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Friday, May 11, 2007

Anne of Cleves House. Lewes

Local Museum Challenge/ 5. Anne of Cleves House, Lewes

Next up after the tiny but pleasant Crawley Museum it was off to the County Town of East Sussex sadly home to the scummy Lib Dem controlled Lewes District Council. To visit Lewes Museum and then attend the Towns main football ground the Dripping Pan to watch Andy Rumbles R.E.M.F team face the Croy*on clowns. 

Mode of transport:

I travelled straight after finishing Haywards Heath College, getting the good old Southern train from Haywards Heath that went non stop to Lewes. But after the football, was a bit screwed as seemed to be no trains that would take me to Gatwick after 11.00pm so got the train to Brighton and stayed round a friend’s house for the night there. 

Location of museum:

It was actually near the station being a five minute walk on Southover Street the otherside of the road to a priory. 

Staff friendliness: The staff seemed quite friendly the guy at the front was very knowledgeable about the Sussex museums especially.

Museum Highlights

  • Was actually the first museum I had to pay to get into. Though went to the fine organisation that is Sussex Past ( Behind my legendary trips to Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester as a kid) as a kind of donation was £3.50
  • First off was the former Queen consorts bedroom, which looked shockingly ordinary, though had some fine Tudor clothing to mess about with. I tried on a hat to look like a young Henry VIII
  • Next off was to the kitchens to see how the fine tudor cuisines were done in the 16th Century
  • Then I was in a upstairs room with collections of Victorian toys with a floor that appeared to be falling apart with holes (There was even a sign warning even) and I was concerned I would fall through into the East Sussex archive office (or something like that below), would have been hilarious in fact thinking about it stunning the people working in the office.
  • Similar to the Horsham museum it also had a fine garden. That you could have a rest in after gaining some much information on the town.
  • There was a good section on the history of Lewes featuring a fine trophy that was famously stolen years ago that was used for a major horse race that the town hosted.

Great stuff, I ended up leaving the museum with a replica knights ring which fits in with my fictional title of Earl of Trumpton. Was a good visit, and despite paying was quality.  

14:45 Posted in Adventure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crawley Museum

Crawley Museum

After visiting the two museums of the fine twin city of Brighton and Hove, it was off to Crawley Museum, how would Charles Ball fare in the same town where he was born, and it would be the museum that would mark halfway for Charles and his museum challenge. 

Mode of transport: I decided as it was a fine Sunday Afternoon with the sun out and that most of the local chavs were most likely still recovering from hangovers at Liquid and Envy, to walk to Goff’s Park from home.

Visitors: Charles 

Location of museum and type of building: It was located at a connected annexe of the fine Goff’s Manor House, at Goffs Park, Crawley the area seemed a bit Life on Mars like, it seemed like you were in Old Crawley before 1947.

Staff friendliness: The Staff (which consisted of just 2 men and one young lady), were helpful and full of information on Crawley and its history. Good work despite how busy the place got. 

Museum Highlights:

·                    It was a bizarrely small museum mostly consisting of just 2 rooms, though the Museum Society are hoping to move to much bigger premises nearer the centre of Crawley soon.

·                    There is currently a special exhibition on one of the towns most famous sons the former World Champion Boxer Alan Minter (who was in the same school class as my dad would you believe).

·                    The museum focused a lot mostly on the wonderful pre-1947 history of Crawley, before the New Towns Comission decided to chuck a ton of concrete and Londoners on the once legendary village.

·                    Apparently former Crawley resident Mark Lemon (former Punch magazine editor), had a daughter who ended up having Alice in Wonderland based on her.

·                    Oscar Wildes boyfriend (whos name escapes me)lived and is buried in Crawley.

