James Marston: Going behind the scenes at Ipswich Museum

James Marston goes behind the scenes at Ipswich Museum. Pictured with Jayne Austin Ipswich developm

James Marston goes behind the scenes at Ipswich Museum. Pictured with Jayne Austin Ipswich development manager for museum - Credit: Lucy Taylor

I never realised it but there’s such a thing as a Museum Beetle.

I learnt this amazing fact as I went behind the scenes this week at Ipswich Museum.

Apparently the Anthrenus MJuseorum – to use the medical term – eats things in museums and has to be watched out for by Bob, the long-standing conservation officer. How fascinating.

If I had a quicker brain I would have asked what this particular species would have eaten before museums were invented, but of course you always think of the killer thing to say after the event.

Anyway, I much enjoyed my trip round the museum and asked some sensible questions – I hope – and at least I resisted the temptation to ask if the animals and exhibits there came alive after dark, like in that film.

I have also managed a trip out of Ipswich this week with a very interesting visit to the Bawdsey transmitter block over in, well, Bawdsey, just over the estuary from Felixstowe, where I have a small flat with sea views (distant).

It was from there, as Britain stood alone in 1940, that our nation developed the technology necessary to ensure our air superiority, stopping that Mr Hitler in his tracks. Indeed, as I found out more I couldn’t help feeling a little proud that all this happened in the county of my birth.

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My plain-speaking photographer friend Lucy – who this weekend celebrates her birthday – caught the moment and even insisted on snapping me signing the visitors’ book.

“Pretend someone has asked you to sign an autograph; I know you’ve always wanted to,” she said as she raised camera to squinted eye.

“There,” she added as she snapped. “You could be a real famous person.”

The cheek of it.

I hastened to add that I was very well known in a number of kebab shops on the Colneis peninsula and even if I’m not really famous it still counts for something.

This weekend it’s our annual harvest festival at the ancient Church of St James in the west Suffolk village of Icklingham. Another marker in the rhythm of the year for many a Suffolk community.

The ladies of the church are doing a buffet – naturally I’m expecting quiche – and I’m playing the organ for the service.

Next stop, dare I say it, the C word – Christmas. Just as long as I don’t have to dress up as Father Christmas for my art...