Let me tell you a bit about Bexhill Museum as I visited this weekend with friends who are local but who had never been inside, despite pushing 40 like us.
It’s a little gem with an eclectic collection for its size. It’s also one of the many tourist attractions that has remained in existence and continues to thrive due to amazingly dedicated volunteers.
I’ve fond memories of it as my nan lived most of her life in Bexhill and we spent a lot of time there as kids, and, as an adult, I spent regular Saturdays attending lectures with her in the little education room that overlooked the boating lake, where we both indulged our passion for Ancient Egypt, even attempting to learn hieroglyphics during one course.
I’ll always remember the smell of the polished parquet floors and the startling taxidermy that still remains a feature.
But there is a lot that has been added including the amalgamation of the Costume Museum into its own gallery – also containing an impressive display case of Star Wars figures – although even this won’t entice Herbie in as he has developed a pathological fear of headless mannequins, which feature a lot in this collection.
There are also dinosaur bones, vintage cars celebrating the town’s motoring heritage and a train set donated by Eddie Izzard, the museum’s patron, which either entertains you or bores you silly, depending on where you stand on the subject. I think it’s great and so do most of the kids.
Entry is only £3 for adults, £1.50 for kids and free for under fives, so it’s a bargain. There are new baby change facilities and accessibility is good, with ramps and lifts that serve both the very young and the very old (most of Bexhill) well.
And it backs onto Egerton Park, with its aforementioned boating lake, which I’m proud to say I fell in at least twice as a child, and a new and improved play park, which I stress is much safer than that of my childhood, when I remember a visiting friend plummeting 10 feet onto concrete from the top of a climbing frame as we all watched in shocked silence wondering if he was dead (a swift trip to A&E verified that he was in fact just mildly concussed). I do miss the rocking horses you could ride on though – they were ace. I’m now so old there’s one preserved in the museum – not so ace.