Thunderous applause greets opening of long awaited Folkestone Museum - PHOTOS

Contributed by editor on May 29, 2017 - 05:50 PM


By Ray Duff

On Saturday 27th May, the long awaited, brand new Folkestone Museum was officially opened to the public by Town Mayor Cllr Roger West at the Town Hall in Guildhall Street.


Even the weather seemed pleased as it provided a 'drum roll and christening' accompaniment before the sun broke through.
The event attracted many regular visitors of all ages throughout the day as excited children and their parents eagerly visited each highly informative display.

Top: L-R Ben Revell (as Cpl in East Kent Buffs WW1uniform, Mayoress Cllr Pat West, Mayor of Folkestone Cllr Roger West; Jennifer Childs, Town clerk, at the opening. Middle: Some of the maritime artefacts on the ground floor area. Below: Jennifer Buchman, Museum Manager with some of the souvenirs  Photos: Ray Duff

Outside the Town Hall fancy dress police joined Ben Revell in 'guarding' the entrance as well as attracting visitors. Mr Revell was dressed as a WW1 Corporal from the East Kent Buffs as a tribute to Corporal Cotter who won the VC for his actions during that war.

Top: Phil Hadland, Museum Curator; observes Anglo-Saxon skeleton 'Aefre' in her new location. Middle: The Samuel Plimsoll display and interactive facility. Below: Visitors enjoy the natural history display on the main floor area  Photos: Ray Duff

On the ground floor is the late Victorian and 20th Century  display featuring, as a centrepiece, the large painting of the 'Landing of the Belgian Refugees' in 1914' alongside displays of period dresses, a Samuel Plimsoll interactive display, and paintings and maritime artefacts.

Top: One of the Archaeology displays on the main floor Below: The children's 'exploration sand- pit' (foreground) and the paleontology display behind  Photos: Ray Duff

The main floor features many earlier period historical displays: Paleontology, Archaeology; an interactive Roman era 'game'; Natural History and a 'sandpit' for children to explore for local history artefacts.

There is a special room for displaying sections of the prestigious Masters Art Collection  and another for educational events with the opening weekend featuring the Bug Roadshow.

Such is the size of the collection it is mostly stored in the archives but the displays will be regularly rotated to keep the displays fresh and interesting.

Top: Part of the 'Masters' Art Collection on display  Below: The Bug Roadshow attracts much attention from all ages  Photos: Ray Duff

The Natural History display features summertime at present but it will change to Autumn in due course.

It is planned that most of the other displays will be added to as well in the coming months and years with new discoveries as soon as they become available to the collection.

The Museum is managed by Jennifer Buchman with Phil Hadland as museum curator. They lead a team of volunteers who will help keep the displays in tip top condition and help visitors. There is also a small souvenir counter next to the Tourist Info desk.

The museum, which has free admission, is open daily from 29 May 10am-4pm

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