aerial picture of Rayleigh High Street

Rayleigh Town Museum

Charitable Incorporated Organisation 1159405

News

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 15, 2017 at 00.55

Rayleigh Remembers

Mike & Sharon Davies gave a talk titled "Rayleigh Remembers" to year 8 pupils at Fitzwimarc School. Here they are with some of the Air Cadets and Essex Army Cadet Force students

Mike and Sharon Davies pupils from fitzwimarc school

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 14, 2017 at 09.35

Artic Star Presentation

On the left our Chairman Mike Davies receiving the Artic Star Medal from Geoffrey Negus at a special presentation on Remembrance Sunday.

Geoffrey has travelled from his home in New Zealand to donate the medal to the museum.

This wonderful and poignant item for our collection, it was awarded to Alfred S J Negus, Geoffrey's Father.

The Artic Star Medal was awarded to Veterans of the bitter Arctic convoys delivering aid to Russia in World War 2.

Winston Churchill described the Arctic convoys' missions through the North Sea in winter as being "the worst journey on earth".

Our researchers are currently compiling information on Alfred and the story behind the medal.

The medal is now on display in the museum for you to see.

Mike Davies and Geoffrey Negus

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 4, 2017 at 10.46

Home Front Exhibition

On the right our Patron Mark Francois MP visiting to see The Home Front Exhibition.

He is with Trevor from the Hertfordshire Home Guard Living History Group who was in the museum to enhance our Home Front Exhibition with a selection of items from the World War 2 era.

Mark Francois MP and Trevor

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on October 21, 2017 at 10.00

Friend's Newsletter Picture Quiz Answers October 2017

The pictures below were in our Friends Newsletter asking the question, Parts of Rayleigh have changed significantly
over the years and each edition of our Friends Newsletter will show some pictures of Rayleigh from Yesteryear.

A. OK Café High St circa 1960s
(Site of Watch Shop today)

B. Howden’s Health Food Shop
(Squires Coffee Shop today)

C. Eastwood Road looking towards High Street 1954

D. Stones & Malins 1965 (EHW Accountants today)

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on September 14, 2017 at 01.00

lift phobic poster

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on September 13, 2017 at 17.35

Picture of Girl

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on July 20, 2017 at 16.40

Friend's Newsletter Picture Quiz Answers July 2017

The pictures below were in our Friends Newsletter asking the question, Parts of Rayleigh have changed significantly over the years and each edition of our Friends Newsletter will show some pictures of Rayleigh from Yesteryear.

A. Co-op Chemist 1968, (Site of Rayleigh Lanes today)

Co Op Chemist 1968

B. Outside Adams Funeral Directors circa 1950s

Outside Adams Funeral Directors circa 1950s

C. High Street near Berry’s Arcade (now Card Factory, Papa Johns & Withams Funeral Directors)

igh Street near Berry’s Arcade
(now Card Factory, Papa Johns & Withams Funeral Directors)

D. High Street opposite Museum (now Taylors Hairdressing)

High Street opposite Museum
(now Taylors Hairdressing)

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on July 8, 2017 at 00.40

Anglia in Bloom

The Anglia in Bloom Judges had a visit to the museum. Museum Chairman Mike Davies on the left with the Judges and members of Rayleigh Town Council. Cllr Carol Pavelin RTC Chairman, Cllrs. Margaret Spencer & Ian Ward

Anglia in Bloom Judges

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on April 10, 2017 at 00.55

'Remembering Rayleigh Rockets'

A picture from our 'Remembering Rayleigh Rockets' exhibition. Terry Stone organised the display in the garden of the Spread Eagle Pub next door to the museum. Many Thanks to Russ Best for allowing us to use the garden.
From left to right: Terry Stone (rider), Stan Stevens (rider), Peter Thorogood (Team Manager), Pete Wigley (rider), Alan Jackson (rider), and Laurie Etheridge (rider).

Rayleigh Rockets Exhibition

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on April 6, 2017 at 23.00

A Glimpse of 'Remembering Rayleigh Rockets'

Here is a glimpse of some of our 'Remembering Rayleigh Rockets' exhibition. Starting tomorrow, 7th April. Our 1st Anniversary on Sunday 9th April will see Speedway bikes on display in the garden of the Spread Eagle Pub. Food will be available. the exhibition goes on to the 17th April.

