Changes afoot at Stanmer Rural Museum, letter reveals

Mike Holland

Mike Holland

First published in News
Last updated

Change is already afoot for some of the park’s tenants, as the Stanmer Rural Museum is finding.

The museum, which was founded in 1974, is currently run by the Stanmer Preservation Society (SPS).

A letter to SPS members seen by The Argus said it had been given notice to quit its premises near the Old Stable Block by the leaseholder Cherrywood Investments.


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The firm, which is run by local entrepreneur Mike Holland, owns nearby Stanmer House.

The letter to SPS members said: “The rural museum is an important part of the historical, educational and community work that we carry out in the park, as well as having a crucial role in the cultural heritage of the park, as recognised by the council and national park authority.

“We are looking into the availability of other premises for storage and display or for storage until such time as a suitable site is found in Stanmer.”

SPS member Ann Markwick, who has lived in the village since the 1950s, said: “What everyone forgets is that everything in the museum is donated and we need to talk to all our members before we can do anything.

“We had a valuer in and what we have is certainly worth more than peanuts.”

In response Mr Holland said the museum would not be relocated.

He told The Argus: “What we’re planning on doing is trying to get it open seven days a week so it gets the attention it deserves.

“At the moment it is open for a few hours on Thursdays and the odd Sunday during summer.”

Mr Holland said the museum would be run by the British Engineerium in Hove, which he is bringing back into use and would continue to be free.

He added that the volunteers who currently staff the rural museum would not be affected.

A meeting for SPS members to discuss the future will take place at 2.30pm on Saturday in Stanmer Church.

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