Category: Museum Mysteries

March 14th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

DEPUTY Mayor Bob Mainstone, who is the Town Council representative on the Museum’s Board of Trustees, joined a meeting of volunteer staff on Sunday to hear about plans to enhance the Museum’s displays featuring Sir Archibald McIndoe and the members of the Guinea Pig Club.

“It is an important year for the town’s association with the Guinea Pigs, so we are all very excited that the Museum will be able to play an even bigger part in telling their story to a wider audience of townsfolk, and also national and overseas audiences.”

This year will be the last that the remaining Guinea Pigs hold their AGM in East Grinstead and the Town Council is giving them a formal reception at East Court to mark their long associaion with East Grinstead. Afterwards they will visit the Guinea Pig-themed flower bed planned for the High Street this summer, and call in at the museum.”

Photo courtesy of East Grinstead Town Council


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March 14th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

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February 26th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

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February 12th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

by Jessica Hadfield

CONTINUING with the theme of the town’s markets to accompany our latest special exhibition Remembering East Grinstead’s Markets and Fairs we are sharing images of the Cantelupe Road market which are all from one of the latest acquisitions to our collection – a series of images taken by well-known town photographer Mike Champion.

Mike Champion was Chief Photographer for a local newspaper for 20 years from 1968 to September 1988, and among the photographs he has donated from his personal collection are many images capturing well-known local scenes and landmarks, as well as events and happenings from days gone by.

The selection below, which dates from 1981, shows a bustling market on Old Market Yard in Cantelupe Road, now the exact location of the Museum’s premises.

Our honorary Keeper of Photography, David Gould, is busy working his way through the collection so you can expect to see more of them over the coming months.

You can find out more about the history of the Cantelupe Road Market in our exhibition which runs until 22 May.

  • Do you recognise anyone in Mike’s photographs?

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December 21st, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

by Jessica Hadfield, curator of the Town Museum 

THIS week, instead of our usual Museum Mystery, we are rounding off the year by bringing you some festive pictures of the town at Christmas years gone by.

On behalf of all at East Grinstead Museum we wish you a Happy Christmas and Happy New Year and we looking forward to welcoming you back into the Museum when we re-open on the 13 January.

Photo top: 2606.16: Father Christmas is carried up the London Road by huskies,

Below: 2001.2476 H. W. Ledger’s outfitters shop, 62, London Road with proprietor and staff outside. The shop window display is evidence that the picture was taken shortly before Christmas and the donor believes it to have been about 1927 or 1928.

2686.32 East Grinstead Council School Infants Christmas Party.

2610.7 A 1950s Christmas shop window display of television sets, record players and so on.

2538.46 A view showing East Grinstead High Street west end looking north-east, at dusk, with Christmas lights and Christmas tree, also illuminated.

2773.528 Nurses and Guinea Pigs around the Christmas tree at the Queen Victoria Hospital.

2282.2 Looking west from Middle Row, with Midland Bank on the left of the picture. Christmas lights are strung across the street and the Town’s Christmas tree can be seen near to the War Memorial.




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December 12th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

G-FORCE had a convincing 45-16 victory at home to Bracknell this afternoon with a seven-try performance which delighted head coach Justin Bishop.

“it was a great effort and five very valuable points,” said manager Phil Major.

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December 9th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

Can you tell us more about ten-year-old Joanna Morris, asks curator Jessica Hadfield

“THE subject of this week’s Museum Mystery is this sampler with the motto Waste Not Want Not which can be seen on display in the Museum in our Town Life gallery space.

Samplers were a way of showing one’s mastery of various stitches at a time when many girls were taught to sew at a young age.

We do actually know a little bit about this item already – it is handmade and was sewn by ten year old Joanna Morris in 1878 at Baldwins Hill School.

Joanna is believed to have been the daughter of James and Fanny Morris, a grocer and draper who lived at 65 Lingfield Road and, if that is correct, her brother was the grocer and photographer Victor Emmanuel Morris.

As the sampler has recently sparked some interest locally we thought we would see if anyone in the town is able to corroborate the information we have with regards to her family connections or, better still, knows a descendant of the maker?”

Photos top: Joanna’s Sampler

Below left: Victor Emmanuel Morris’s shop (Post Office and grocery stores) on the Lingfield Rd, around 1914  – taken by Victor Emmanuel Morris

Below right: A view of the eastern side of Lingfield Road. Morris’s general stores is seen on the corner of the entry into Durkins Road around 1904  – taken by Arthur Harding

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November 24th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline
IN our regular series of Museum Mysteries, curator Jessica Hadfield asks readers to fill in the gaps in the museum’s archive.
“In this week’s Museum Mystery we again ask the readers of East Grinstead Online to help us identify unknown people in photographs from our collection.

This time we are keen to know the identity of the people in these pictures of staff from the King’s Garages of London and Cantelupe Roads.

We have two photograph albums relating to the King’s Garages in our collection (including many more pictures from this particular party, other parties and events and of the garages themselves) and have already been able to identify some of the Garage’s employees with help from previous employees who came in to the Museum to look through the albums.

This selection of pictures shows staff at the company’s annual party of 1954 – if anyone can identify any of the people at the party we’d like to hear from you!

And if anyone would like to see the albums themselves, they are very welcome to – just give us a call on 01342 302233 or email to make an appointment.”

