Full steam ahead for iconic Bognor Regis museum

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A station relic has found a new home in the Bognor Regis Museum.

Bognor Regis town mayor Jim Brooks paid a special visit to the town’s museum in West Street to present it not only with its annual grant cheque, but an important part of railway history.

Cllr Brooks said: “It gave me great pleasure to hand over to the museum for safe keeping, an original stove-enamelled totem sign from the railway station.

“The sign was purchased several years ago at auction, when the council was looking at housing the museum in the station.

“I am delighted to be handing over this wonderful relic on loan: it is a part of the town’s railway heritage, it will invoke wonderful memories for all who see it and I don’t think there is a better place for it.

“It was also a great pleasure to hand over the cheque. In these hard times we are incredibly proud we can keep supporting the museum.

“Living only a few doors away, I am even more delighted to be here today to show how much the town council appreciates the volunteers’ hard work in providing the town with such a fantastic attraction.

“Having started all those years ago in damp rooms in Hotham Park Lodge to being in this wonderful facility today in one of the town’s character buildings is marvellous.”

The town council supports the museum every year with a grant aid award, which this year was £3,600.

This helps the volunteers who run the attraction to pay for its running costs.

Cllr Brooks was then shown the latest improvements at the museum by curator David Jennings and Kay Fall, the chairman of the Local History Society which manages the facility.

Future plans which could include a conversion of an outbuilding to house a seaside display were also discussed.

Mr Jennings said: “The sign will take pride of place in our selection of railway pieces. We only have one or two artefacts at the moment, but we have just been given a number of photographs.

“The support we receive from the town council is very welcome, especially in this current climate, and we are grateful to them for their continued help.

“Our new building is about five times bigger than our old one and costs at least three times as much, so any help is appreciated.”

The museum will be open from 10am-4pm until the end of October. It will then close for the winter when volunteers will be busy changing things round for when it reopens around Easter 2012.