The Museum finally managed to open its doors on May 21, looking a good deal smarter than it had done when it went into prolonged hibernation some fourteen months earlier. Because of the limitation on numbers of people allowed in the building at any one time, it had not been possible to carry out some of the planned improvements and enhancements, but visitors were still mighty impressed with what they saw.
The theatre’s much-loved audio-visual presentation of the Old Man’s Barge has had to be taken out of commission although a shorter documentary showing how it was retrieved from the River Thames five hundred years after it sank will take its place. Meantime, the theatre is bathed in an eerie rosy glow as visitors peer back in time to see an Anglo-Saxon dugout canoe, part of the London Bridge that spanned the Thames in Roman times, a section of an ancient Roman boat and the Museum’s newest exhibit, a set of well-preserved 2nd century Roman sandals. These were found during the lockdown when a search was undertaken through part of the archive that had remained hidden at the back of a large storage space for nearly 35 years. Nobody had had any idea that they were there!
The next job is to restore the yard at the back of the Museum to enable our Rye river barge, Primrose, to once again be displayed in all her glory.
Do feel free to come along and help us in this, and many other fascinating projects.