Caterham’s East Surrey Museum began 2024 by unveiling its new sign, replacing the original one that had hung outside the building for over four decades and which had recently been deemed unsafe due to its deterioration.
The museum was awarded a grant for the new sign from Surrey County Council’s Your Fund Surrey, supported in their application by Cllr Jeffrey Gray, who was also given the responsibility of unveiling it. Hand carved in oak by Colin Norgate, a designer and creator of furniture and objects in wood, and a member of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen, it took three weeks to make.
The ceremony was held on Wednesday, 10 January, where a crowd of onlookers, including volunteers and Friends of the Museum, watched Cllr Gray reveal the new sign. Before pulling the strings to remove the covering cloth, he said how delighted he was to have been asked to perform the unveiling.
“I was so pleased to be able to use the small sum of money I have at my disposal for such a great thing as this.
The first time I came here, I thought ‘Ok, I’ve now done the East Surrey Museum – I’ve ticked it off. But, the great thing is, on each subsequent visit, it’s been completely different! Not just the temporary exhibitions, but every single room has changed in some way. So do encourage people to keep coming back, as It’s the kind of place where you can see something different each time.
As well as being the county councillor for the area, I’m also the district council’s representative on the Surrey Museums Consultative Committee*. The problem is, we all know, in straitened times, the first thing that gets hit is spending on cultural activities. So I shall be fighting as hard as I can to make sure that Tandridge continues to support the Surrey Museums Consultative Committee, and institutions like this, which is so fantastic.”
Curator of East Surrey Museum, Peter Connolly, said:
“For the museum, it was really important that our replacement sign reflected the museum’s values and identity, and a beautiful sign carved in oak by a skilled member of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen does exactly that. Our first sign lasted for over 40 years, and we expect this one to last at least as long.”
Visit the museum’s website to see their opening times and what’s on.
*An umbrella organisation which works on behalf of Surrey museums via a partnership with its district and borough councils, and Surrey County Council.