BUSINESS sponsorship for Bexhill’s independent, voluntarily-run museum has been welcomed by its chairman.
Executives from Brewers Decorating Centres visited the Egerton Road museum on Friday, January 22nd to see work in progress on two key projects.
During the winter break, volunteers from the museum’s maintenance team have been taking advantage of the presence of scaffolding needed for the museum’s £4,000 project to convert to energy and cost-saving LED lighting to re-decorate the reception area and staircase.
Brewers’ area manager Kevin Dobbs and area sales representative Tony Guarino saw the progress being made on both projects.
Thanks to the efforts of museum volunteer Ken Bywater, Brewers Decorating Centres have given financial assistance to both schemes, including the provision of materials for the re-decoration.
Though completion of the complex LED conversion work may have to be undertaken during the next Christmas/New Year break, eventual energy-savings are expected to recoup the cost of the lighting scheme in four years. Low-lux LED lighting will also be kinder to many of the museum’s artefacts.
The sponsors’ visit came at a key time for the museum.
Volunteers are working to a tight deadline to have the museum’s new exhibitions completed in time for the opening of the 2016 season on February 1.
Highlights will include the Izzard family model railway layout – a childhood heirloom kindly provided by museum patron comedian Eddie Izzard and his brother. Members of Bexhill Model Railway Club have re-created the layout. Visitors to the motor heritage gallery will be able to operate trains on two tracks.
Elsewhere, Costume and Social History Gallery exhibits are being changed, a photo time-line will illustrate the garages and filling stations of Bexhill’s past and the Sargent Gallery will be marked by a striking and topical Star Wars display.
Kevin Dobbs said: “I am from Bexhill so I have a soft spot for the museum. I didn’t realise before that it was so vast. It should be really promoted so everyone knows about it.
“I am only too happy to help it.
“This is a wonderful place. I think people should know about it. I think it is a far better museum than many others we have seen before.”
Museum chairman John Betts said: “We are very pleased that a Bexhill business is supporting the museum.
“Later in the year we will be looking for support from other Bexhill businesses and the people for our project to create a new wing here.”
The museum chairman also paid tribute to private donors who have contributed towards the LED lighting scheme via a buy-a-bulb fund. “It was one of the things by which the museum board wants this place to be more integrated with the town.”Brewer’s Beeching Road branch is one of 150 throughout the UK.