“It’s surprising how many local residents say they’ve never visited the Museum, or haven’t been for many years, despite the fact that it’s housed in the iconic Martello Tower which dominates the eastern end of the seafront,” said Seaford Museum vice chairman David Swaysland.
But more than 40 adults and children attended Seaford Museum’s special evening opening session on Friday May 15 to celebrate the national “Museums at Night” programme.
Seaford Museum is managed, maintained and staffed entirely by volunteers, while the historic Martello Tower is owned by Seaford Town Council and leased to the museum trustees on a peppercorn rent.
David added: “Everyone you see working in the museum is a volunteer, whether they’re a steward during opening hours or busy building new exhibits or undertaking housekeeping tasks when we’re closed.”
He continued: “We also have volunteers beavering away on the archives and processing the new artefacts we are given.
“It may be a cliché, but we are a bit like a swan, with most of the work taking place out of sight, although hopefully in our case, not under water.”
The one thing that surprises many visitors is the exhibition space inside the museum.
“As people walk along the prom, on the sea side of the Tower, they are actually walking on the roof of our main display area underneath,” said David.
“That’s where we show the majority of our amazing collection of historic items and memorabilia, which at the moment includes our new special exhibition for 2015 Forlorn and Widowed: Seaford 1815 which reminds us that the Martello Tower in Seaford was built in response to the Napoleonic threats which culminated in the Battle of Waterloo, 200 years ago in 1815.”
The museum depends on the income from admission charges, membership subscriptions and donations.
Admission costs £2 for adults, £1.50 for concessions and £1 for children, whilst members can get in free.
During the summer the museum, just off the Esplanade, is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2pm until 4pm and on Sunday mornings from 11am.
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