Celebration for museum reaches a quarter-century

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IT’S a tiny museum above a fire station but it holds a gigantic amount of stories, memories and artefacts documenting a town’s history.

Patrons and volunteers have been celebrating 25 years of Emsworth Museum.

Emsworth Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary with guest of honour and former President Dr Margaret Rule. (left to rigtht), founder's daughter Cathy Rudkin, Dorothy Bone, Dr Margaret Rule (seated), and chairman Tony Stimpson.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132106-1)

Emsworth Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary with guest of honour and former President Dr Margaret Rule. (left to rigtht), founder's daughter Cathy Rudkin, Dorothy Bone, Dr Margaret Rule (seated), and chairman Tony Stimpson.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132106-1)

The Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust’s president Dr Margaret Rule was the guest of honour at the event in the museum on North Street.

She said: ‘I’ve been involved for more than 20 years. Over the years I’ve tried to help in any way I could. They are such a wonderful band of volunteers, collecting artefacts from the town’s past.

‘I recommend that anyone who moves to the area comes to this museum and they will understand about the people they are going to live among – the fishermen, the boatbuilders.

‘They can understand what makes their town tick when they come here.

‘It’s full of information about how people lived not so long ago. If they care about their past, and most people do, this is the place to come.’

The trust has a membership of more than 500 with 100 people offering their time and skills to the museum.

Cathy Rudkin’s father David was the man who started it all.

Born in Bosham, he was originally a carpenter and became a Pentecostal minister.

Although he moved away he always loved Emsworth and eventually moved back. He died 13 years ago.

Ms Rudkin said: ‘He had a dream that one day Emsworth must have a place to save the town’s artefacts and photographers, a place 
people could remember the history of industry – the sail making, rope making, ship building.

‘A place where young people can look back on Emsworth’s glorious past.

‘It was a dream come true for him to have somewhere to keep all the things together.’

There are regularly changing exhibitions. The current one is on the museum’s history itself.

Raffle tickets can be bought from the museum to fund the £3,000 redevelopment of the main room.

There will be a fundraising dinner at the Brookfield Hotel in October.

The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through August.

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