Steyning Museum Trust Newsletter February 2022

The Museum, Church Street, Steyning, West Sussex. BN44 3YB
T: 01903 813333W:
Registered Charity Number: 1169540
Newsletter February 2022
Message from the Chairman – Muriel Wright
Happy New Year to everyone.
It was great to start the New Year with our Stewards Party on the 8th January. A number of our new Stewards
attended and if I didn’t get to meet you, welcome to the Museum “family”. Hopefully we will have a Year without
any lockdowns.
This year we hope to have an actual AGM for our members. Details of the meeting are enclosed with the
Newsletter. Coffee and biscuits will be served, and our guest speaker will be talking about Sussex folksongs. We may
even be encouraged to join in with some of the singing.
A warm welcome to our new members: Kate Burnett, Margaret Kelly, Margaret Wellby and Ruth Witherden. Thank
you for joining Steyning Museum, I look forward to meeting you. Sadly, since our last newsletter we have been
advised that Beryl Vincent has died.
Best Wishes, Muriel
Curator of Exhibitions – Andrew Woodfield
Since the last newsletter, the Exhibition and Maintenance teams have been busy!
The Shepherd and Touched by War displays have been completely refurbished and the Siren on the war display has
been improved beyond words by Nick and Guy.
You no longer need to bend down to turn on the sound of the siren as a new box with push button has been
installed at a much more convenient height.
Ros Gold`s memory of Steyning being bombed can also now be heard by our visitors.
Two new exhibits have been installed.
‘In Memoriam’ marks the closure of the Brotherhood Hall as a school after over 400 years. The exhibit includes a
dressed manikin complete with teacher`s gown and mortar board. Please do not be alarmed when you walk round
the corner and see him – he certainly made our cleaner jump! This exhibit has replaced Allotments.
In the rear room we have installed ‘Upper Beeding, Salt, Monks, Nuns, Cement’.
Included are the naughty pictures which were drawn by Canadian soldiers who were billeted at Beeding Court during
WW2. It is one of the larger items from the museum archive. We did not have room for it when we had our ‘Victory’
WW2 display. As some folk may find the images offensive, we have curtained them and have requested visitors (and
staff) to open and close the curtains when viewing
Those of you who are familiar with the Graveyard Gossip leaflets might be interested to know that, thanks to the
help and expertise of Nick Quinn, we are going to introduce an audio guide to the churchyard during the Steyning
Festival. What we are looking for are some willing volunteers, both male and female, who would be prepared to
record short passages detailing the history of the occupants of some of the graves, and to help to bring them to life
(though obviously not literally!) If someone could record a passage with a passable French accent, they would be
more than welcome.
Please contact Lois at the Museum
Oral History Team news – Joan Denwood
We are hoping to put some extracts from our interviews of long-term residents on the museum website, so keep a
watchful eye.
We have also been preparing extracts to go on a listening post alongside the display in the museum about the
closure of Steyning Grammar School, Church Street. These extracts range from early boarders, wartime memories,
pupils in the 50’s, to relatively recent teachers. should make interesting listening.
The Oral History team had a lovely boost to morale recently. A relative of someone we interviewed a couple of years
ago was so inspired by our interview and by our museum itself, that she has begun working on setting up a smallscale museum in her own village in East Sussex. She also hopes to start interviewing long term residents there soon.
Nice positive feedback.
There is going to be a new exhibition in the museum soon entitled ‘Accession’ about the death of George V1 and the
accession of Elizabeth. As I am sure you all know George VI died on 6 February 1952 at Sandringham estate aged 56.
He was Lying in State at Westminster Hall and then his funeral was held at St Georges Chapel Windsor on 15th
February. His daughter flew back from Kenya as Queen Elizabeth II. She celebrates her Platinum Jubilee later this
Part 1 – Do you remember where you were when you heard the news about the death of the King? What did it mean
to you and your family? Did anything special happen in your area? Did you listen to the service on the radio? We
would greatly appreciate your memories in writing about this event and sending them to me at or dropping handwritten notes through the museum letter box. We will compile
them and ask some of you to record them to go on the listening post alongside the exhibition.
Part 2 – For a future exhibition and whilst you are thinking about Royalty, please could you do the same thing, writing
your memories, about the Queen’s Coronation the following year 2nd June 1953. Where were you that day, what did
your family do, was there a local party, did you watch it on the T.V.?
It would be useful and helpful if you could keep your writing for these 2 requests separate.
Apologies to those of you too young to remember, but you may have a relative, friend or neighbour you could ask
about this? We would greatly appreciate your help and look forward to reading and hearing your memories of these
national events at an important time in our history.
Thank you
Membership and 200 Club Secretary – Erica Gayler
The following are the results from 200 Club draws since our last newsletter.
November Draw December Draw January Draw
st Prize Mr C J Peacock 1
st Prize Muriel Wright 1
st Prize Julie Brooks
nd Prize James Welch 2
nd Prize Colin Sutherland 2
nd Prize Charles Harries
rd Prize Betty Gravatt 3
rd Prize Mrs J Denwood 3
RD Prize Mr E F Jones
Help please…….
