July 5th, 2010

A TREASURE FROM THE MUSEUM'S COLLECTION

Now that all the buzz and excitement of the Art Trail/Festival are over - during which we had well over 900 visitors - Steyning Museum is busy launching new exhibitions.

Already on display is the first of our regular mini-exhibits based on a choice by a Museum member of a "Treasure" from the Museum's collections.

This month's choice is the Mouse Lane poem by John Stanley Purvis, written in 1915 and a moving evocation of life in the trenches and of longing for the quiet beauty of the English countryside - in this case Mouse Lane in Steyning. It can be seen engraved in stone halfway up Mouse Lane and also on the outside wall of the Museum, as it formed part of Steyning's Millennium project. This moving poem and others by Purvis are on display, together with details of his life, both before and after the war.   He was wounded on the Somme, but you must come and read about the mystery of where he was when he actually wrote the poem, which contains the line "we assault in half an hour."

Steyning Museum is open 5 days each week - 10.30 to 12.30 and 2.30 to 4.30 (4.00 October to April) on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday plus Sunday afternoons and Bank Holiday Mondays.

Jill Kemp,
Publicity Officer,
The Museum,
Church Street,
Steyning,
West Sussex
BN44 3YB

Telephone: 01903 813333
Email: contact@steyningmuseum.org.uk

Chance Memories

I can't forget the lane that goes from Steyning to the Ring
In summer time, and on the Down how larks and linnets sing
High in the sun. The wind comes off the sea, and Oh the air!
I never knew till now that life in old days was so fair.
But now I know it in this filthy rat infested ditch
When every shell may spare or kill - and God alone knows which.
And I am made a beast of prey, and this trench is my lair.
My God! I never knew till now that those days were so fair.
So we assault in half an hour, and, - it's a silly thing -
I can't forget the narrow lane to Chanctonbury Ring.

Mouse Lane 2nd Lt. J.S. Purvis
Mouse Lane, Steyning and 2nd Lt John Stanley Purvis c1915

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