Busy year for Axminster Heritage Centre

The Book of the Axe with author G R Pulman's own hand written notes. Picture: trevor@driventemple.o

The Book of the Axe with author G R Pulman's own hand written notes. Picture: trevor@driventemple.org.uk - Credit: Archant

Another successful 12 months is reported to the AGM by chairman Dr John Church

George Pulman's Book of The Axe. Picture: trevor@driventemple.org.uk

George Pulman's Book of The Axe. Picture: trevor@driventemple.org.uk - Credit: Archant

Another ‘busy and successful year’ for Axminster Heritage Centre was reported by chairman John Church at the recent annual general meeting.

He went on to thank the many volunteers who make up the whole organisation and have worked tirelessly throughout the season, both on the frontline, greeting visitors, and behind the scenes developing The Heritage Centre.

The meeting heard that visitor numbers have risen dramatically to over 7,000 so far this year and a vibrant outreach programme of talks, films and children’s activities has further increased community interest.

The old Tourist Information Centre has moved, joining forces as part of the many activities within Thomas Whitty House.

Dr John Church chairman of Axminster Heritage Centre. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Dr John Church chairman of Axminster Heritage Centre. Picture: CHRIS CARSON - Credit: Archant


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Local organisations and individuals have increased the occupancy of The Bradshaw Meeting Room, hiring the facilities for events. Within the museum gallery, displays of Axminster’s development through the ages have continued to be developed and a refurbished dye house and new lavatory block have been built. Fundraising, led by Andrew Moulding, continues apace as much of the grants awarded require match funding.

Members who attended the AGM were given an opportunity to view a very special book of significant local interest - author George Pulman’s own bound manuscript copy of The Book of the Axe.

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In 1848, George Pulman had founded Pulman’s Weekly News. This fourth edition of the book, started in 1871, is his annotated working draft based on the third edition, which he literally cut and pasted with new material, and added hand written instructions to the printer.

It was given to Axminster Heritage Centre earlier this year by Col Edward John Mayo OBE, of the Isle of Man, in remembrance of his father, Rev Thomas Edward Mayo, JP of Axminster.

Looking forward, the Heritage team is awaiting news of its application for a further grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable the last stage of the project to be completed next year.

In closing, Dr Church said: “It only remains for me to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for investing in our vision of turning this old carpet manufactory into a 21st century Heritage Centre for all our community’.

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