Weald & Downland Museum Trip

A big crowd of Sanctuary members gathered at the Weald and Downland Museum one October morning…

It was a chilly day, but we had a wonderfully warm welcome from staff at The Weald and Downland Living Museum for our half-term visit on 29th October 2019. We all arrived by car with willing volunteers collecting and returning guests from various locations. The preparation and organisation proved well worthwhile.

We were a total of 33 guests, including children, and 12 volunteers. And we were pleased that Kate Moon, WSCC Family Support Worker, could also join us as it was great chance for us all to meet her.

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After our introductory chat about health, safely and hygiene, we set off in small parties to explore the fantastic variety on offer at the outdoor museum. It was great fun meeting up at different points to chat about where we had visited – the Victorian schoolhouse, the working water mill, the Tudor kitchen, craft activities, storytelling, ducks on the pond and horses and cows in the fields…. it was certainly a morning packed with interest, laughter, fresh air and lots of open space for children to play and run free.

As always, these outings are an invaluable way of making new and different connections for both guests and volunteers. And as the museum is home to historic buildings dating from 950AD to 19th Century, there were plenty of opportunities for gaining cultural and historical insights which triggered new vocabulary and questions. The theme of the half-term week at the museum was Halloween which raised lots more questions especially about pumpkins!

And on the subject of pumpkins…. we were treated to some deliciously sweet candied pumpkin slices made by one of our Syrian guests. Several volunteers took down the recipe to make the same evening. The sharing of picnic food is always an important part of our outings and the spread was particularly impressive, with flasks of tea and coffee to warm us too.

We are already looking forward to our next outing…. do you have any suggestions or ideas for local places for families to visit?

By Mary Atkinson, Volunteer

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