Rayleigh Rockets Exhibition

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on April 6, 2017 at 19.10

Interview with Terry Stone

Mike Davies Chairman of Rayleigh Town Museum asking Terry Stone Rayleigh Rockets rider
about the Remembering Rayleigh Rockets Exhibition which starts on Friday 7th April

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 30, 2017 at 07.50

The pictures below were in our Friends Newsletter asking the question, Parts of Rayleigh have changed significantly over the years and each edition of our Friends Newsletter will show some pictures of Rayleigh from Yesteryear. Can you recognise the location?

Answers below the pictures

Picture of Rayleigh

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 25, 2017 at 01.10

World War One

Come in and see our World War 1 display

World War 1 display

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 23, 2017 at 22.45

New Pictures

Museum Chairman Mike Davies setting up a temporary display of some of the Rayleigh related pictures found in the Echo Archives.

See the article about the Echo Archives Echo Archives

Mike Davies and Echo pictures

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 20, 2017 at 00.10

Remembering Rayleigh Rockets

Dennis Mugford left, Ex Timekeeper at Rayleigh and son of Charlie Mugford former rider and Terry Stone, former rider and historian visited the museum to bring in some material for our Remembering Rayleigh Rockets Exhibition. April 9th to 17th.

Seen here with stained glass windows which were part of the stadium.

dennis mugford and terry stone

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 16, 2017 at 14.45

Book Sale

We are ready for our Book Sale that starts tomorrow.

Book Sale

Echo

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 12, 2017 at 01.06

Echo 10th March 2017

Article by Mike Davies in the Echo Newspaper


Echo Newspaper

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 4, 2017 at 23.17

Kirbys Coach Fair

Here are our team at the Kirbys Coach Fair that was held at the Freight House in Rochford.
Many thanks to Kirbys for their generosity.

team at kirbys coach fair

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on February 28, 2017 at 00.17

This is why we moved our Longcase Clock

One of our latest acquisitions for the Museum,
a very fine stick barometer which dates from the early Victorian period and was made in Rayleigh by G. F. Kemp. the same maker as the clock.

Picture of barometer

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on February 1, 2017 at 17:20

Why have we moved our Longcase Clock?

We have moved our Longcase Clock to accomodate a new aquisition which is coming soon.

Watch this page

Picture of clock

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 25, 2017 at 09:10

The pictures below were in our Friends Newsletter asking the question, Parts of Rayleigh have changed significantly over the years and each edition of our Friends Newsletter will show some pictures of Rayleigh from Yesteryear. Can you recognise the location?

Answers below the pictures

Picture of Rayleigh



ANSWERS

a. Bellingham Lane - rear of Manns Grocers (Now Ruby Rooms & Feathering Your Nest

b. Corner of High St and Crown Hill

c. Eastwood Road near the High Street

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 16, 2017 at 00:10

Here is one of our latest aquisitions.
A picture of our Regal Room during refurbishment in 1989.

The copyright of this picture is owned by the Echo (Newsquest media group)
Mike Davies, Chairman of the museum was approached by the Echo to say that they were moving buildings and the newspaper archives were no longer required and asked if the Museum would like to have them.

Mike and colleague Viv Irvine visited the Echo building located at Chester Hall Lane in Basildon to have a look at the scale of the archives. They were amazed by the size of the archives and quickly realised the museum alone would be unable to take on such an enormous task and the logistics of the storage would be very expensive.

Another visit was arranged and a number of community archive groups were invited to more accurately assess the enormity of the project. It was estimated that there were around one million negatives, without all of the other types of media. We will continue to update with further pictures as our investigations continue.

Picture of Regal room in 1989

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 8, 2017 at 17:10

Here is one of our latest exhibits.
This is an original drawing by Alan Sorrell RWS and is the iconic picture of Rayleigh Castle.

It was a gift from the artist to Peter Lewis and donated to the Museum by his daughters, Juliet, Jacqueline, Velda and Vanessa.

Picture of Rayleigh Castle by Alan Sorrell

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 19, 2016 at 11:30am

Recently we have had parties of children from Edward Francis School who were entertained by our Schools Liaison Team.
They took part in various activities in the museum and a heritage walk in the High Street.

Mike and school children
Mike and school children Mike and school children

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on October 21, 2016 at 01:30

Rayleigh Town Museum have purchased a number of trophies from the Rochford and District Rifle Club, which, in part, was formed out of the Rayleigh Home Guard unit from WW2. The trophies include a number of well-known Rayleigh families and they were handed over during a presentation in the Museum on the 19th Oct 2016.
Ernie Hillier (L) Museum Volunteer whose father one won of the trophies and (R) a member of Rochford Rifle and Pistol Club who unveiled the trophies.