Photo top: King’s Garage at 38 London Road in 1952, and Mr Hill, top right


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November 10th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

OUR new series of Museum Mysteries has already proved its worth, said curator Jessica Hadfield.

“We’d like to express our thanks to all the East Grinstead Online readers who responded to our recent ‘Museum Mystery’ which asked the identity of the people in a picture of the Queen Victoria Hospital’s winning stoolball team of 1959.

“We can now identify all but two people in the photograph which is a marvellous result!”

The identified people are:

Back row, left to right 1. unknown 2. Betty Budgen 3. Bettina Humphreys. 4 Sheila Blackpool 5. Brenda Harrison 6. Joan Rumsey.

Centre row, left to right 1. Doris Younger. 2 Mattie Mathews 3 Mrs Baines 4. Jean Prebble.

Front row, left to right 1. Pam Fisk and 2. unknown. The umpire is Bettina’s father.

“We are delighted with this result and our collection database has now been updated to reflect this information.

“Should anyone be able to confirm that the umpire’s name is Mr Humphreys and happen to know the identity of the final two people we would still be very eager to hear from them also.”

Image of the team 2750.13

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November 10th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline
 Can anyone remember a potter named Esme Moody, asks curator Jessica Hadfield


unnamed-3OUR latest Museum Mystery asks whether anyone knows of an Esme Moody who is believed to be the maker of this decorative vase.

Recently an enquiry was made to us regarding this vase that the owner believes was made by an East Grinstead potter Esme Moody.

We believe Esme Moody had a studio in the town and produced the vase between 1955 – 1960 as a studio potter.

She is recorded in the Encyclopedia of British Pottery & Porcelain with the reference:

“Esme Moody, East Grinstead 1955-6. Studio-type pottery. Incised or painted initial marks E.L.M., E.M.”

And we have discovered a reference to an F Moody of Hurley Farm, Turners Hill Road in the 1953 Directory of East Grinstead who is possibly a relation –  but after this the trail ran cold.

So, if anyone can remember a potter by the name of Esme Moody who had a studio in the town we’d be interested in hearing from you.

And even better, if anyone has any work produced by her we’d love to see it!

Jessica Hadfield

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October 25th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

In her latest Museum Mystery curator Jessica Hadfield appeals for more information about the Coronation Plaque


Our latest Museum Mystery is this ‘Coronation Plaque’.  The inscription reads These trees from the Royal Parks were planted on the 30th December 1953 by the Chairman of the Council, Lady Dudley Gordon and Mrs J. H. H. Griffin representing the Coronation Committee to commemorate the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We recently displayed the plaque as part of a small display celebrating the reign of Queen Elizabeth II who is now our longest reigning monarch and would be interested to hear from anyone that has any further information or memories about the event to which the plaque relates.


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October 16th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

S1199IN the latest of our new series of Museum Mysteries, curator Jessica Hadfield hopes someone can identify the members of the winning Queen Victoria Hospital Stoolball Team from 1959.

“Were you on the Queen Victoria Hospital’s Stoolball team in the 50s or 60s?

This photograph, taken by Malcolm Powell, shows the Queen Victoria Hospital’s cup-winning stoolball team.

We know that it was taken at Mount Noddy on 13 September 1959 and the identity of one person in the photograph but the rest of the people are a mystery to us.

So if you were on the team or recognise anyone we’d be very keen to hear from you.

Stoolball is a sport with similarities to cricket and rounders which originated in Sussex – you can see a stoolball bat and ball on display in the Museum.

This photograph is one from a small collection we were given showing the team in the 1950s and 60s so do get in touch if you’d like to see more.”


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October 11th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

unnamed-1THIS week’s museum mystery is pretty close to home as the museum is keen to establish the identity of the man depicted on a plaque they have in their collection (see above).

They believe  – and hope – that it is a depiction of Wallace Henry Hills, an East Grinstead journalist who chronicled the history of the town.

The plaque was produced by the East Grinstead Pottery Works, which was based near to the town’s railway station.

The pottery ceased production during the Second World War and closed not long after.

Wallace Henry Hills (1863 – 1932) wrote the first History of East Grinstead (a copy of which can be found in the Museum’s Research Room), was four times chairman of the Urban District Council, Secretary of the East Grinstead Conservative Association for twenty-five years and the editor of the local paper.

The museum has a couple of pictures of him in their collection to which the plaque can be compared – but they can’t be 100% sure it is the same man.

So is it Wallace Henry Hills? What do you think?

Jessica Hadfield, curator of East Grinstead Museum

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September 22nd, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

Today sees the launch of our new series, Museum Mysteries, in which we try to shed light on some of the contents of the Town Museum’s archive 

by Jessica Hadfield, curator

“At the Town Museum we have a collection of thousands of objects, photographs and documents that help us tell the story of East Grinstead and its history.

But every so often a ‘museum mystery’ crops up when we discover an item that we would like to know more about, so we are going to share some of them with East Grinstead Online in the hope that readers may be able to solve some of them.

These mysteries include objects in our collection we would like to know more about, things we have been offered as ‘new acquisitions’ which the donor thinks has a connection with the town but is unsure about what it is exactly, and photographs of events and groups taken in the town which we would like identified by people who perhaps remember being there.

We kick off our first Museum Mystery with this photograph of a group of people taken by Malcolm Powell.

Are you in the photograph? Do you recognise the building in the background? Can you tell us more about when, where or why it was taken, or who it is of?”

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