MAYOR’S MOMENT: Taking a place in history

A cannon in the Nets, Wrecks and Artefacts exhibition
A cannon in the Nets, Wrecks and Artefacts exhibition

Before the business of the Community Resources Committee (CRC) on Thursday evening, the town councillors and I were invited to attend the renaming of the community gallery at the Littlehampton Museum.

Chairman of the CRC councillor Ian Buckland and I unveiled the new plaque dedicating the room as the Roger Butterworth Gallery.

The Roger Butterworth Gallery plaque

The Roger Butterworth Gallery plaque

One of Roger’s interests after leaving the teaching profession was to volunteer at the museum, assisting with public enquiries regarding artefacts and assisting with mobile displays and exhibitions, giving his time to maintain his interest in local history and to share with others.

Those who knew Mr B will appreciate that the plaque even has a nod to his trademark bow ties.

Later in the week I was back in the museum to have a look around one of the new exhibitions – Nets, Wrecks and Artefacts – in the Hearne Gallery.

This exhibition features a fantastic array of artefacts discovered in British waters by fishermen – from cannonballs to mammoth bones, there is something for everyone.

This is a touring exhibition that has been made available thanks to funding and support from various organisations, including the Wessex Archaeology Coastal & Marine team and the Heritage Lottery Fund amongst others, and is on display at Littlehampton Museum until next Friday, March 2.

Amongst the many varied finds on display, I was personally most impressed by the two large 18th century cast iron cannons, which for any child visiting would easily evoke images of pirate ships or battles on the great high seas.

Come a wet cold Sunday evening I took it upon myself to gate crash a rehearsal of one of the societies taking part in my charity gala performance Curtain Up! which is just over a week away.

Although I shall not divulge the content of the rehearsal, so as to keep it a surprise for the audience on the day, I will say I was thoroughly impressed and it was certainly the cure needed for the blues some of us are feeling at this time of year.

Knowing how many hours of rehearsal and preparation all the groups taking part are giving up in order to prepare for this show, I am confident that the audience will be thoroughly entertained and impressed by the amount of local talent we have in this town.

If you have not yet booked I would encourage you to do so to avoid disappointment as I am informed tickets are selling well.

The show runs for two performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm next Saturday, March 3, at the Windmill Theatre.

Tickets are £15 with all profits raised going towards my mayoral charities – the Friends of Mewsbrook Park and the Littlehampton Heritage Railway Association – and can be ordered by calling 01903 730775.

I look forward to seeing many of you there.

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