Do you recognise this handwriting ? It is on the reverse of a Membership Renewal
notice which was delivered to the Museum with £10 but unfortunately the front of
the form was not completed. Please contact me or leave me a note in the Museum please if
this was you.
Events & Fund-Raising Committee – Maggie Hollands
We had a very successful afternoon Tea at the Steyning Centre on 20th November making a profit of nearly £400 for
museum funds. We were entertained by the Sing Out Sisters whilst enjoying homemade cakes and sandwiches.
Thank you to everyone who joined us and all the helpers making it a very enjoyable afternoon.
The Christmas Hamper and raffle was drawn at the museum on December 23rd. This made a profit of £420. Thank
you to all who contributed to the raffle and who also bought tickets
The winners were as follows: –
st Prize Hamper- Maggie Hollands
nd Prize 4 bottles of wine – Mrs. Hayward
rd Prize Wine and wine glasses – Terry Gould
th Prize Chocolates – Pat (Library)
th Prize Biscuits – Cliff White
th Prize Cookery Book – Rosemary Wyld
th Prize Diary – Eileen Sylvester
th Prize Christmas Pudding – Harold Bradley.
Next Events for your diaries: –
Saturday 19th March at Penfold Hall 10:30 Annual General Meeting
Saturday 2nd April at Penfold Hall Spring Coffee Morning with homemade cake stall, Museum Shop and Raffle with
real coffee and biscuits Entrance £2. (No bric a brac or book stall)
Saturday 18th June Cream Tea at the Penfold Hall at 3pm with homemade scones and music.
Publicity – Ray Powell
Spring Exhibitions
Curator of Exhibitions Andrew Woodfield and his team have been busy putting together two new exhibitions for the
spring season. One features Upper Beeding and its varied history of “Salt, Monks, Nuns, Cement”. Exhibits feature
the George Gray Rosebowl (more about that below) and many historic photos of Upper Beeding including the
cement works in its heyday and the changing face of Towers from a shooting lodge to Roman Catholic Boarding
School and most recently becoming the new home for 11-14 year old’s attending Steyning Grammar School which
funnily enough makes a good connection to our other new exhibition about the Brotherhood Hall Schools Closure in
celebration of 400 Student Years.
Upper Beeding Cement Works in full
production. In the background you can see the
old Steyning – Shoreham railway line crossing
the River Adur. The bridge is long gone but if
you look closely you can still see the bridge
abutments alongside the River.
George Gray Rosebowl
The Museum is delighted to have receive a handsome silver cup from Colin Gray of Shooting Field, Steyning. The
following article and photo was featured in the Burns Night edition of the Argus:
To celebrate his 88th birthday, long-time Steyning resident Colin Gray presented the George Gray Rose Bowl to
Steyning Museum. Museum chairwoman Muriel Wright said she was delighted to accept the trophy which is just in
time for Burns Night on Tuesday. It was named after Colin’s father who lived in Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding. He
was the founder of the Steyning Reel Club, which met weekly at the Steyning Railway Hotel. According to Colin,
Scottish dancing became so popular in the 1950s that members often put on outdoor demonstrations in Brighton
and other venues. The George Gray Rose Bowl will be a focal point in Steyning Museum’s new display, which will be
open to visitors until the end of May 2022.
New flags
You may have noticed that sadly our old flag has finally succumbed to old age and had to be retired from active
service. Joan Denwood has been busy procuring two smart new replacements. Joan’s vibrant designs have been
turned into reality by Andy from Pavilion Signs Ltd, Hove to form an eye-catching impression for Church Street
passers by. The flags go out when the Museum is open and are mounted on permanent metal stakes driven into the
ground. We also took possession of a water-filled base so we can use the flags at outdoor events such as the
Steyning Festival.
Joan Denwood receiving one of our new flags
from Andy at Pavilion Signs
Newsletter compiled by Erica Gayler
Agenda for the Annual General Meeting
to be held on Saturday 19th March 2022
at the Penfold Hall at 10 a.m.
1. Apologies for absence.
2. No minutes due to circumstances last year. The reports and
proposals were all approved by post, email or phone.
3. Matters Arising.
4. Chairman’s Report.
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Election of Trustees: Chris Tod, Paul Norris, Jacquie Buttriss, Helen
Coutrouzas and Muriel Wright are all standing for re-election.
7. Appointment of the Independent Examiner
8. Any Other Business
The meeting will be followed by coffee and then a talk by Mak Norman on
Folk Songs of Sussex.
Agenda for the Annual General Meeting
to be held on 19th March 2022 at the Penfold Hall
1. No minutes of last year’s meeting due to circumstances. The reports and proposals
were approved by post, email or phone.
2. Secretary’s Report.
3. Accounts.
4. Election of Officers (Erica Gayler, Paul Norris and Laurie Smalley all willing to stand
5. Any Other Business