Bexhill Museum celebrated its 100th birthday on Thursday 22nd May 2014 by throwing a party in honour of its founders. As well as good food, drink and company there was an abundance of special events.
The evening also served as the official opening of the Museum’s new Arts Council England funded exhibition Movers and Shakers which explores the story behind the founding of Bexhill Museum and the remarkable characters that were involved. Greg Barker, MP for Bexhill and Battle, did the honours by opening the exhibition and proposing a toast to the Museum and its next 100 years. The exhibition includes many wonderful relics associated with the Museum’s founders featuring the collections of Annie Lady Brassey, Kate Marsden, Reverend Thompson and of course its longest serving Curator, Henry Sargent.
The highlight of the evening were members of the youthful cast of the Movers and Shakers play resuming their roles to perform some key scenes and songs (by Annie Brassey and family)from the production. This culminated in the ?young’ Kate Marsden unveiling a portrait of her older self to right an old wrong and reinstate herself as a founder of the Museum. Special thanks must go to Rachel Heminway-Hurst, Stephen Israel, Suzi Hopkins, Katie O’Connor and all the cast for all their hard work and late nights on this Arts Council funded project.
It was also a night for film and the excellent documentary of the Movers and Shakers production by Shona Pollock and Paco de Quesada was shown as well as the competition winning promotional film by students from Bexhill College and Sally Hemmings and Shona Pollock’s video interviews with Museum volunteers past and present.
An unexpected but very historic event was a gathering (Doctor Who style) of all the past Curators for a photo call. With the young, and even younger Henry Sargents from the cast, next to the portrait of the Reverend Thompson, the first curator, with curators Stella Bellem, Brenda Mason and Julian Porter.
Chairman John Betts thanked everyone for their support of the Museum, the members, volunteers and visitors and also the local authority which has, starting back in 1912 with the Bexhill Corporation, always supported and assisted with the work of Bexhill Museum. John also revealed the project that he has been working on for many months, a new book Bexhill Museum – The Story Unfolds 1912-1914 about the origins and founders of the Museum.