Dec
03
2009

Eddie Izzard opens Bexhill Museum

[from the Bexhill Observer]

WIND and rain did nothing to deter the spirits of the crowds of people who flocked to see comedian Eddie Izzard officially open the newly revamped Bexhill Museum on 26th November.

Eddie, also undeterred by the weather, arrived on foot, suitably attired in trainers and sportswear, having chosen to make the journey from Eastbourne to the museum by way of running what he described as, “a half marathon”.

After cutting the ribbon Eddie, who grew up in Bexhill, took time to look round the museum, chatting to visitors and signing autographs, before making an opening speech.

Eddie is Patron of the museum, and was introduced by Chairman of the Board of Directors, Stella Bellem, who said:

“This is a wonderful day for Bexhill and for the people of Bexhill. Eddie is one of one of Bexhill’s own, and follows in the footsteps of another great comedian, Spike Milligan.”

Spike Milligan opened many exhibitions at the museum, including the Bexhill at War exhibition – a photograph of which is on view at the museum.

Smiling broadly Eddie was greeted by a round of rapturous applause and said:

“I knew Spike Milligan was stationed in Bexhill during the war and I was stationed here during the seventies selling ice cream at Galley Hill!”

He added: ” It’s taken ten years and two million pounds to refurbish the museum and the energy that’s been put into it is fantastic – Bexhill needs this. Hopefully this will be a great start and you’ll go on from strength to strength.”

Eddie is used to running in wet weather, having recently completed a 1,105 mile marathon around Britain, raising £2,000 for Sports Relief.

He said he decided to take out his trainers and make the run to the museum from Eastbourne (where he would be appearing in a gig at the Devonshire Park Theatre later in the day) making a short detour to Pevensey Castle for three reasons.

He said: ” I ran from Eastbourne as I thought it would get the press interested and give the museum more publicity. I went to school in Eastbourne and the run here helped me revisit bits of my childhood, and I also want to encourage people in the UK to get fit.”

Asked if running was tiring he said: “The weird thing is the more energy you expand the more energy you have.”

Many local dignitaries also attended the opening including Eddie’s dad, John Izzard, Rother District Council Chairman Cllr Martin Mooney, Honorary President of the Museum, Megan Trace, and Bexhill Town Mayor Cllr Bridget George who said:

“We have to say a big ‘thank you’ to Eddie for sparing the time to open the museum today. It’s so great to see everyone coming to enjoy this wonderful facility and hope many will further enjoy it in the future.”

The refurbishment project on the museum was made possible with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rother District Council, Biffaward, Interreg 111A, Prism, Awards for All and local donations.

The project has extended the original Bexhill Museum building to accommodate the costume collection and a motor racing heritage gallery

For further information and opening times visit the website at: www.bexhill-museum.co.uk or call (01424) 787950.

Written by Momo in: Politics & Causes |

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