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Birthday celebrations at Cromer museum

PUBLISHED: 14:30 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:59 13 July 2010

A TOY teddy bear is playing a big part in a museum's birthday celebrations.

Cromer Museum marks its 30th anniversary this month and is welcoming back a little chap whose story is raising funds to help children learn at the busy educational attraction.

A TOY teddy bear is playing a big part in a museum's birthday celebrations.

Cromer Museum marks its 30th anniversary this month and is welcoming back a little chap whose story is raising funds to help children learn at the busy educational attraction.

The 1ft tall teddy was found in a dirty and bedraggled state on a rooftop at the town centre attraction by staff member Rochelle Mortimer Massingham 20 years ago.

Despite being cleaned up and being left at the museum to be collected by his sad owner, the cuddly critter remained unclaimed - but went on to be an exhibit and member of staff within the Norfolk museum world, joining a display of teddies at Strangers Hall in Norwich, where he wore a “museum attendant” badge on his dungarees.

Inspired by the anniversary, and enabled by cheaper modern publishing technology, Mrs Mortimer Massingham has written a short illustrated children's book about his tale, called Little Bear Lost, which will be launched on the Cromer museum's birthday, June 15, with proceeds raising funds for educational activities.

“I am thrilled I have been able to tell his story at last,” she added - and will be doing exactly that with readings on

June 20, when pre-school children are being asked to bring their teddies on a visit.

Curator Alistair Murphy said the museum - which is opening its doors for free during the whole of its birthday week - had attracted more than 600,000 visitors since it opened in a row of fishermen's cottages in 1978, with last year the busiest ever with 33,000 people passing through.

The museum reopened two years ago after a £500,000 makeover which included a new entrance from the main street, and a geology gallery which contains another rather more venerable bear - the fossilised skull of an animal which roamed around Bacton 600,000 years ago.

A community archive was also under construction and would see material available on line in the near future.

A series of “mardles” are taping memories of local history, with a 1970s-themed event scheduled for June 17 between 2-4pm to fit in with the 30th birthday celebrations.

Birthday programme

Sunday 15th June - Birthday Card Craft Activity

The museum is inviting children, along with their parents to visit the museum to make a card of their choice, take it home or add it to our display in the museum.

From 2pm to 4.30pm. This is a free drop-in event.

Tuesday 17th June - Birthday 'Mardle at the Museum' with a 70s flavour! Bring in memories and memorabilia of Cromer in the 1970s, 2pm to 4pm.

Friday 20th June - Bring Teddy to the Museum!

The museum is inviting pre-school children, along with a parent, and Teddy of course, to visit the Museum.

There are four sessions each lasting approx. 40 mins. There will be a craft activity, drink and a biscuit, finishing off with story telling, including a reading of 'Little Bear Lost'.

Morning sessions at 10am and 11am

Afternoon sessions at 2pm and 3pm

This is a free drop-in event.

Other events during June:

14 June - The Architecture of Cromer - Guided Walk. 2pm to 4pm (advanced booking essential).

28 June - Walk at Deserted Medieval Village of Godwick (near Fakenham). 2pm to 4pm (advanced booking essential).

For further details phone the Museum on 01263 513543.


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