Felixstowe Museum takes us back to the 80s on its 40th birthday

L: Andy Calver, Sylvia Couchman, Barbara Mathews, David Gledhill celebrate Felixstowe Museum's 40th anniversary

L: Andy Calver, museum manager; Sylvia Couchman, volunteer; Barbara Mathews, volunteer; David Gledhill, museum chair and volunteer are getting ready to celebrate Felixstowe Museum's 40th anniversary - Credit: Felixstowe Museum

Go back in time to the 1980s as part of anniversary celebrations marking four decades of Felixstowe Museum.

Felixstowe History & Museum Society was formed in 1978 by 12 people whose aim was to find a suitable building for a town museum. 

The museum at the Landguard Peninsula officially opened to the public in September 1982 by Mayor Tom Savage and his wife Doreen.   

The museum team is ready to celebrate its 40th birthday

The museum team is ready to celebrate its 40th birthday - Credit: Felixstowe Museum

Back then, the Felixstowe Museum had only one exhibition room, which was also a place for numerous gatherings. 

Currently, the museum offers its visitors 14 exhibition areas that are full of different displays, ranging from archaeology with mammoth teeth, local social and medical history, intricate ship and plane models, and paddle steamers. 

The museum, which operates thanks to the work of many volunteers, was shortlisted for the Suffolk Museum of the Year Award in 2017 and, in 2018, won the Best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Norfolk & Suffolk Tourism Awards.   

Felixstowe Museum, housed within a historic former submarine mining establishment, struggled during COVID and was not able to open in 2020.  

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In 2021 volunteers developed an exhibition called ‘Frankie Goes to Felixstowe: back to the ‘80s at Felixstowe Museum’ to celebrate the fun, facts and fashion from the decade the museum opened, as well as to mark 40 glorious years and the fantastic achievement of a group of local volunteers. 

The museum invites all the local residents to a special anniversary party on Saturday, August 6, from midday to 7pm. 

Andy Calver, the manager and curator of the Felixstowe Museum, said: “We are celebrating 40 glorious years not just of the museum itself, but also the amazing dedication and hard work of our volunteers and helpers, those who have donated items to our collections and local organisations which have played their part in our wonderful story past and present. 

“We're hopefully going to be moving forward with some more exhibitions and more people. 

“The 1980s exhibition has been very, very popular, and it brought younger visitors to us. 

Exhibition called ‘Frankie Goes to Felixstowe’ - Back to the 80s

Exhibition called ‘Frankie Goes to Felixstowe’ - Back to the 80s - Credit: Felixstowe Museum

“A TV series, Stranger Things, has been very popular recently. People are interested in the music from the 80s, so we decided to have an 80s disco during our party. 

“We encourage everybody to dress up as their favourite 80s icon and come celebrate with us!” 

Everybody involved in the museum in the past 40 years is especially welcome at the event. 

The celebration will include an 80s disco, live music, as well as food and drinks available to purchase.