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Meet our Champion for Historic Norfolk

Written by Norfolk Champion on

Steve Miller, Head of Norfolk Museums Service, talks to us...

Who? Steve Miller - Head of Museums and Head of Arts at Norfolk Museums Service

What? Norfolk Museums Service cares for 10 award-winning museums across the County, including Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and Time and Tide: The Museum of Great Yarmouth Life.  Norfolk Museums Service is also the lead for museum development across the East of England.

Let’s find out more about the man who heads-up this fantastic organisation…

How long have you lived in Norfolk?  If not born here, what brought you here?

I moved to Norfolk in the summer of 2013 with my wife Julia and my two daughters, Morgan and Erica.  Before taking up the role of Head of Museums for Norfolk, I was at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust in Shropshire, so we’ve had to get used to a rather less hilly landscape – though no less beautiful.  What first brought us to Norfolk was visiting family in Watlington, near King’s Lynn and also my best friend who got married in Voewood House in Kelling in 2010.

Describe a perfect weekend in Norfolk…

My perfect weekend in Norfolk would start with a dog walk around the pretty country lanes and fields of Bunwell in South Norfolk, where we have happily settled.  I would then enjoy a trip to Norwich, one of my favourite European cities, for some shopping and something to eat.  On Sunday, we would enjoy a visit to the coast, probably Cromer or Wells, or perhaps a walk round one of Norfolk’s exquisitely pretty towns and villages – somewhere like Holt. 

List your top five things about Norfolk…

In no particular order:
1.    The people are really friendly and welcoming 
2.    The County seems to have everything you could want in one place – a vibrant city, a beautiful coast, stunning countryside and easy access to London and Northern Europe
3.    Stunning heritage, from Grimes Graves a Neolithic flint mine, to amazing medieval churches
4.    Great country walks – with great country pubs at the end! 
5.    The weather – having grown up in Manchester, I am constantly thankful for the dry and sunny Norfolk climate  

Norfolk has a 93-mile coastline.  Which is your favourite beach and what is so special about it?

My favourite beach would have to be Wells, due to some very happy family days out bodyboarding and enjoying the views.  Since coming to Norfolk, I’m aware that our coastline isn’t just beautiful, it is of international importance due to the incredible archaeological finds of recent times including the West Runton Mammoth, Seahenge and the Happisburgh handaxe – the oldest human artefact in Europe at more than 500,000 years old.  The Museums Service and tourism partners have started calling the Norfolk coastline the ‘Deep History Coast’ as a way of helping people understand its many treasures.

Norfolk is brimming with history and culture.  What’s your favourite heritage building and what’s so special about it?

My favourite building would have to be Norwich Castle – one of the largest and most architecturally ambitious 12th century Keeps in Europe.  It was both a symbol of power and a Royal Palace.  We have exciting plans at the moment to develop Norwich Castle as an attraction and to help our visitors understand it better. 

To find out more visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Norfolk Champion

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