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New displays open at hidden jewel

PUBLISHED: 22:42 09 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

AFTER a winter of hard work, volunteers running Felixstowe's museum – the town's hidden jewel – have a series of new displays for visitors to enjoy.

The museum, which is housed in the Ravelin Block at Landguard Fort, re-opens on Easter Sunday for the new season.

By Richard Cornwell

AFTER a winter of hard work, volunteers running Felixstowe's museum - the town's hidden jewel - have a series of new displays for visitors to enjoy.

The museum, which is housed in the Ravelin Block at Landguard Fort, re-opens on Easter Sunday for the new season.

This year's added exhibitions will include ones marking the history of passenger ferry services from the port, milk deliveries, the centenary of the opening of the prom, and the history of flight.

It is now more than 23 years since the Felixstowe History and Museum Society was given permission to use the Ravelin Block, which at that time needed to be completely gutted, cleaned up and have power installed.

Now the society has 14 exhibition rooms open and believes next winter it will complete its final room.

The result is a museum which has won many admirers and each year attracts large numbers of visitors, who are impressed with its exhibits.

Curator Sue Tod said: "We have had a busy winter and people have worked very hard. We have very dedicated and some very skilled members and we hope people will enjoy the new displays."

She said the museum had been one of five in the county also taking part in a conservation and preservation project which had enhanced members' skills and been of great benefit.

The new display on the ferry services concentrates on the Atlantic Steam Navigation, Townsend Thoresen and P&O years from 1965 to 2002, and features some interesting memorabilia which will jog many memories.

Felixstowe's prom was enjoying its first season in 1904 and the centenary is celebrated with an exhibition of photos of the seafront before and after, while Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society has helped provide items for an exhibition of its Ipswich milk deliveries, which also began in 1904, and those in Felixstowe, which started in the 1920s.

Felixstowe had an exciting role to play in the history of flight as it was an experimental aviation development station - this opening just ten years after the Wright brothers' historic take-off - and RAF base. Pictures and a model are part of the new exhibition.

The museum also features items about Landguard's history, medieval Felixstowe, pleasure steamers, the coastal forces and HMS Beehive.

n Felixstowe Museum will be open Easter Sunday and Easter Monday from 1pm to 5.30pm, and then Sundays and Bank Holidays to October, and also Wednesday afternoons from June to September.

WEBLINK: www.felixstowe-museum.co.uk


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