MUSICIANS were seen playing in full wide-screen colour as guests gathered in Bexhill Museum’s cafe for a ceremony marking the gift of its new audio-visual system.
The Wednesday, September 5th event was an opportunity to thank Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism for a generous £1,000 donation which made installation of the state-of-the-art new facility possible. Guest of honour was chamber president James Kimber.
The event had begun with a reception in the museum’s new motor heritage gallery. It was an apt choice since, in a personal capacity, the chamber president was one of the sponsors of the town’s new motor heritage trail.
A series of illustrated boards tell the story of the 1902 Bexhill Motor Trials, the first international motorsport event held in the UK. The trail begins near the Galley Hill start-line for the races and includes boards near The Sackville and the Cooden Beach Hotel. Both establishments are owned by Mr Kimber and have their own photo galleries commemorating the races.
Another of the boards is on the exterior wall of the museum. The museum’s motor heritage gallery includes a replica of the steam car on which French pioneer M. Leon Serpollet won the 1902 trials together with a Bexhill-built 1957 Elva Mark III sports-racer and the Volta car built by St Richard’s Catholic College students which in 1993 gained a class world land speed record.
The musical sequence being shown on the new audio-visual system in the adjoining catering area complements A Global Gathering, the museum’s current tribute to its world art collection.
Welcoming guests, museum society chairman John Betts said that despite its £2m cost, the extension and refurbishment scheme opened in 2009 left the society with the task of providing some key equipment.
Thanking the chamber for its generosity, the chairman explained to guests: “As chairman of the museum I sit on the chamber executive but I can assure you that I had nothing to do with the decision…!”
The president said the chamber was delighted to be able to support the museum.