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Thetford museum lets off steam on opening day




The Charles Burrell Museum, in Thetford, had its ‘Grand Opening’ day to start its new season on Sunday.

The free family day gave people the chance to see the museum’s 1902 agricultural traction engine, its 1927 six-tonne steam roller and its 1920 ‘Queen Mary’ showman’s engine in full steam.

Derek Antrobus, the museum’s senior volunteer, said: “The day went really well, even with it being near the end of the school holidays, we still had around the same numbers come as we have had in previous years.”

Alongside the museum’s engines on display were visiting engines from private owners and ones from Bressingham Steam Museum.

Enjoying the day, three-year-old Blake Coxall gives the engines the thumbs up at the ‘Grand Opening’ day of the Charles Burrell Museum Picture by Mark Westley
Enjoying the day, three-year-old Blake Coxall gives the engines the thumbs up at the ‘Grand Opening’ day of the Charles Burrell Museum Picture by Mark Westley

The Home Guard of the Dad’s Army Museum gave a parade, as the Charles Burrell Museum also keeps the Jones’ butcher’s van from the TV series.

Opened in 1991, the museum is housed in the former grade II listed paint shop of the Charles Burrell and Sons steam engine works in Minstergate.

Charles Burrell Museum’s Derek Antrobus, manager Nigel Hill and Janet Turner Picture by Mark Westley
Charles Burrell Museum’s Derek Antrobus, manager Nigel Hill and Janet Turner Picture by Mark Westley

The collection tells the story of the works, which at one time employed 350 people and supplied steam-powered engines throughout the world, until the business closed in 1928.

Displays include recreations of some of the original works such as the foundry and the machine shop.

Spectators had the chance to see steam engines in full steam during the day Picture by Mark Westley
Spectators had the chance to see steam engines in full steam during the day Picture by Mark Westley

The museum is run solely from donations and support from its trustees and volunteers and is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays now until the last Saturday in October.

To find out about the museum, go to www.thecharlesburrellmuseum.com or go to the Charles Burrell Museum Facebook page.



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