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Heritage officer bids fond farewell to Bury St Edmunds museum as he retires after 18 years service




Making miniature furniture, wood carving projects, lecturing and perhaps even writing a ghost story.

These are just some of activities Ron Murrell plans to keep him busy as he retires as a heritage officer from Moyse’s Hall Museum, in Bury St Edmunds, after 18 years.

Mr Murrell, 66, joined the museum in March 2002 as a gallery assistant before becoming a heritage officer, with a remit to help care for the historic building and exhibitions.

Ron Murrell reads M.R. James at the annual Christmas Ghost Story event. Picture by Chris Morris
Ron Murrell reads M.R. James at the annual Christmas Ghost Story event. Picture by Chris Morris

Ron was furloughed for much of 2020 and so leaving the museum this week, has been bittersweet.

“What I enjoyed most about working there was the interaction with visitors and sharing the knowledge I have of the history of the artefacts and the building,” said Ron, who lives in Bury.

“So the fact I was furloughed has allowed me to face the reality of leaving more gradually whilst putting it into perspective against the dangers of catching the virus. Lockdown has helped me become accustomed to a new way of life.”

Ron joined the museum after 22 years service in the RAF.

Ron Murrell and son at the Gothika event 2015. Picture by Chris Morris
Ron Murrell and son at the Gothika event 2015. Picture by Chris Morris

“I had always enjoyed history, my sister is local Georgian historian Dr Pat Murrell, so it’s in the family.

"I took my history degree whilst still in the RAF, also a furniture restoration course, as it’s another great interest, in antique furniture and wood.”

He could often be seen at the museum dressed as a Victorian gentleman.

I have so many great memories including the people I worked with, and will always be extremely fond of the annual M.R. James Christmas Ghost Story readings, when I would dress as a Victorian gentleman.

“Also the Gothika event in 2015 when I was also proud to see my son and his band, Thy Last Drop, launch their album at the museum.”

“I am already busy with furniture restoration, wood carving, such as seasoned oak as copies of medieval misericords, green man rondels. I also make miniature Tudor furniture in 1/12th scale, mostly for my wife, who knew I loved the museum so much, she would call it my ‘mistress.’

“It’s not really goodbye as I am also to become a volunteer and hope to continue supporting the building I care so much about.”

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