The theme for this year’s Conference was larger and working objects in museums. On Wednesday 14th May we met at the S.E. Davis Collection at Astwood Bank near Redditch. Tim Bryan of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, Skills for the Future trainees from Gressenhall and Museum of East Anglian Life, and Hamish Wood from Avoncroft all gave presentations on aspects of their work. We were then treated by Paul Davis to an introduction and guided tour of the amazing S.E. Davis Collection.
Paul Davis’s enthusiastic and enlightening tour around the 500 or so large objects the family have gathered together at Astwood Bank was rounded off with the chance for a trailer ride behind one of the family’s engines, the Marshall traction engine Emily of 1925, on the way to an enjoyable supper in The Why Not Inn nearby.
The next day we met at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings at Bromsgrove for our AGM. This was followed by presentations by Sally Ackroyd, David Viner and others on the recent work of the Network, and updates from our members. After an introduction to Avoncroft Museum by Simon Carter we were able to explore the site. Of particular interest was the spectacular recently refurbished windmill that is ‘sailed’ on occasions by a team of volunteers.
Many thanks to the Davis family and all at Avoncroft for their hospitality and a warm welcome, making for a truly memorable meeting.