Blue Flower


This year we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the D Day landings at our Spring Open Days with a grant from Breckland Council, so we were busy setting up displays on Saturday morning.

As well as the usual attractions of our model mill, rotating water wheel and displays in our visitor centre, we also had a diorama of a D Day beach which the volunteers made, pictures and posters about D Day on display boards, WWll books with D Day articles, photo album, slideshow, memorabilia from the time including gas mask, medals, bullets & grenade, ration books, ammo belt and an Army uniform. We also had Forties music playing.

Newspapers from D Day were on loan from David Turner of Narborough Museum, who visited on Sunday. David trawled the museum archives to find newspapers for our event. We have offered the diorama and most of our displays to the museum to include in their WWll exhibits.

D Day activities were a radio controlled model tank battle game with a course on our lawn which Ryan set up, visitors of all ages enjoyed playing with them. There were Lego type models on the diorama which visitors could take apart and rebuild, including a D Day livery Spitfire hanging above. As Poppies are associated with Remembrance, we had a tub of Poppy seeds which visitors could sprinkle on our wildflower meadow. Two Poppies were already in flower from seeds sown last year.

Home made cakes were served, including a Cherry & Almond bake, made by Emma with a D Day picture with flags of all the Allied countries involved in the landings. We also served biscuits, sausage rolls and hot & cold drinks which were all popular with volunteers and visitors.

New this year were two aerial pictures on our wagon doors showing the site in the early days before our visitor centre and shed were built. The water feed pipe was modified so the angle could be changed to feed water downward directly into the water wheel buckets to give more power, as water was bouncing back and being lost.

On Sunday morning we cleared debris and mowed a path through the area between the damaged walls and moved the fences to the sides, so visitors could move around the site more easily. We also changed the D Day displays to fit more in and turned the gazebo round so visitors could see the displays from the seating area, to encourage them to go and see the diorama and other D Day exhibits.

A number of cyclists visited, so our cycle rack was in use again, this was part of our Green Grant. Emma devised a quiz with a £25 prize, the questions and answers are in the pictures below. The winners of the quiz were the Smith family of Narborough, who have now received their prize.

Our trailer with seats was in use taking visitors between the car park and the mill, this was popular with children, who also enjoyed going in our tunnels. Fred had cut the grass on the footpath so visitors were able to join us from nearby villages using the Nar Valley Way and crossing our footbridge.

We had some very positive comments about our open days and many visitors gave a donation which we appreciate very much. As a result of the open days, we had a number of people who signed up to our newsletters on the website. Our next open days will be on 14 & 15 September.

Several visitors were interested in volunteering with us, we are actively looking for new volunteers, so we hope they will join us. If you would like to volunteer with us, see our volunteering article and blogs, and then contact us. We are usually on site every Thursday and we have weekend work parties in spring and summer.

MW 2023       HOD 2023      Making Diorama      Volunteer With Us      Wall Repair Plan      Blog 9/5/24

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