VISITORS to Bexhill Museum this year will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of exhibitions planned there.
The Egerton Road museum re-opens on Monday, February 6. To mark Olympics year, the major exhibition will be Sport In Bexhill.
Paul Gilchrist and his team have worked for six months compiling tributes to local sporting heroes like golfer Max Faulkner and marathon runner Derek Stevens and displays from Edwardian bathing costumes to 21st century surfboard and sailing dinghy.
Elton John captured the mood of the nation when he released Candle In The Wind on the death of Diana Princess of Wales in 1997, achieving a 33 million world-wide sale.
This called for a special version of the industry’s customary Gold Disc. Graphic artist Brian Hyams’ solution was a presentation item featuring six CDs – one for every nought in 33,000,000.
Brian, a museum director, will be staging an exhibition from mid-April featuring a rolling selection from more than 40 gold discs he designed during his 25 year recording industry career.
An associated series of talks will tell of his working life alongside the likes of Abba, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis.
Bexhill Museum is an independent, accredited museum that is professionally-led but voluntarily-run. It is open seven days a week and with three diverse galleries offers something for everyone.
Funding from Cultural Olympiad is enabling freelance museum curator Rachel Heminway-Hurst to stage Global Gathering, a project to engage young people in world art via group sessions to produce music, dance and craftwork for display in the museum from July to September.
Robert Mucci will be exhibiting highlights from his collection of artefacts from Papua New Guinea.
Museum administrator Don Phillips traces the development of rail travel from the pioneering horse-drawn Surrey Iron Railway of 1803 through the south east’s first passenger-carrying line, the Canterbury and Whitstable, to that giant of railway engineering Thomas Brassey and his army of navvies.
From the mid-March visitors will be able to see a scale model of Bexhill’s former Kursaal. This truncated pier on De La Warr Parade was from its opening in 1896 until the coming in 1935 of the town’s world-famous De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill’s principal place of entertainment.
The Orientally-styled Kursaal was demolished in 1936. Bill Hills’ model puts it in Victorian context adjoining the gates to Earl De La Warr’s then private parade. In 1912 the Kursaal housed Georges Treville’s Franco-British Film Company, one of whose silent productions survives.
Verdant Subversion is a Costume Gallery textile design contribution by Lynn Openshaw
The museum staircase will from the opening of the season feature a display of lace art loaned by Georgina Bradley.
Bexhill will mark its place in the history of maritime tragedy in 2012, less than a month before the nation commemorates the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Through contemporary newspaper accounts and pictures the museum will tell how March 16th 1912 the P&O liner Oceana met its doom in the English Channel within sight of horrified Bexhill onlookers and with the loss of nine lives.