Local Activities

The museum houses the largest collection of items documenting the vanished social and recreational life of the Ramsey area. You can see fenland specialities, such as fen skating and eel catching, while more general activities and pastimes are well respresented in the collections of audio, photographic and entertainment material. Shooting and fishing rank high in the list of local activities, and examples of both are to be found in the museum.

In the Old Stable Block there are two original seats from the Grand Cinema. The Grand stood in Great Whyte and was built and operated by the Murkett Brothers from 1935 until it was taken on by the Haddon family who ran it until its closure in 2005.

Did you know that Ramsey Library now stands on the site of the Grand?

Fen skating on flooded, frozen fields dates back hundreds of years and the original skates, of which we have an example in the Pump Room, were made of animal bone. The skates shown are a more modern pair.

The Pump room contains many examples of eel fishing equipment, including this trap made of willow by a local craftsman, Mr Venditti.

The last licensed eel trapper retired in 2016, and eels are now a critically endangered species.

Butterfly nets, like these handmade examples displayed in the Old Stable Block, would have been used by a naturalist – such as Lord Rothschild, in Woodwalton Fen – to collect insects for study.

In the Old Stable Block we have a large collection of instruments played by members of the Ramsey Town Band. This silver plated cornet was played by John Dawson and his daughter donated this, together with his uniform, to the museum. 

The old band is no more (closing in the 1960s), but the museum has a volunteer who was a member.