We are always looking for, and rely heavily on, volunteers to help run the museum. We have lots of roles so please get in touch.

Every volunteer can make a difference. Don’t underestimate your potential. No matter how small your steps are, you have the potential to make a big difference!

One of our Volunteers…

In the autumn of 1989, there was an article in the local paper, Thetford and Watton Times, about anybody who is interested in setting up a Museum of steam engines in the town, I went to the first meeting at the Bell Hotel, about 8 people came, one of them was Richard Parrott from Brandon, who had some steam engines on his farm, also there was David Osborne a local historian and author of many books about Norfolk. Over many weeks of meetings and discussions we came up with a plan, first on the Agenda was where was a building big enough for a Museum.   The building was the store room used by a Canning company, Smedleys, where I used to work as a maintenance fitter which was derelict as the Factory had closed down eight to ten years earlier, the Town Council was asked if they would consider it to be taken on as a future Museum, it was in a very poor state. The council agreed to let us take it on, after we had shown them our plans for the future.  We then drew up an application for a Lottery bid, which was successful and awarded £10,000.  That took place some 12 months later. Then the volunteers got to work cleaning up the building, repairing, painting, all the windows had been smashed, they were replaced with plastic windows, and we had asked a company to come and give us a quote to have a mezzanine floor installed, which we gave the company permission to install it.  

 We acquired our first engine a Road Roller, which came in huge boxes, which was a real jigsaw to identify what  bits went where, the history of that is in the Charles Burrell Museum and the actual engine also. It took six years for its restoration to how it is now. Then we got our 1902 Agricultural engine, which is a rare model.  We were bequeathed a 1920 Showmans engine, some of the volunteers went to see it, and it was delivered to us, all for £50, it is now priceless to the CBM, insured for approx £750,000.  We had some people who agreed to become Trustees, about four to six, they did a brilliant job of advertising, advising, getting donations, donors.  I have been so proud to have been involved with the Museum  for so long, most if not all, of the original volunteers have passed on, but what a legacy they have left behind, and I am so proud to have been a part of it all, with many of the volunteers have become close friends, we have had lots of fun along the way, and  hard work, but it was worth doing,  If you would like to become a volunteer, please come to the Museum, where we can discuss what you would like to do, with the many roles to fill, meeting and greeting,  Cafe work, free cups of tea, coffees for the volunteers, it would be a great chance for you to hear and see what we do, please come along you won’t regret it.

Derek Antrobus (Senior Volunteer)


So why not come make a big difference with us here, we are a friendly bunch at The Charles Burrell Museum. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities and society in general. Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and make new friends. Volunteering can help you feel part of something outside your friends and family. Volunteering can help you learn new skills, gain experience and sometimes even qualifications. Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice using your skills and discover hidden talents. Most of our volunteers have a great time, regardless of why they do it. Come join in!

Go on get in touch…