Happy Birthday to The Story of Eastbourne!

On 16th February, the Story of Eastbourne exhibition will be 1 year old! And what a year it has been – we have seen over 23,000 visitors, recorded lots of new stories of Eastbourne and had outstanding feedback. We opened the exhibition to gather feedback from visitors and to find out whether opening a permanent museum is actually what people want. So far, it’s been an overwhelming YES!

Awesome! Would love to see a larger, permanent exhibit great for school groups

Really enjoyed the women’s stories women are often overlooked in history

I would like to have a larger space so that you could see more. Definitely would like a permanent museum. I hope that this is just the beginning.

When asked what their best bit was, visitors told us…

The story behind the characters and how they lived

The place was a brilliant idea and the staff are lovely

The elephant tooth. Didn’t realise we had such big creatures in and around Eastbourne

The reconstruction of ancient people’s lives. I also found the subtle humour of the phrasing very lovely. Plus it made me want to read everything! This museum is like an unexpected page Turner. Can’t believe it’s free!

And of course, Trying on the different types of hats for different times and places.

We have met relatives of George Grimmond – Eastbourne’s spectacular illusionist and film maker, new visitors to Eastbourne and residents who have lived in Eastbourne forever and discovered at least one new story to pass on.

Eastbourne Swifts beat Lewes in the Sussex Senior Cup January 1900

There have been new discoveries – Charles Montague Wood and his football career starting in Eastbourne Swifts and moving on to captain the Eastbourne Trinity Football Club, Beachy Head Woman’s DNA results are back and indicate that her geographic ancestry – possibly her parents or grandparents, is in Southern Europe, most likely Cyprus (more on her DNA results in a future blog post!)  and a new object for the collection, George Grimmond’s book of magic!

The Story of Eastbourne works particularly well thanks to our superb team who are always ready to welcome visitors to the exhibition every single day so we’d like to take this opportunity to say a big Thank You to both the team and all the visitors.

And finally, we’ve been asked whether we will have a guidebook for the exhibition and the answer is…. YES! The Story of Eastbourne Guidebook is now for sale in the exhibition and is another place to discover the tales full of mystery, intrigue, faith, fortune, love, war and magic! It is a celebration of storytelling from the people of Eastbourne.

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