Nicholas Longe, 1938–2023
I’m sad to announce that Nicholas Longe, Chair of the Abbot’s Hall Trust, died peacefully at his home on 23rd September 2023.
Nicholas’s involvement with the museum began as a boy. As the young cousin of Ena and Vera Longe, he visited their home in Abbot’s Hall in Stowmarket. The newly-established museum needed a home and the Longe sisters generously agreed to host it. Thus it was that in 1967 the Abbot’s Hall Museum of Rural Life of East Anglia opened in the estate’s medieval barn. Ultimately the sisters would leave the bulk of their estate in the care of the Abbot’s Hall Trust, including their beautiful Queen Anne house, Abbot’s Hall. Nicholas was a signatory on the 1971 documents which established the trust, and his involvement with the museum therefore spanned an impressive six decades. As Chair of the Abbot’s Hall Trust, he championed the museum as it grew, was delighted that the house was used for displays and was passionate about its potential and seeing it thrive. He would remark that this was fulfilling the wishes of Vera and Ena.
He had a great sense of humour and was always helpful and supportive of our plans and in particular, our transition to the Food Museum. He clearly had a deep affection for his cousins and the stories he told about them brought the estate alive. The museum will sincerely miss a friend.
A memorial service will be held for Nicholas at St Mary’s Woodbridge at 11am on 30th October, 2023.
Jenny Cousins, Museum Director
Nicholas Longe, credit David Longe
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