Smithy needs your help

Behind the Scenes with Smithy curator, Don Clayphen, building an exhibition stand for the Jubilee. Picture: Andrew Kershaw
Behind the Scenes with Smithy curator, Don Clayphen, building an exhibition stand for the Jubilee. Picture: Andrew Kershaw
0
Have your say

ARE you interested in Owston Ferry’s past? If you are, then Don Clayphan would be interested to hear from you.

For almost a quarter of a century he’s been leading a team of volunteers maintaining and manning Ferry’s Smithy and Heritage Museum, and they’d love a bit of assistance.

“We need a bit of help,” he said. “We’re all part of a team, but none of us is getting any younger, and it’s the same faces all the time.

“It would be wonderful if some younger people, in their forties, perhaps, could spare an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon to help out now and again. We’d love to hear from someone,” he said.

Volunteering would make you part of a group that has been cheerfully protecting Ferry’s heritage all that time, and sharing information with thousands of visitors.

Don is busy putting the finishing touches to the latest element of the exhibition, created with the forthcoming royal jubilee in mind – a collection of pictures showing previous jubilees.

“We shall also be showing off some of the projects we’ve completed in previous years,” he added. “There is the kissing gate at St Martin’s, and the oak cross on top of the lychgate, and the restoration of a headstone to a Minister’s child, which had been broken.

This is the museum’s 22nd year of opening, and Don was involved in the building’s restoration for three years before that.

“We’ve had lots and lots of school parties through in that time; we even used to do wedding blessings. There must have been 60 or more, but it got so that we couldn’t get the staff to do it any more,” he said.

The Smithy and Heritage Museum is open between 2pm and 5pm starting on Sunday May 6 as well as the following Bank Holiday Monday, and then every Sunday until the end of September. Entry costs just £2. “We run on a shoestring,” said Don.

School parties can come at other times by arrangement. To make an arrangement, or to volunteer to help out, please call Don on 01427 728361.