Minehead Museum celebrated the official opening of its new exhibition space on 31 July 2017.  Provision of a greater display area has enabled museum to incorporate further material including a second Hobby Horse head, a scale model of the Regal Theatre in the 1950s and further shipping models which have been added to this year’s ‘Maritime Minehead’ display. Also on display for the first time are a seventeenth-century clock on loan from the Town Council and the uniform of the former Town Crier. Display frames on subjects as diverse as the painter Turner, the Beatles and writer Arthur C. Clarke are also on show.

Curator and trustee, Julian Luke, welcomed guests and outlined the development of the museum from a pop-up display for two weeks in 2013 to its opening in part of the Beach Hotel in March 2014. Julian paid tribute to the strong support the project has received from the YMCA-owned Beach Hotel and noted that the opportunity to expand was further evidence of the value of this partnership. He also thanked the Tourist Information Centre for agreeing to relocate part of their display area to enable the expansion.

The museum has attracted over 17,000 visitors since it opened. The new display space will increase the visibility of the museum and widen the range of material on show. Important for the display of an interpretation of local history and customs, the museum also provides an all-weather attraction for tourists and locals alike. A successful museum is helping with the regeneration of the seafront.

PHOTO: The photograph shows Chairman of the Trustees, Joe Passmore, cutting the ribbon to open the new room. Other trustees Alan Smithers and Caroline Giddens were on hand to answer questions as over 50 guests viewed the exhibits. The museum, a registered charity, is staffed and managed entirely by volunteers and is always looking for more helpers in all aspects of running the museum. Janet Styles, the museum’s volunteer co-ordinator, would welcome offers of help as the museum looks forward to a busy summer and a further refit in the coming winter ahead of next year’s featured display, ‘Minehead on the Move’.

Anyone interested can email or call Janet on 01643 822907.

The museum opening times:
Until 31 October: Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm,  Sundays 11am – 4pm. Closed Mondays apart from Bank Holidays, when the museum is open 10am–4 pm. It is closed in the winter.

The Museum is located opposite the West Somerset Railway Station, Minehead in the Beach Hotel Complex.  Entry is FREE.