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Dr Roy Brigden retires after 30 years at Museum of English Rural Life

Roy joined the University in 1979 at the age of 27. He was an early graduate of the University Leicester Museum Studies course, gaining a post graduate certificate in 1974, having graduated in history the previous year from Durham University. His first jobs were with Norfolk Museum Service, where his responsibilities as Assistant Keeper of Social History had given him a taste for all things rural.

As Keeper of the Museum of English Rural Life for more than 30 years, Roy oversaw a period of remarkable evolution and achievement. Roy’s career effectively spanned the museum’s transformation from the institution of its founders and early curators – John Higgs, Geraint Jenkins and Andrew Jewell – at first not much more than a travelling exhibition of farm wagons that toured agricultural shows up and down the country – to its position today as the country’s leading rural museum and its relocation to its magnificent new home.

Roy’s name is for many synonymous with rural museums and with good cause; his knowledge, expertise and reputation are recognised nationally and internationally and for what he helped create and preserve as a record of English rural life at Reading. Much of what is The Museum of English Rural Life today would not be here now without Roy’s vision and determination.

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