Fenland Network – 14th March 2018

Fenlands Network Event: Social Media, Joint Marketing, Local networking

Last week I attended my first Share Network meeting for the ‘Fenland Network’.  The day we spent at Mildenhall and District Museum was both useful and enjoyable, containing a great mixture of both training and networking opportunities.  Attendees were encouraged to give short, 5 minute updates on the current events and activities which are taking place at their museums and I’ve already been able to share with some visitors here at Ely Museum about these local events, encouraging them to head out to the Mill weekend at Burwell Museum in May and to enjoy the Grand Fen Fayre weekend at Ramsey Rural Museum!

We enjoyed a useful and practical social media training session by Kristian Downer, who was able to give us both some practical takeaway advice and many other future options we can explore.  He encouraged us to find the right social media channels to reach the audience we want to connect with.  By using services such as LinkedIn which is already well used and established within the local business community, we can make direct and meaningful contact with our local business leaders.  He also showed us how to target our Facebook advertisements to reach the audiences we seek which was something the network all agreed we’d like more training on, and that is really a great benefit of attending these network meetings, we were able to establish a training need on the day, and get the ball rolling on organising this training at future meeting!

We discussed updates to the FensMuseums.org.uk website too and the features we would like to see and find on the website, as well as different ways the network could enhance the website with stories and folklore from our own corners of the Fen.

I’d definitely encourage anyone to attend and get involved with their local Fenland Network, it was a great opportunity to meet with fellow museums, share news and updates and get some useful training that is both practical and relevant for museums of our size and location.  Our thanks must also go to Sally Ackroyd and Steve Watson for organising the event and to the volunteers of Mildenhall and District Museum for their hospitality and enjoyable tour of the museum!

Emily Allen works as a Custodian for Ely Museum. 

Gardener’s Delight – A Volunteers’ Day!

Gardener’s Delight – A Volunteers’ Day at Gainsborough’s House and Garden, Sudbury  6th March 2018

This was a most welcome outing after the worst snowstorm in a decade had kept us unwillingly house-bound and absent from our emergent gardens. There were 28 of us, all volunteer gardeners from the region’s museums travelling to Sudbury from our different locations. On arriving at this historic and delightful house, the atmosphere was warm and inviting and worth every mile of the long trek through the cold grey skies of East Anglia.

The view onto the garden below was enticing but our attention was quickly captured by the start of proceedings and anticipation of the unknown. With immaculate time-keeping skills, the invited speakers took us on a journey through the paintings and Iris collections of Cedric Morris, enchantingly secret gardens of East Anglia and the enduring story of our orchards, faded but not lost, due to the painstaking work of Orchards East.

Highlights of the day were the 400 year-old Mulberry Tree, centrepiece of the Museum’s walled garden, the historic beauty of the House and its contents, the enthusiasm, knowledge and dedication of the contributors, the seed swap and the excellent planning and organisation which had gone into making the day such a success; and last but not least the most welcome and enjoyable lunch and refreshments.

Carolyn Flynn, Volunteer Gardener at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Norfolk

Sign Up to SHARE e-News