RECALLED
Early on the morning of 25 November 1862 –150 years ago this month – 24-year old Police Constable Ebenezer Tye was positioned in Chediston Street. He was there to keep an eye on a suspected local burglar, John Ducker, who was thought to have been conducting early morning raids on local properties. When Ducker appeared, he was carrying a suspicious-looking bundle and Tye went to question him. There were shouts and then a scuffle broke out and Tye was chased to the reed beds down beside the river at the back of Chediston Street.
Later that morning, when the alarm had been raised after Tye failed to return to the police station, a search was made. His body was found in the river. He had been cudgeled to death. Ducker was subsequently caught, charged and was tried for murder. He was sentenced to death.
To mark this sombre occasion and in honour of P.C. Tye and all his colleagues past and present, who put their own safety at threat in the course of their duties, Halesworth and District Museum will be breaking with its usual tradition of limited winter opening in order to stage, with the collaboration of the Suffolk Police Museum, a small exhibition on policing in Victorian Halesworth. This will feature some of the material associated with the crime described here. The display will run from 27 November to 15 December and will be open from 10.00 – 12.30, from Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free.
PRECIOUS BRONZE AGE FINDS RETURN TO HALESWORTH
A precious group of fifteen bronze tools and weapons which lay hidden beneath the ground in Wissett for thousands of years has been returned to the area to form the centrepiece of new displays at the Halesworth and District Museum.
One of the two hoards was discovered last year by enthusiasts using metal detectors in fields around the village and were handed over to local archaeologists for identification. The second hoard was excavated fully by the County Archaeological Team and careful expert examination of the objects has shown them to be over three thousand years old, dating to the Middle Bronze Age (c.1500-1150BC).
Museum Curator Mike Fordham points out that it is most unusual to find two hoards so close together and the evidence, from the identical alloy used in both, is that they are both of the same period. Evidence of Bronze Age people in this area, away from the easier land around the coast and rivers, has so far proved hard to find. “This is certainly the most important local find of its kind for decades,” say Mike.
The Hoards were purchased by the Museum after receiving a grant from the Arts Council and an appeal to local residents for funds to raise the £14,000 needed to buy, conserve and display the objects properly. To date over half the sum has been donated, covering the £4,300 needed to acquire the Hoards and to enable conservation work to start. Brian Howard, the Museum’s Treasurer and Campaign Manager for the Wissett Hoards is still eager to encourage local donations. “Despite such a magnificent response from local people, we still need help to put us in a position to show off this magnificent new material to this and future generations,” he says. Plans include an educational brochure and the production of replicas which can be handled by children as part of the educational programme surrounding the Hoards. Anyone wishing to make a contribution or offer help, should contact Brian Howard.
The Hoards are expected to go on display in the Museum next year.
For further information on the Campaign contact Brian Howard:.
For further information on the Hoard, contact the Museum Curator, Mike Fordham.