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The British Red Cross in Halesworth

The Halesworth Museum is also planning a display in relation to the British Red Cross, founded in 1870.  In the early twentieth century, and in support of the creation of the Territorial Army, a Voluntary Aid Scheme was introduced, making the British Red Cross responsible for setting up Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) in every county. In Suffolk the first VAD was registered in 1909, the Detachment in Halesworth numbered seventy men and women who served in the town in WW1. The women were largely engaged in voluntary nursing at the Patrick Stead Hospital and the men in air raid and convoy duties. Henham Hall became one of the 33 Auxiliary Hospitals set up in Suffolk during this war and over 1700 sick and wounded men were nursed there by volunteers from across the country. If you have any family photographs or other memorabilia of the Red Cross in Halesworth or at Henham Hall perhaps you would like to lend them to the Museum for a future temporary display, or gift them to the Museum for our collection.  In either case, in the first instance please contact our volunteer Dee on 07903 567012. Text would be fine leaving a call back time when she can contact you.

4 February 2018

Railway relics return home to Halesworth after being purchased by museum at auction.
10 January 2018

On 5th January 2018 the Peter Punchard Collection of railwat memorabelia was autioned. Follow the liks to download our news.

Beccles and Bungay Press release about the large sign

The other items that we bought at the auction


Station Remedial work — News

15 November 2017
As you may have seen the Museum will be shut from November to the beginn of April due to remedial work being done to cure the damp problem which has affected parts of the Station Building for years.

In three days we emptied the display cases ready for the removal firm to take items and cases into storage. Thanks to the seven volunteers who have worked hard achievibg this. Whilst this work has been underwayother volunteers have been responding to queries.

We hope that most of the work will be complete by the end of the week. But don’t forget the background work of the Museum will still be continuing.

Two panarams: the Study Room and the Museum Gallery and the end of work on 14th.

Museum improvements

6 February 2017

We have to do much of this work again! [Nov 2017]

The Museum is reopening tomorrow after the completion of the first phase of work funded by the “Ready to Borrow Grant”. The main room and the study room have been redecorated, the security system has been upgraded and new carpeting has been laid in the public areas. Our spring exhibition has been delayed a few weeks but will be ready by the end of the month.
Pictures of the main room and some of our reference works.

Come and visit us soon.

IMG_1888IMG_1887IMG_1885January 2017

The READY TO BORROW GRANT has allowed us to do a number of improvements to the public area.

So for (end of January 2017) we have pained throughout, improved the security and are carpeting the Main Room, the Entrance Lobby and the Study Room. Here are some pictures taken on 27th January.

Two views of the main room with carpet down, but cabinets bare.
The CCTV console at the stewards desk The study room, which needs to be cleared on Monday. Just tilt your head to the side!
A panorama showing work to date

Window Pictures

Four projects finished so far this financial year [2016]. The new heating system is in and working, the entrance hall has new lighting, the display cabinets have LED lights and we have just had the images fixed to the down stairs windows.


Malt Project


We are very lucky to have so many volunteers working for our Museum. Some are active in the Museum, some work both at home and in the Museum and some just at home.

However we do need more help, additional stewards will be useful as back-ups for holidays of regular stewards or even to add to our regular stewards. There are many other and varied jobs in the Museum, perhaps you have a particular skill or interest that could be of interest. If you think you would like to help do give us a call.

Michael Gooch

I have just had some sad news. Michael Gooch who wrote the book ‘The People of a Suffolk Town’ together with his wife, has recently died. Our commiserations to his family.

Mike Fordham, Curator of the Museum, retires and moves to Norfolk

On 13 January 2016 Mike was presented with a picture of the Alms House in Steeple End, where the Museum was sited before 2000. Marion, his wife, was presented with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her support.

2016 0113 Mike presentationP1020606