Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Museum receives grant money

At the beginning of November 2005 the Museum received the great news that we had been granted £1,594.70 from the SEWS Museum Development Fund.

This was due to a grant application for funding to buy the database and computer equipment needed to document our collection. As you all know we need to document the Museum's collection as part of our bid to become an accredited museum. The new computer will store the database, which will hold the details of every single item in the collection. The Curator has said that "the grant is great news and although Christmas is a very busy time we hope to get started on the database before then."

Getting the grant also shows the support that we are now receiving from local museum organisations. We will keep you informed on how the database is coming along.

Monday, 31 October 2005

Announcement - October 31st, 2005: Dr Who cabinet closed for maintenance

Items from the Dr. Who collection on display in the arch cabinet have been put in temporary storage due to emergency maintenance. The Museum apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. The rest of the Dr. Who exhibit is still on display in our floor cabinet.

Saturday, 1 October 2005

New Curator starts work

In September Claire Eden took over as the Curator.

She replaces Andrew Woodfield who resigned as Manager to concentrate on the Museum's education programme. He is now the Education Officer. It is hoped that these new postings will help move the Museum towards its accreditation goal. Claire says, "The next 12 months will be a crucial time for the Museum and it will be a lot of hard work, but we have a great team who I'm sure are more than capable of this challenge. "

Thursday, 1 September 2005

Dr Who exhibit now on display


A collection of Daleks
"Is There A Doctor In The House?"….. "Yes There Is!"

Those of you lucky enough to have visited the museum this summer will have seen our latest exhibition: a wonderful display of Dr Who Memorabilia.

Following a surprise phone call from Brighton Palace Pier, who explained to us that the sheer quantity of items destined for inclusion in their Dr Who Exhibition was too large for the available space, it was mutually agreed that the remaining exhibits should come to us.

The exhibits in question are in fact the renowned private collection of David Howe, a long term fan of all things Doctor Who and an author and publisher of several authoritative books on the subject including Transcendental Toybox (the complete guide to Doctor Who memorabilia).

They are professionally displayed in two showcases which formerly housed our Brighton seaside-themed display and Britain's garden models. They range from the expected Dr Who related books, posters, jigsaw puzzles, games, badges and figures right through to the more obscure items such as frisbees, watches, yoyos, painting sets, slide-projectors, bubble bath and even pants… no, you're not seeing things, pants. And naturally, there are quite a few of our old friends the Daleks.

Dr Who memorabilia
But WHO has come to the display (if you'll excuse the pun)? Well, our volunteers have booked in a vast array of visitors who have come specifically to see the exhibition. We've seen everyone from young children and their families recently acquainted with the Doctor through the new television series, to people wanting to re-live their memories of the original television programmes from the 1960's and 1970's, and last but not least the die-hard Dr Who fans, often wearing their prized Dr Who T-shirts and badges.

The exhibition will remain in place until the end of January 2006, so there's still plenty of time to catch the Doctor and his memorabilia. Don't leave it too late though as the Tardis never stays in one place for too long!

Sunday, 9 January 2005

Puppet Panto at the Junior Members' Party

Our Junior Members' Club had a party which featured an original puppet panto, entirely written and performed by staff.

Everyone had a fantastic time at our Junior Members' Party, held in January 2005. There were games, refreshments and a very special puppet panto, written and performed by Museum staff. Trains were run on the central layout and Chris additionally performed a sound effect show, replicating the sounds of trains.
Full story follows below pictures... read all about it!

Madame Hiccup and Jason the Dog give it their all
Trevor at the keyboard, providing live accompaniment
Our singing, dancing, performing Staff take their bows after the panto...

Our singing, dancing, performing Staff take their bows after the panto...

Sunday January 9th, 2005, saw the museum hold its Junior Members' Christmas Party. Advertised many weeks in advance, this event drew in an excellent attendance of 21 adults and 23 children who, together with a selection of museum staff, helped make for a wonderfully festive and enjoyable afternoon.

The Junior Members and their accompanying family members, many of whom are frequent visitors to the museum, were free to play and view our many exhibits while acquainting themselves with their fellow peers. Indeed, this was the first member-specific event that we have held to date, and such an opportunity for them to socialise was clearly appreciated.

Soon the children were invited to join in with the party games of (musical chairs, musical statues etc.) lead by museum manager Andrew Woodfield and accompanied by Trevor Littledale on our recently acquired electric keyboard. The games were eagerly contested by all, but everyone ended up with a pack of goodies to take home or consume then and there. It was a pleasure for the museum staff to witness the children so clearly enjoying themselves.

Later, it was the turn of the museum staff to perform, and this they did in style. Written and directed by ex-actor Andrew Woodfield, the Pantomime / Puppet Show "Babes in Toyland" depicted the valiant struggle against the wicked Squire Squeezem by Jason the dog, Dame Hiccup and Fairy Fortune.
Set against the backdrops of their poor country cottage, a ghostly fairy dell (both produced by volunteer graphics assistant, Lawrence Watts), a vintage bus and finally Toyland itself, they managed to counter the Squire's attempts to evict them from their humble abode.

Featuring songs, high drama, gripping dialogue and quite a few hilarious props, the pantomime was ably accompanied by Trevor Littledale on the electric keyboard. And naturally, audience participation was a key aspect in the show's success. Clear relief was visible on the faces of the staff involved, for two hurried rehearsals was all they had to prepare for the moment of truth.

The grand finale of the party was Museum Director Chris Littledale operating our superb OO-gauge railway layout. The event reached its conclusion with the serving of further refreshments and, for many, a last look around the museum for that particular day. A good time was had by all and the Junior Members finally set off home with their parents, no doubt destined to sleep very soundly following an afternoon of great enjoyment. As for the museum staff, we were inspired to repeat this event-format in the future.