Experience the 'nasty side of history' at the Bognor Regis museum this half term

Fans of Horrible Histories will be delighted by the museum's latest display

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:56 pm

A new exhibit at the Bognor Regis museum which includes flintlock pistols, swords and executioners axes is giving guests a chance to experience the 'nasty side of history' this half term.

Compiled by former history teacher and avid collector Justin Mowat, the gruesome assortment of goodies is reminiscent of CBBC's smash-hit series Horrible Histories - and staff hope it gets children similarly excited about the past.

Mr Mowat is prepared with an enthusiastic explanations for each of the objects, which range from 19th century knives, to Spanish arming swords, to branding irons.

Volunteers at the Bognor Regis museum

"The idea of this is, unlike the pike, which you just stab with, this one you can actually hook the knight's leg or arm. So, as they come up to you and you trip them up and, as they fall down, you land the finishing blow," he says of a four-foot spear called a 'bill'.

And, of a 15th century firearm called a 'handgonne': "This has what you call a serpentine lock, so as you pull the trigger, a mechanism springs and hits a charge, lighting this fuse. If you fired this at the door, it would blow it to pieces, so they were mainly used for entry. Blow through the door and the people inside don't know what's hit them."

It's a unique collection, with a unique history- one which seems appropriately gruesome with Halloween just around the corner. "All this is so unique. You'd have to go up to London to see this sort of thing, and a lot of kids haven't done that, they won't get the chance to see this stuff on display locally."

Alongside a variety of Halloween friendly props, museum staff have also introduced a ghost hunt, leaving miniature ghosts throughout the museum which children must hunt down in exchange for a sweet treat.

Part of the new display at the Bognor Regis museum

The exhibit will be on display until 4pm today, and then again from 10am on October 28 and 30.