Picture of Ernie Hillier

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on October 7, 2016 at 00:10

The Chairman of Essex County Council, Cllr John Aldridge visited the museum with his wife Christine.
Cllr Aldridge wrote in our visitors book. "A remarkable enterprise that reflects the energy of the curators and the community spirit of the town of Rayleigh."
Behind Cllr Aldridge and his wife are Chairman of the Museum, Mike Davies and Sue Smith.

Barbara and Chris Wallis

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on October 6, 2016 at 01:50

5000 Visitor

Here are Barbara and Chris Wallis our joint 5000th Visitor since we opened on 9th April this year.
They received a free copy of Rayleigh History Tour by Mike & Sharon Davies.
This is available to buy in the museum.

Barbara and Chris Wallis

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on October 3, 2016 at 11:59

Here are Liana Bridges and Barry Lewis talking to the Chairman of the museum, Mike Davies (left) after they had found the clue left in the Regal room as part of BBC Essex's, BBC Essex Quest on Sunday morning.
The programme broadcasts every Sunday morning between 9am and 12midday. It is a radio 'treasure hunt' where Liana and Barry have 4 clues to 4 mystery locations to solve. We are very pleased to have been able to take part. After the broadcast we had quite a few visitors who had heard about the museum on the programme.

Mike Davies, Liana Bridges and Barry Lewis.

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on September 20, 2016 at 19:00

On Saturday 17th September Ron Stewart the last manager of Rayleigh's Regal cinema was in the museum talking to visitors interested in meeting him and his wife Pat and hearing about the Regal Cinema. A very succesful day as we had 129 visitors.

Ron Stewart and visitors

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on September 19, 2016 at 19:00

On the evening of the 16th September 2016 a special evening was held to unveil the Kalee 8 Projector that was used in the Regal Cinema. The projector was donated by Lilian, the wife of the late Eric Mills, who had stored the projector once it had become redundant in 1971.

The projector was refurbished by Ron Dilley, the local cinema historian and Chris Taylor, the presenter of archive film of the district.

The projector was unveiled by our special guest Ron Stewart, the last manager of the Regal cinema, who was accompanied by his wife Pat.

In the photo from left to right, Museum Patron, Mark Francois MP, Ron Stewart, Pat Stewart, Chairman of Rayleigh Town Council, Cllr Christine Callis and Chairman of the museum, Mike Davies.

Ron Stewart and the Kalee 8 Projector

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on September 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Here is Chairman Mike Davies introducing Trevor Rand who gave a fascinating talk entitled Rayleigh Town, its Windmills and my family.
Mike Davies and Trevor Rand

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on Aug 12, 2016 at 16:00 PM

Museum Chairman, Mike Davies giving a talk on "The Evolution of Rayleigh Town Museum"
Mike Davies

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 17, 2016 at 00:40 AM

Can you help!
volunteers

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 5, 2016 at 00:50 AM

We are delighted to inform you that at 15.30 on 4th May we had our 1,000th visitor since we opened on the 9th April.
1000 visitors

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 26, 2016 at 5:15 PM

CAN YOU HELP? This picture was sent to us by Andy Cross. It was was in some photographs of his late Mothers. "Congregational church, 1913 - Rev. Mason???? was written on the back. The photo appears to be the side of what is now the “Christ Church” on Crown Hill. Has anyone got any information about the people in the picture?
friends

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 26, 2016 at 7:40 PM

The Museum is open to 'The Friends of the Museum' now.
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
Don't wait until the official opening, come and see it now.
friends

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 26, 2016 at 02:00 AM

Here are some of our volunteers taking part in a Fire Extinguisher training course run by Andi Simmons of Defence Fire & Security Ltd.
fire extinguisher training

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Here is Mike Davies addressing the Annual Rayleigh Town Meeting, held this year at Fitzwimarc School. He told the meeting about his dream to open a museum and about the team and benefactors that have helped him realise that dream.
Mike Davies at Rayleigh Town Meeting

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM

The first visitors to the Museum, Ernie and Bet Lane with Mike Davies. In 1991 Ernie, with the assistance of the late Edward Fitzgerald, wrote the first definitive history book of Rayleigh published as Rayleigh A Pictorial History.
We look forward to seeing more of our Friends Group prior to the official opening on the 9th April. See Issue 6 (January 2016) edition of the Friends Newsletter for details.
Ernie and Bet Lane with Mike Davies
Ernie and Bet Lane with Mike Davies