·                    Other notable names include the legendary Norman Wisdom the lifelong Albion fan and former director of the Seagulls. Notable for his slapstick acting, lived and worked in Crawley at one point in his life. Ironically no mention of the Watford born ex Palace Player now managing Middlesborough Gareth Southgate anywhere in the museum. lol

·                    The Quaker House next door to me gets a special mention for being a major place in the early years of the Quaker faith with notable Quaker figures such as Cowfold man William Penn, who attended meetings here and founded Pennsylvania in the USA, boy I am honoured my home has a connection with the birth of a major US State, watch up for a link up with a site there very soon.

Overall: Was a nice little museum, with first class staff. Despite being small had all kinds of displays and some fine models on old Crawley buildings long gone. The museum seems to make out that Crawley was once some fine cosmopolitian mini- Brighton like village with all kinds of the finest in society ranging from authors, editors, actors, and even prominent homosexuals rather than the overgrown mini-London town it is today, if only!  Next up in the next week I will hopefully with one or two others be visiting the fine museum of the Seaside Resort of Wonderful Worthing to kick off of the second half of The Strike Factory Local Museum Challenge feel free to come date is not set as seeing when people are available.

16:50 Posted in Adventure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Brighton Museum

Brighton Museum

Once I finished at the fine Hove museum it was off down to Hove’s larger than life twin sister Brighton to visit the fine cosmopolitan large museum they had. Welcome to Part 2 of Charles’s adventure in Brighton and Hove’s main town museums. 

Mode of transport: Rather than get a bus from Hove Museum I decided to walk all the way seeing as it was just straight up Church Road, Palmiera Squire and Western Road, and I would be at Brighton Museum in about 20-30 minutes by foot, but I came home by train via First Capital Connect from Brighton to Three Bridges then the Southern train to Ifield. Would have been mental to decide to walk 20 or so miles from Brighton to Ifield.

Visitors: Charles 

Location of museum: The museum appears to be in what was originally farmland that became royal’s property on North Street, with the museum being virtually in the grounds of one of Brighton’s most famous landmarks The Royal Pavilion. The museum itself is quite large, and is a fine 19th century building. It is also near some of Brighton’s most notable theatres such as The Theatre Royal and The Dome.

Staff friendliness: Bizarrely I did not speak to the staff much even though there were some nice girl tour guides around the museum. But they seemed nice and friendly and found one or two of the tour guides tasty even if they had unique hairstyles, so common of Brighton. 

Museum highlights:

  • Like its smaller neighbour Brighton has a massive art section with international and local art, I found the hand sofa quite fascinating.
  • There seems to be a good African culture theme exhibition going on at Brighton museum at the mo. I was fascinated by the Nigerian masks, and the Egyptian mummies.
  • The Discovery room was very bizarre with a weird fireplace, and an equally quirky mirror, had I walked into the legendary Peter Crouch’s living room if so good taste Sir Peter.
  • I love the room on Brighton’s history showing maps of how the town developed, old locals discussing their experiences of town life when they were younger and how they saw the town change, to the fine bikes and of course the special Brighton and Hove Albion section. SEAGULLS! Also the section on religion in Brighton was interesting ranging from Judaism to the Christian Korean Church.
  • Good section on the Cosmopolitan culture of Brighton, featuring the clubbing and raving side of Brighton down the years, the Gay Lesbian side of Brighton and other stuff that makes Brighton a open minded caring and forward thinking city. It had some fine models of the early Royal Pavilion and the old Chain Pier.
  • Upstairs was all about Brighton fashion and art, and included some of the African stuff common in the museum. Showing all kinds of outfits to astonishing the seemingly ordinary to some interesting Goth outfits.

Overall: By and far the largest museum I am likely to visit out of the 8 museums around Sussex as part of the challenge. Was interesting and curious and you could not seem to get bored more amazed. Great stuff. LOL


Next: Will be museum No.4 at creepy Crawley, found out about what is fascinating about this fine 'little' museum and the little known connection that Crawley has with Alice in Wonderland.

15:15 Posted in Adventure | Permalink | Comments (0)

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