New addition gives nod to Wodhall Spa museum’s past

James Wilderspin from Mick Toyne Engineering with the Donkey EMN-190326-164910001
James Wilderspin from Mick Toyne Engineering with the Donkey EMN-190326-164910001

Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum opens its doors for the new season this weekend - and there is a new addition to the team.

The original Boulton and Paul corrugated bungalow, which houses the museum, was originally occupied by Thomas and Mary Wield, who moved to Woodhall Spa in the 1880 from Hampshire to work at the Spa Baths.

In 1887, Thomas Wield started a donkey-drawn bath chair business and transported patients and visitors between the Spa Baths, the various hotels and the Railway Station.

Now that long association with the donkey has been celebrated with the commissioning of a near life size donkey, made from steel plate.

Mick Toyne Engineering produced the donkey and James Wilderspin, who now runs the business, delivered it to the Iddesleigh Road site.

A spokesman for the museum said: “The project was generously funded by a grant from the Postcode Lottery, for which the directors are very grateful.”

The donkey stands by the gates as visitors enter the museum garden.

A trail of donkey hoof prints will then lead the visitor to the museum entrance.

The museum opens its doors to the public for the 2019 season this Saturday, April 6, and it will then be open every day between 11am and 3.30pm until October 27.

The main displays have been revamped and include many items not on show last year.

From April 13 to 27, children can take part in the ‘Spring Bird Trail’ for 50p.

In addition there will be free colouring sheets for children to do

The first of the temporary displays is a visiting exhibition from Market Rasen, entitled ‘Wolds Women of Influence’.

The exhibition was launched with an accompanying talk, at the Golf Hotel, by the researchers, Dr Caroline Mogg from the University of Lincoln and Angela Wilson, a volunteer local history researcher, both members of the Lincoln Branch of the Fawcett Society.

Full information on the Museum and events can be found on the website www.cottagemuseum.co.uk

Alternatively, phone 01526 352456 or email info@cottagemuseum.co.uk