The Story of the Museum
Work on the museum started in 1980 under the auspices of the archaeological section of the Bourne Society. It opened in 1981 with Lesley Ketteringham as its first honorary curator. There are still close links with the Bourne Society whose membership provides some of the volunteers to staff the museum.
The museum is situated on the ground floor of a flint and brick house, built about the turn of the 19th century. Within living memory the house has been an estate agent's, a dentist's, and temporary council accomodation. The council appointed as architect Mr Long, who produced an excellent conversion with the museum downstairs and an entirely separate flat upstairs.
The council still provides and maintains the premises and provides a grant towards the running costs. The rest of the funding is raised by the Friends, or through grants, donations and legacies.
Until 2003 the East Surrey was an all-volunteer museum, when a succesful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed the appointment of a professional curator and outreach officer. The museum has been able to build upon its success, and the service has been able to expand.
Heritage Lottery funding ceased in 2011, and we are now once again an all-volunteer museum.