VIPS show support as Exmouth Museum launches £200,000 fundraising campaign

PUBLISHED: 18:07 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 21:57 15 February 2018

VIPs gather at the official launch of Exmouth Museum's fundraising campaign at Exmouth Ocean (from left): Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council), Lord Clinton, Peter Cowper (Museum Society of Exmouth trustee) and Cllr Brian Cole (Exmouth mayor). Picture: Paul Strange

VIPs gather at the official launch of Exmouth Museum's fundraising campaign at Exmouth Ocean (from left): Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council), Lord Clinton, Peter Cowper (Museum Society of Exmouth trustee) and Cllr Brian Cole (Exmouth mayor). Picture: Paul Strange

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Rare artefacts and fascinating memorabilia were on display today (Thursday, February 15) as the Exmouth Museum launched its £200,000 fundraising campaign.

The official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign at Exmouth Ocean, from left:  Roger Bourgein (Exmouth town crier), Cllr Brian Cole (Exmouth mayor), Peter Cowper (Museum Society of Exmouth trustee) and Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council). Picture: Paul Strange.The official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign at Exmouth Ocean, from left: Roger Bourgein (Exmouth town crier), Cllr Brian Cole (Exmouth mayor), Peter Cowper (Museum Society of Exmouth trustee) and Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council). Picture: Paul Strange.

The museum trust has been given the chance to buy its Sheppard Row home from landowners South West Water for around £130,000.

It also needs an additional £70,000 to make necessary improvements to the building.

But if the museum can’t raise the money, the land could go on the open market – leaving the site susceptible to developers and the museum without a home.

To launch its fundraising campaign, the museum held an exhibition day at Exmouth Ocean. Opened by Cllr Brian Cole, the mayor of Exmouth, there were a number of rarely seen artefacts from the museum’s store room on display.

Cllr Brian Cole, the Exmouth mayor, speaking at the official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign. Picture: Paul Strange.Cllr Brian Cole, the Exmouth mayor, speaking at the official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign. Picture: Paul Strange.

It all added up to a fascinating glimpse into Exmouth’s glorious past, and highlighted the need to save the museum.

“The main thing is seeing the room full,” said Peter Cowper, Museum Society of Exmouth trustee. “I hope to see it full throughout the day, because that means we can say to South West Water, we have a lot of support in the town.”

Mr Cowper said there was still a long way to go to raise sufficient funds.

“We need £200,000, and so far we’ve only achieved a miniscule amount.”

Guests at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch looking at some of the exhibits. Picture: Paul Strange.Guests at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch looking at some of the exhibits. Picture: Paul Strange.

VIPs attending included Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council) and Lord Clinton, Devon’s largest private landowner, who has supported the museum since it opened in 1985.

“What has happened today is brilliant,” said Lord Clinton. “There’s a lot of people who are obviously very interested, and the way the museum has promoted it, put it together, and having both the local mayor and the chairman of EDDC here today.

“We wouldn’t want to lose the museum, but I don’t think there’s any chance of that, because the enthusiasm is overwhelming. I don’t see any problem at all. It will take time, like everything else.”

To donate to the fund, make a cheque out to Exmouth Museum and send it to: Exmouth Museum, Sheppards Row, off Exeter Road, Exmouth EX8 1PW.

Exhibits at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch included an embroidered Milennium Banner. Picture: Paul Strange.Exhibits at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch included an embroidered Milennium Banner. Picture: Paul Strange.

More about the museum: www.devonmuseums.net/Exmouth-Museum/Devon-Museums/ or email: exmouthmuseum@aol.com

Cllr Brian Cole (Exmouth mayor), and Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council) inspect a museum exhibit at the fundraising launch. Picture: Paul Strange.Cllr Brian Cole (Exmouth mayor), and Cllr Andrew Moulding (chairman of East Devon District Council) inspect a museum exhibit at the fundraising launch. Picture: Paul Strange.

Exhibits at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch included an early TV, radio and microphone. Picture: Paul Strange.Exhibits at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch included an early TV, radio and microphone. Picture: Paul Strange.

Exhibits at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch. Picture: Paul Strange.Exhibits at the museum'’s fundraising campaign launch. Picture: Paul Strange.

Many museum volunteers , including Brian Leader, attended the official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign. Picture: Paul StrangeMany museum volunteers , including Brian Leader, attended the official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign. Picture: Paul Strange

Detail on the embroidered Milennium Banner, one of the exhibits on show at the official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign. Picture: Paul StrangeDetail on the embroidered Milennium Banner, one of the exhibits on show at the official launch of Exmouth Museum'’s fundraising campaign. Picture: Paul Strange

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