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 14, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Just a reminder what has allowed us to open Rayleigh Town Museum. Here is the Heritage Lottery Fund Plaque by our lift, so everybody visiting the museum will see it. Many thanks again The Heritage Lottery Fund, we couldn't have done it without you. Our team of dedicated volunteers have spent thousands of hours preparing to get everything in place to open the museum. The first of our Friends will get a preview tomorrow.
Heritage Lottery Fund Plaque

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 15, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Our maintenance team are working hard to get the museum ready to open. Look out for this crest of the now defunct Rayleigh Urban District Council when you visit.
Rayleigh Urban District Council Crest

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 13, 2016 at 11:45 PM

Here are some of our volunteers taking part in a first aid course in the Regal Room. Dave Record of First Aid and Transport Services Ltd front left putting them through their paces.
First Aid Course

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 12, 2016 at 2:45 PM

This clock made by Rayleigh Clockmaker George Firman Kemp has been restored and is now ticking away in the museum. George was born around 1785. There was an article on the clock in the January edition of our Friends Newsletter.
Clock

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 4, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Rayleigh Town Museum hosted a Text Writing Course on behalf of Essex Records Office. The participants from various museums and attractions can be seen here in 'The Regal Room'.
Text Writing Course

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on February 14, 2016 at 09:50 AM

Mark Francois who visited the Museum on Saturday afternoon, seen here handing over a 1915 Essex map to Mike Davies, was very impressed with the progress since his last visit and eagerly awaits the opening of the Museum on the 9th April
Mike Davies and Maark Francois

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on February 5, 2016 at 00:50 AM

If you have seen the Newsletter, Rayleigh Review or the Echo you will have seen that we have announced our opening dates. The Museum will be open to the public on April 9th but Friends of the Museum will be invited on specific dates in March.
See Echo article Echo 4th February 2016
museum picture

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 26, 2016 at 09:40 AM

Last night Mike, Alan,Trevor, Roger and Terry ably assisted by Linda achieved the almost impossible and managed to thread the Bakers Cart through the doorway into its final destination in the Museum. The cart even without its wheels was still wider than the doorway. The tools came out and various bits of framework and the door were removed. The gap was still too narrow but with some enginuity and a lot of wiggling we got it through.
Bakers Cart
Bakers Cart

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 21, 2016 at 00:40 PM

Many thanks to A R Adams Funeral Directors Ltd for allowing us to display in their window.
A R Adams Funeral Directors

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 17, 2016 at 01:40 PM

Here are Viv and Trevor manning our photographic display in Rayleigh Library.
Viv and Trevor Rayleigh Library

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 11, 2016 at 12:40 PM

Many thanks to Rayleigh Town Council for their continuing support of the museum. Chairman Cllr Mrs Julie Sawford and Chairman of the Environment Committee Cllr Mrs Cheryl Roe came along to show their support as the team from the museum and strong men from Runwell Wyverns Rugby Club moved the Bakers Cart from its storage in King Georges Park into the museum. Thank you Runwell Wyverns Rugby Club, we couldn't have done it without your help.
The Bakers Cart

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on January 5, 2015 at 01:00 AM

Our Maintenance Team have been preparing this bow window as one of our display cabinets. Originally it came from a shop in Rayleigh High Street.
The Bow Window Display Unit

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on December 31, 2015 at 17:50 PM

Library Photographic Exhibition

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on December 10, 2015 at 3:50 PM

Here are the triumphant team from our very successful 'Missing Link' quiz which took place on the 4th December being presented with their trophy by Mike Davies.. From left to right. Liz Bradon, Sandy Brown, Neil Blackburn, Linda Blackburn, Roger Brown and finally Ray Bradon. quiz winners.

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 16, 2015 at 4:50 PM

Mike Davies inspecting the new handrail for the wheelchair ramp. Mike Davies

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 13, 2015 at 9:50 AM

Barclays Bank are supporting us by allowing us a number of opportunities to set up a display in the Rayleigh Branch.
The first of these was on Saturday 14th November.
The next is on Wednesday 18th November.
Why not come and see our display and perhaps buy some Christmas Cards or a Calendar. barclays Display

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 12, 2015 at 9:50 AM

Here is one of our latest aqusitions. The inscription reads:Presented to Mr T Fry owner of "Whiff" Winner of Match Race at Rayleigh Stadium on 20th June 1958.

