Story of Eastbourne celebrates first year with 23,000 visitors

The Story of Eastbourne completed its first chapter in February, marking its inaugural year of opening with over 23,000 visitors at the Terminus Road exhibition, along with some new discoveries and a new birthday themed trail.

Story of Eastbourne exhibition in Terminus Road
Story of Eastbourne exhibition in Terminus Road

The free exhibition, which tells the 150,000 year story of Eastbourne from pre-history to present day, reveals a three dimensional timeline from an ancient elephant’s tooth excavated in Terminus Road to a world-famous magic trick invented in Eastbourne.

Reconstructing the lives of those who lived and worked in Eastbourne through objects, words, legacies and even their bones, the exhibition has also welcomed the relatives of one historical subject, magician George Grimmond, with his book of magic recently joining the collection.

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This year visitors can pick up some new artefacts with flint, pottery, WW1 and WW2 objects now available to view and touch, and recent discoveries include the world-famous Beachy Head woman’s DNA results which indicate her southern European lineage, most likely from Cyprus.

Eastbourne council’s Margaret Bannister said, “We’ve had some outstanding feedback on the exhibition and recorded many new stories from our visitors, all of which help us tell the unique story of our town.

“The team have also been incredibly busy welcoming educational group visits on Mondays and have visited many schools to reveal some of these fascinating stories. They hope this will inspire the next generation to dig a little deeper into our history.”

The Heritage Eastbourne team will be adding to the exhibition over time, perhaps revealing some more discoveries from Eastbourne’s Victorian farming families and Neolithic ancestors at their next excavations in Motcombe Gardens from May 27 to June 2 and Butts Brow from July 13 to August 2.

The Story of Eastbourne is open Tuesday to Sunday and daily in school holidays, entry is free with a birthday themed trail currently available to complete, and an Easter trail from April 4.

Members of the Heritage Eastbourne team are also on hand to answer any local history questions and suggestions of sites to visit, as well as recording anecdotes from those who have their own interesting story of Eastbourne to tell.

Visitors can also flick through the exhibition’s new guide book which is now available for sale, with tales of mystery, intrigue, faith, fortune, love, war and magic, all in a celebration of storytelling from the people of Eastbourne.

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