Your Local Museum Needs You!

Posted 29th September 2014

New Moyse’s Hall  Museum 'Pot Luck' history project will tell the moving stories of local people during the Great War.

Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds is appealing for help in putting together its most ambitious ‘Pot Luck’ to date.

‘Pot Luck’ - The Great War aims to tell the story of WWI through the lives of real, everyday people, in Bury St Edmunds between 1914 and 1918.

The iconic museum is looking to collect the stories of individuals from all walks of life to paint a picture of how the town got through one of the deadliest and most ferocious conflicts in world history.

“Pot Luck was an idea we had two years ago and so far, all of the periods we have covered, including medieval, WWII, Victorian and the 70s have been hugely successful,” said St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer, Alex McWhirter.

“By choosing a Pot Luck number from a random selection of ‘pull-out cards’, this leads people on to discover the life story of a local person in that time period, as well as find objects associated with that life, such as photographs, clothing and artefacts”.

“For the Great War Pot Luck, there will then be a competition for the people to tell the story of the person they chose at random, and the one who gives the strongest argument as to why their person’s story counts the most, can win a prize."

“Pot Luck is a unique project, devised here at Moyse’s, and combines social history, mystery and intrigue, some detective work and storytelling, which helps to bring history alive. The project also creates a legacy which can then be passed onto schools for use in the classroom.”

‘Pot Luck’ - The Great War - is being compiled by new heritage trainees, Sarah Clark, Daniel Clarke, Jack Everett and Ben Donnelly-Symes, who began work at St Edmundsbury Heritage Services and Suffolk County Council’s Archaeology Services in June.

Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the trainees will have a paid year-long work placement that is supported by formal training in museum, archaeology and archive work.

They faced fierce competition to gain their places when the recruitment team had to select from nearly 200 applications.

“We feel extremely lucky to work at Moyse’s because, though the building and collections are steeped in history, it is a very forward looking museum and innovative in the way it hosts exhibitions and engages the public,” said Daniel Clarke.

“We would like people from Bury to contact us with their stories of people from WWI to help compile the project if possible, so we can make the history of the town come alive during the time, though individual stories, associated photos, artefacts."

“People can contact us about relatives or any person they know about, from soldiers to everyday townspeople including servicemen and women, shopkeepers, jewellery makers, or even children."

“We hope by telling the stories of how local people survived, or even died, during the Great War, it will create a lasting legacy for townsfolk, schools, and generations to come.”

To send your stories, or for more information, contact the Moyse’s trainees at:
Or phone: 01284 706183

About WWI
World War I (or WW1 or World War One), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died as a result of the war, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.
By the end of the war, four major imperial powers—the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires—ceased to exist.