Press release about The Return of Happy Times

7th March 2019

Exhibition about archaeology and mental health project opens today at Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth

The Return of Happy Times is a new exhibition in the Community Gallery at Time and Tide Museum.  Curated by the Burgh Castle Almanac group with artist Ian Brownlie, the exhibition runs until 1st April 2019.

A Celebration Event for press and guests will be held at Time and Tide Museum from 10.30 – 12 on Tuesday 19th March. This will be an opportunity to meet group members and see the exhibition.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the inscription on a beautiful Roman coin found at Burgh Castle Roman Fort by group member Adrian Charlton during one of our monthly walks. The coin is shown in the exhibition.

The Return of Happy Times is funded by a grant from the Arts Project Fund at Norfolk County Council.

Burgh Castle Almanac is an archaeology, creativity and wellbeing programme based at Burgh Castle Roman Fort and Time and Tide Museum. Once a month a group of local people who live with mental health problems walk around the Roman Fort making a photographic record of the changing seasons. Sometimes the group is accompanied by archaeologists, artists, musicians and naturalists to explore the landscape in different ways. A fortnight later the group gathers at Time and Tide Museum to make art reflecting on their experiences. The project began in May 2018 and continues until May 2020.

The exhibition features archaeology, art, photography and a short film created with BBC Voices.

Burgh Castle Almanac is run by the Restoration Trust. It is part of Water, Mills and Marshes, a £4.5 million programme supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund that focuses on the people, communities and heritage of the Broads National Park.

Norfolk Archaeological Trust owns Burgh Castle Roman Fort and leads the project. The Trust works with local communities to save Norfolk’s irreplaceable historic sites and to share them with everyone. 

Access Community Trust in Lowestoft works with participants on the project. AccessCT promotes social inclusion, preventing people from becoming excluded, relieving the needs of those who are excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.

The Restoration Trust’s culture therapy projects at Burgh Castle, Norfolk Record Office, Norwich Arts Centre and Stonehenge help people with serious mental health problems enjoy heritage, art and culture in a safe, effective way.

Time and Tide in Great Yarmouth is set in one of the UK’s best preserved Victorian herring curing works and tells the story of Great Yarmouth from its ice age origins to the present day. It is part of Norfolk Museums Service.

For more information about The Return of Happy Times and Burgh Castle Almanac contact Laura Drysdale: | 07740844883


Our exhibition at Time and Tide Museum opens today and continues to 1st April 2019.

The Return of Happy Times celebrates Burgh Castle Almanac’s art, creative writing and archaeology. The title is taken from the inscription on a Roman coin that Adrian Charlton found in a molehill on the site in November, now accessioned by Norfolk Archaeological Trust.

We will be holding an Open Morning for the project’s friends and family at Time and Tide Museum on Tuesday 19th March, 10.30 – 12 am. Please do join us!

Burgh Castle Almanac at Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail

Artists meeting on Sunday 10th Feb at Raveningham, walking the Sculpture Trail in the rain
Beautiful Castell Farm, at the heart of the trail. A Tudor farmhouse with an old orchard, meadows and gardens.
Artist Ian Brownlie, who will be collaborating with Sue Tyler and Burgh Castle Almanac members to create something between a geodesic dome and a free woven structure big enough to stand in

The Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail run by Waveney and Blythe Arts will be open from the end of July to the beginning of September. We are thrilled that Burgh Castle Almanac will be creating an inviting interactive dome that will embody something of the history and changing flow of the landscape. The structure will feature images and flora from Burgh Castle, and will be partly built on site using found wood, trees and branches.

Walls and Borders in Art on BBC Front Row and at Burgh Castle Roman Fort

Front Row considers the artistic significance of walls and borders.

John Lanchester, whose latest novel The Wall is about a massive fictional defensive structure, discusses the way walls feature in literature and art with poet and art critic Sue Hubbard, from cave paintings to artworks like Andy Goldsworthy’s 750 feet long drystone wall.

Artist Luke Jerram takes us on a tour around his home city of Bristol discovering unusual wall art such as the Magic Wall, where children leave toys between the stones, and early works by Banksy.

Mexican artist Tanya Aguiniga, who travelled each day to school in the US, has set up an art project on the US/ Mexico border. She is joined by Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, to discuss the influence of borders on art.

Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Timothy Prosser

Session 20 Time and Tide Museum Feb 5 2019. Favourite things.

Maybe the first person in east Norfolk looked like this, but the earliest known man in England had dark skin and dark curly hair – Cheddar Man, 10,000 years ago.
A collar of monkey teeth in amongst native American objects, a cabinet of curiosities that is a reminder of meetings in the US
A sunflower fragment that is a broken bit of something that has become another thing in its own right
Family history of two world wars, stories that were never told at the time, conscription, joining up, bombs dropped along the coast, rumours of Hitler’s interest in Norwich City Hall, straffing shots in Lowestoft
A Morrison shelter, imagine sleeping in there in war time, such a strange object, catching the eye
Submerging in the 19th Century, heavy boots to keep you secure on the sea bed, being underwater and then coming up, a risky business
A signwriting apprenticeship at £9 a week, painting the flesh background for huge faces of huge stars who performed in Great Yarmouth. The faces were fixed on the theatre front and burned at season’s end.
Making and sharing tapes, the tape spooling out and having to be wound back in, it’s still a better sound than digital, and now its a museum object, along with trolls, my little pony and a chopper bike

Session 15 – 13th November, Burgh Castle

A fascinating pinhole camera session with photographer Jeremy Webb. Results will be revealed at the next session, when we will be developing the images.

We were joined by the team from the amazing Thames Discovery Programme,

who brought along finds from the inter-tidal zone, the Thames foreshore.

Perhaps they brought archaeological good fortune, because there was a small find, of which more later.

All these photos are by Dr William Rathouse, one of the Thames Team.

And here is Eliott Wragg’s book (with Nathalie Cohen), of which we now have a signed copy. Thanks Eliott!