Project Main Details
TEXT FOR AUDIO/VISUAL DISPLAY
Welcome to Maldon Museum - the "Museum in the Park".
The house is situated in Promenade Park and was originally the park keeper's house. It is owned by Maldon District Council who also own some of the artefacts displayed.
After entering the museum, turn right into the long room. Here you will see a replica of an old shop, a bakery, and items which are used in sail-making and boat building. At the end of the room is a magnificent old Maldon pumper fire engine, together with photographs of early firemen. On the left hand wall is a brief history of Maldon from Roman times. It also features Brythnoth, whose statue now stands at the other end of the park.
As you return to the main entrance area you will see two major displays. On the left is "Maldon through the Lens" a magnificent collection of old Maldon photographs depicting life and people of Maldon through the ages. On the right is our penny farthing bicycle with dressed models and memorabilia of cycling during Victorian/Edwardian times. At the back of this section is a scale model of Maldon East railway station. This was one of two stations in Maldon which are no longer open but Maldon East building still exists.
Passing through on your left is a small war room, with memorabilia relating to World War Two. On the right hand side is a replica of a 1939 to 1945 living room, featuring kitchen equipment and a female model in army uniform. Also displayed are food rations which were allocated during the second world war.
Moving forward on the right is another small room representing a Victorian scullery and wash room. The display includes an old copper, mangle and irons which would have been used to iron the items of clothing on view. Also notable are the items of brassware.
Through the door to the left is a display of memorabilia commemorating the two Maldon cinemas. The Hippodrome opened in 1910 and closed when the state of the art Embassy opened in 1936 but that closed in 1982 and was demolished in 1985. This section also houses the audio/visual display.
Across the hall is the Cath Backus Room, named after Cath Backus who re-instated the museum in the 1960's. It had originally started in the 1920's but closed in 1938.
This room represents a Victorian sitting room, with a model dressed in Victorian dress, a pram and other items that would have been used during that period. The display cabinet on the left hand side contains a beautiful silver christening cradle belonging to the Fitch family. There are also items of a medical nature, including a skeletal hand which doctors would have used to study the position of nerves, blood vessels and tendons. The cabinet on the right contains many small items which would have been popular during the period. On the rear wall is a display of skates, many of which may have been used on the old Maldon lake and the local canals and rivers.
Leaving this room, up the stairs there are a number of paintings of local scenes and a panel dedicated to Woolworths. The loss of which was keenly felt by many residents.
On the first landing is a small display which our younger visitors find interesting and are warned not to feed the alligator, which has been a feature of the museum since 1923.
On the left is the school room. The teacher, wearing cap and gown, is wielding a large wooden cane. Many children, and some adults, are horrified when told that this was actually used for punishment. There are also displays of toys through the ages.
In the corner of this room is a display featuring the Queen's visits to Maldon and also celebrating her Silver Jubilee.
Moving up the stairs you will see a wall display of weaponry, including an 1860's Springfield rifle and an assortment of swords.
Facing you at the top of the stairs is a replica of Edward Bright's waistcoat. He was known as the Fat Man of Maldon. Originally a post boy he died at the age of 29, weighing 42 stone. His coat was the subject of a wager which suggested that 7 hundred men could not fit into the waistcoat. Subsequent pictures prove that 7 men did, in fact, fit into the waistcoat. The hundred actually refers to an area from which the men came. Areas of land were referred to as hundreds, and the most well known in this area is the Dengie peninsula.
The room on the right is dedicated to the Sadd Family and timber firm baed in Maldon. This was a very large manufacturing organisation which employed many hundreds of local residents. One of the many notable items was the motor torpedo boat which was used in the second world war. Other ships and articles, including a work bench and a variety of tools can also be seen. Sadds was always known to be a family-orientated employer and arranged competitions and held annual sports days. Many of the cups and awards can be seen in the cabinet on the right.
Across the landing is the last room in the house. On display are items manufactured by other famous companies - Bentalls, Maldon Iron Works and Green's Flour Mill.
There are pictures of the Bentall family and also of the cars that were manufactured in Heybridge, together with a full range of agricultural equipment. They were also involved in exporting goods to Europe, the British Empire and South America.
Also on display are photos and memorabilia of Maldon Carnival. This includes a fairy dress worn in 1935. On the back wall are photos depicting the Promenade Park lake which was a very popular destination for a family day out. Included are pictures of the bathing huts which were used for ladies to change before entering the lake to swim and a variety of bathing costumes. Many Maldon residents learned to swim in this lake. Today it is an ornamental lake which attracts many birds including a much loved swan family.
In the cabinet are trophies awarded to Maldon swimming club and water polo club. As you leave this room in the left hand corner is a cabinet containing coins and medals relating to local Maldon events.
We have, of necessity, only covered a limited number of displays and artefacts, but we do hope you have enjoyed this snapshot tour of our museum and that you will encourage family and friends to visit us.
We are a registered charity and the museum is run entirely by a team of dedicated volunteers. We rely a great deal on generous donations in order to keep the museum an interesting and stimulating place to visit.
We are open during the months of April to October on Wednesday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s from 2 to 5pm. On Sundays and Bank holiday’s we are open from 11 to 5pm.
Group visits and school visits can be arranged by contacting the chairman Mrs Christine Steel on 01621 853699, or by visiting our website at www.maldonmuseum.org.uk. We can also be found on Twitter.
Look forward to seeing you again.
Thank you for visiting Maldon Museum – the Museum in the park.
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