Earlier this year the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket sparked controversy when it changed its name to The Food Museum in a bid to reinvent itself.

Some felt that its identity was being lost - and a 2,000-name petition was drawn up against the move.

But last week it was named "Large Museum of the Year" by the Association of Suffolk Museums - which prompted me to pay a visit at the weekend to see what all the fuss was about.

I hadn't been to the museum since the name change, in fact I hadn't been since the first Covid lockdown. But over the years I've paid many visits - when my children were young it was a great place to take them to let off steam!

My first impression was that despite the new name and signs around the place, it hasn't changed that much - certainly its features like the Boby Building, Edgar's Farmhouse, Alton Mill and Great Moulton Tin Tabernacle were still all there much as I remembered them.

Alton Mill was, I felt, in much better nick than when I had last been there - and while there were new signs pointing out the exhibits' links to food production, the exhibits themselves were still much the same.

In a large outdoor museum like this there are always things that need to be done - and some exhibits that need attention. That is a feature of any industrial museum (and I've seen many in my time if you include preserved railways in that description).

The former Grundisburgh Forge could do with a bit of attention from a carpenter and I spotted a Massey Ferguson Combine Harvester (just like those I saw in the fields when I was a child) that is crying out for some heavy-duty restoration.

But those kind of projects will always exist in a living museum like this.

One great improvement over the last decade has been the opening of Abbot's Hall itself and its exhibitions there, including one about the old St Audry's hospital.

And this is one area where I do take slight issue with the new title of the museum. There are aspects of it which have little to do with food, even tangentially, but do directly link in with East Anglian life more generally - the Tin Tabernacle is another example.

Something in its title to reflect the geographical nature of the collection might be beneficial - especially when attracting tourists who are not familiar with the area and don't know what the museum has to offer.

Perhaps I would have prefered "The Suffolk Food Museum" - but to be honest it's not something I'm particularly worried about. There are much more serious things in life to be concerned about!

And I have to give a special shout-out to the cafe. That had improved considerably compared to the last time I had bought something there years ago.

Overall, I came away very impressed by the museum and when you also consider all the work it does with local communities, especially schools, I felt it was well worth the accolade it received last week.

Next week it is hosting special activities for Apple Week at half-term, starting this Saturday. If you haven't been there recently, it's a great excuse to go back!