Steyning Museum – open again!

Steyning Museum opened its doors on Wednesday 16th September for the first time since our initial lockdown, which was 6 months ago. We are trialling new extended opening hours 10am to 4pm each Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday with half-day opening 10am to 1pm on Friday’s.

The Museum will be following required COVID-19 protocols and visitors will need to wear a face mask when they come along. There will be a one-way system in operation to help with social distancing. Please come along to look at our latest displays and audio-visual developments.

Just what we need to celebrate our opening, balloons and chocolates for stewards and visitors too! The photo shows two of our stewards, Maggie Hollands (left) and Anne Hill (right) celebrating the happy event with chocolates.

We certainly have not been idle during lockdown. Soon after the beginning of lockdown in March, we started collecting a local record about the Coronavirus Pandemic. We have been collecting people’s thoughts and feelings about this (hopefully) once in a lifetime experience. We also have memorabilia, such as leaflets, newspaper items, poems and photos (including those wonderful rainbows which sprung up everywhere). The plan is for this to become a research tool for the future showing what life was like in our area during these strange times. Now is your chance to come along and add your thoughts too. In the entrance of Steyning Museum we have a display showing extracts from people’s thoughts and a ‘memory cloud’ on which you are invited to add a small note offering your ideas too.

Please help us to add to our Coronavirus memories collection by popping along and taking part. The photo shows visitor William Vine penning his thoughts.

Also to celebrate the re-opening, a new exhibition featuring toy theatres through the ages will be on display. The collection is owned by Andrew Woodfield who is Curator of Exhibitions at the museum.

During his childhood, Andrew and three of his cousins ran a Family Theatre which was the springboard of his lifelong passion for toy theatres and he has been adding to his collection ever since.

During lockdown, Andrew prepared the exhibition which tells the story of Juvenile Drama (the name that the Victorians gave to the hobby) from the Regency period to the present day. The oldest toy theatre on display dates back to the 1880’s and the exhibition also includes some posters and prints which are even older than that.

The exhibition is on display until mid-January when it will be replaced by an exhibition celebrating Victory in World War 2.

Curator of Exhibitions Andrew Woodfield has a superb collection of toy theatres and memorabilia now on display at the Steyning Museum.

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