A NEW gallery at a museum will be named after a much-loved historian who died suddenly.
Warm tributes have been paid to Linda Newell, who was the administrator at Emsworth Museum for the past nine years.
Linda died at home earlier this month at the age of 64 – just three months before her planned retirement when she was looking forward to doing more travelling and historical research.
Tony Stimson, chairman of Emsworth Maritime & Historical Trust, said: ‘It was a great shock and sadness to us all to learn of the sudden and tragic death of Linda on April 1.
‘In addition to her work caring for and displaying the artefacts in the museum, Linda made a considerable contribution to the trust with her summer guided walks round Emsworth, her winter talks in the community centre on a variety of subjects, and the mounting of exhibitions.’
He said her research on the people, businesses, buildings and events in Emsworth led to the museum being awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. ‘Linda always sought to promote the museum with the general public and worked hard to attract visitors,’ said Mr Stimson.
‘The sadness of Linda’s death is accentuated as she died just three months before her planned retirement at the end of June and she had many plans for travel and carrying on with her historical research work which was her primary interest and passion. All these plans, sadly, she was unable to fulfil.’
She was one of first on board with the original Emsworth Food Festival and was secretary of Emsworth Business Association.
She was a key part in winning last year’s Daily Telegraph national competition for British Food Fortnight.
Mr Stimson said: ‘In recognition of Linda’s service to the trust, the committee has decided that the new Oyster Gallery in the museum, set up in conjunction with the HLF funded Emsworth Oyster Project, will now be known as The Linda Newell Oyster Gallery.
‘We have a Book of Condolence open for all to sign at the museum in North Street.’
Linda’s funeral service takes place tomorrow at St James’ Church in Emsworth at 10.15am.