Beermats – coming to a pub near you!

Beermats advertising the ‘Beers and Brewing’ exhibition have been delivered to pubs around the county. Thankyou to our volunteers and staff who offered to take them to their ‘locals’ plus other pubs that they wanted to try! Let us know if you spot any.



The perfect combination of sandy soil and salty air means that North Norfolk has the perfect conditions for growing barley. This barley is made into malt for brewing beer, through a process called malting. Norfolk was home to hundreds of maltings and brewers.

These two items are on display in the exhibition Beers and Brewing, on loan from the Museum of Norwich.

Malt barrow. It is missing the front wheel. From the former Stag Maltings, St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich, which were demolished in March 1971. NWHCM : 1971.185.4


Watering can used for dampening the malt during fermentation. From the former Stag Maltings, St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich, which were demolished in March 1971. NWHCM : 1971.185.6

The process of malting took place in maltings or malthouses across the county. Traditionally, malt is germinated on the floor. This involves different cycles of wet, dry and heat to produce malt from the barley. Here are some photos from the museum collection which show this work.

Photograph of workers with malt ploughs at Great Ryburgh Maltings. GRSRM : CP.CP3079


Photograph of Edgar Hoggett with a malt plough at maltings in Narborough. GRSRM : 2012.32


Photograph of workers with malt shovels and forks at Wainford Maltings. GRSRM : CP.CP1471

Picturing Gressenhall

We have been working hard over the last few weeks.

Belfast MA Meeting

I flew to Belfast to attend a meeting of the Museums’ Association (MA) Representatives. The Museums’ Association is the national body that represents all types of museum at a strategic level. Their conference this year is in Belfast, so the meeting was a good opportunity to scout out the area but also to hear more about what is planned for the conference. I also got a chance to feed back thoughts and news from the East of England. Part of my role as rep is to be a bridge between museums and the Association – and it is always interesting, and often reassuring, to hear from other reps across the 4 nations represented by the MA. Despite the problems the museums sector faces there are still plenty of positive people making a real difference to people’s lives working in museums and that has to be a good thing!

Picturing Gressenhall

Over the next few months we are working on a project to record and celebrate the work of our volunteers. Our fantastic photographer Heather has started the process of photographing volunteers at work. Eventually these will all be displayed in the café conservatory – for now a sneak peek of one portrait is attached. Heather is also taking more “active” shots of volunteers at work. I think this will be a lovely way for the work of our volunteers to be more visible for our visitors and for us to say thank you for them for all their help and support.

Voices from the Workhouse

I gave an outreach talk to Lowesoft NHS Retirement Fellowship group this week – which was fascinating as many of the attendees had worked in Lotheringland Hospital – the former Oulton workhouse. They obviously appreciated hearing more about workhouse history – “I would like to congratulate you on a talk which brought the whole period of history alive…it obviously touches your feelings on humanity and the way life caused so much suffering for those who were unfortunate enough to fall on hard times, well done I admire your sincerity”

Case tops – Collections Gallery

We have also been shortlisting the final objects to be installed in the Collections Gallery – a few more items for the top of the cases. These include a Madonna and child and large PURE LARD stand from a bakery. The diversity of our collections never ceases to amaze! These items will be cleaned by our wonderful Collections Volunteers next week before being installed at the end of the week.

We have also done work for our May Half term object handling – which will be pub games! There will be a chance to handle games from the collection and then to play modern versions – who’s up for a round of shove ha-penny?


Megan, Curator