Torquay Museum reopening with new exhibitions and half-price admission for local people

Torbay Weekly

Torquay Museum is reopening on May 17 after almost five months of enforced closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Visitors will be welcomed back with a series of exhibitions and events to complement the museum’s exciting and varied permanent galleries.

“We have really missed our visitors, with the hustle and bustle of people enjoying everything the museum has to offer,” said Torquay Museum director Basil Greenwood.

“In order to celebrate our reopening, we have decided to give local people, who live in a TQ postcode, a 50 per cent discount off our admission price.

"It’s already amazing value, as a standard admission ticket gives visitors free unlimited entry to the museum for a year. But now it’s even better value.”

Despite being closed for such a long period, museum staff have been beavering away sprucing up the museum, building exhibitions and planning events, the core of which will focus on a celebration of the museum’s 175th anniversary.

The museum’s Windows in Time exhibition, which was launched in April and runs until September 5, is a free outdoor trail of large format historic images of the area, sited close to where they were originally taken.

Some of the images date back 175 years, to around the time the museum was established, and allow passers-by a glimpse into Torbay’s past.

Working with Torbay Council, many of these images have been mounted onto buildings around Torquay and Paignton, creating an easy to navigate trail.

The trail sheet can be downloaded from Torquay Museum’s website.

But the museum’s major draw for the summer is its Secret Museum exhibition, which runs from June 12 to September 4 and will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to view some of the museum’s huge range of collections which are usually held in its store rooms.

These are full of wondrous objects, some of international importance, some of huge local significance, but many just curious and interesting with fascinating histories.

This exhibition has been largely curated by the local community, who have accessed the stores and chosen little known and forgotten objects for display.

The exhibition is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

To coincide with the opening of the Secret Museum exhibition on June 12, there will also be a fun-filled, colourful pageant through the streets of Torquay to help celebrate the museum’s 175th anniversary, featuring a samba band and amazing creations made by community groups, schools and local artists, with performances by Elfic the Jester and Isabella and the Story Bicycle.

More information can be found on the museum’s website.

“So there’s a host of reasons to visit Torquay Museum when it re-opens on May, 17” said Basil Greenwood. “But don’t forget that along with our temporary exhibitions and events, there are also some fascinating permanent galleries in the museum, featuring Devon’s only human mummy  - at the heart of a wonderful gallery celebrating some of Torbay’s globe-trotting explorers, north-west Europe’s oldest human fossil that takes centre stage in our Ancestors gallery, and the world’s only Agatha Christie gallery.

"The museum looks forward to welcoming you back very soon. To book your tickets in advance, visit the museum’s website, and remember that local people will now get a 50 per cent discount on museum admission.”