Do you have any information about Mr T Fry or Whiff?

greyhound cup

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on November 11, 2015 at 3:00 PM

We had two very important visitors to the Museum, Ernie Lane and his wife Bet, seen here with Mike Davies. Ernie has been anxious to visit for a while and Mike took the opportunity to test out our wheelchair access.
group photo
group photo

Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on August 18, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Here is Pat Harris (a member of Rayleigh Bowls Club)
being presented with a certificate as the 500th member of our Friends Group.
The certificate being presented by Chairman Mike Davies.
From left to right: Roger, Spencer, Linda, Mike, Pat, Alan and Viv. Linda and Alan are the Administrators of our Friends Group.
group photo


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on July 31, 2015 at 8:05 AM

Here is a picture of the the back of 91 High Street. The new building shown here will be the kitchen for Pizza Express. They have matched the brickwork well. building work at 91 high street


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on July 25, 2015 at 6:50 AM

Our 2016 Calendar is now available. See the Merchandise page


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 24, 2015 at 7:50 PM


Building work continues at the rear of 91 High street and this picture shows the Kitchen area for Pizza Express now taking shape


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM

group picture
Mike Davies Chairman of the Rayleigh Town Museum is delighted to announce that the Lions Club of Rayleigh have donated £500 towards the set up costs of the Town Museum. Further evidence of the support to the Museum from the local community and is very much appreciated. Seen in this photo is Graham and Irene from the Lions Mike, Alan, Viv and Sue from the Museum outside the Museum premises.


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 22, 2015 at 4:10 AM

picture of holy trinity church
For a small fee you can climb up the church tower and see views like this. Holy Trinity Church on Bank Holiday Monday. Come and see our exhibition & sales stall (together with RayleighThrough the Looking Glass) as part of the Tower Open Day.


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 20, 2015 at 9:10 AM

group picture
Mike Davies Chairman of the Rayleigh Town Museum is delighted to announce that the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill have donated £500 towards the set up costs of the Town Museum as part of their support to groups within the local Community. This is yet further evidence of the support to the Museum from all parts of the local community and is very much appreciated.

Seen in this photo is Mike Cocks (Rotary Community Officer) with members of the Museum group (left to right Viv, Alan, Linda, Roger, Margaret, Mike and Trevor) at the cheque presentation outside the Museum premises


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 20, 2015 at 9:05 AM

building work
"Building work has commenced at the rear of 91 High Street (the kitchen area for Pizza Express) and when digging the foundations the builders have found a number of interesting items. These are two photos showing some of the items. These will form part of our "House History" project and a lot of work will be required to investigate the dates and possible location of the wood, bricks, tiles and china more of which will no doubt be found as building work progresses. One concern is the condition of the wood, it has been underground in damp earth for many years (hundreds???) and is now exposed. How it is best preserved?? before it disintegrates-we do not have a pot of money, the expertise, or the volunteers who have the time to research and deal with. Ideas and suggestions as to how best to deal with this important question are welcome. Mike Davies - Chairman "


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on May 20, 2015 at 9:00 AM


This picture was sent to us by the well-known Rayleigh Regal Cinema Manager (Ron Stewart). Are you in this photo taken on 23rd September 1972? Do you know anyone in this photo? Do you have any memories of the Regal Cinema? It was a competition to advertise Carry on Matron. The winners were 1st Julie Lay from Hullbridge, Runners up were Susan Cooke and Paula Chalkey


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on April 29, 2015 at 1:00 PM


The Museum Team have been recognised for their efforts by Rayleigh Town Council and were awarded the Community Award at the Annual Town Meeting on Wednesday 22nd April at Sweyne Park School.


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 31, 2015 at 8:50 AM

These stained glass windows from Rayleigh Stadium are the latest acquisition for the museum. Aren't they wonderful.


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 25, 2015 at 12:50 PM

The work on 91 High Street has Started.


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 22, 2015 at 6:50 AM

Mark Francois MP congratulating Mike Davies and the Team from Rayleigh Town Museum in receiving a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to get the Museum started. Outside 91 High Street in Rayleigh. The Museum will be on the first floor. Photo by Paul Dunt from the Rayleigh Review
group picture with Mark Francois


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 19, 2015 at 12:20 PM

GREAT NEWS!
The Museum has got its funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
See the press release.

Heritage Lottery Fund Award, Press Release

Thank you to all of our Supporters. Thank you Heritage Lottery Fund.


Posted by Rayleigh Town Museum on March 16, 2015 at 4:50 AM

112 people attended our latest quiz. We raised over £575 for our Museum funds. Many thanks to all those that attended to help make it such an enjoyable evening.


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