Your Museum-Your Say

Ion Castro, hon.Secretary of the Hastings & St.Leonards Museum Association was at the opening of the new exhibition at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery in Johns Place,Bohemia Road, Hastings, TN34 1ET (Opposite to lower end of The Oval) and admission is free.

The Museum Association was formed in 1889 and is believed to be the oldest such Museum friends group in the country. In 1892 the Association opened the Hastings Museum in the Brassey Institute, now Hastings Library, and where responsible for administrating and funding the Museum, for mounting displays and collecting exhibits. The Corporation took over responsibility in 1905, since when the Association has continued to play an important role in the life of the Museum, including the organisation of lectures, special visits and other social activities. Membership: £7.00 single yearly, £12 couple yearly (life membership £70), payable to Hastings and St Leonards Museum Association. Their website is

Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for Regeneration  & Culture used the upper floor of the amazing Durbar Hall to open the Exhibitions, As part of the Finding Our Place Project, Culture Shift have been talking to lots of people about the museum: what brings people to the museum and what do they value about it and what stops people coming. Over a period of three months over 600 people were consulted representing a crosssection of age groups as well as regular users, occasional visitors and people who have never been to the museum and the results of the project are presented at the museum as a series of display panels. The second exhibition to be opened was “Before Hastings – From Prehistory to the Saxons” with important artefacts dating back thousands of years and a small section devoted to the Piltdown fraud perpetrated by respected Sussex solicitor and local antiquarian Charles Dawson (1864 – 1916) who was also a founding member of Hastings Museum in charge of acquiring specimens for the collections and with a knack for spectacular discoveries. There’s also a small section displaying artefacts from the roman bathhouse at Beauport.

Meanwhile the exhibition ‘All At Sea’, Sussex coastal scenes from the Museum Collection. Continues until 3rd July in the main gallery highlighting Hastings’ fishing heritage and the picturesque Sussex coastline that have been popular subjects for painters since the late 18th century. This exhibition features paintings from the Museum’s fine art collections alongside impressive ship’s figureheads and other maritime material. Artists include Joseph Farington, W H Borrow and Edward le Bas.

Picture on centre pages show the museum being used for a wedding in 2012.

Other pictures show results from the ‘Finding our place’ consultation, examples from the pre-history exhibition and the main gallery showing the ‘All at Sea’ exhibition.

Happy Harold Goes to a Wedding at the Museum – 2012

“Rye’s Own” Bulletin  April 2016

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