What Our Visitors Wrote About Us
By Sarah Leigh

Small Pram
The 1940s pram - a favourite with
children at Steyning Museum.

Between 15 March 2003 and 13 March 2004, 647 people wrote a comment in our Museum Visitors Book. 356 of these came from Sussex and 201 from other parts of the UK. 47 came from Europe and 43 from other parts of the world (mainly the USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan). Every single comment was positive - we had no complaints at all! There were some identifiable themes.

Children tended to comment on what they had liked best. Child after child mentioned the 1940's pram. One child took a longer view when he wrote: "When I'm older I'll come back and see what's changed."

Many older people were making a nostalgic return to the town - one wrote simply, "MEMORIES" and one, "Brings back old feelings". Another wrote sadly: "I miss the place." Younger adults appreciated the insight it gave them into the historical background of the area where they lived: "This is real history, not just Royalty and wars," and, "Good to see history kept alive ".

Researchers into family history were very grateful - "Wonderful discoveries and stunning help from the stewards", wrote someone from London. From Maryland: "Someone kindly helped me to trace my family".

Our exhibitions during the year, one on Gert and Daisy (Elsie and Doris Waters), music hall stars who were long term residents, and one of local maps received many compliments.

Many commended the layout and signage of the collection and the friendliness and helpfulness of the stewards. The museum attracted some delightful compliments - "Passionant" wrote one visitor from Paris. One wrote, "A fascinating museum with friendly and knowledgeable staff'".

Stewards
Friendly and helpful stewards.

A Sussex visitor wrote: "Obviously tended with loving care", and another: "What a delightfully presented and well put together museum!" Someone from London wrote: "The best small museum seen! " and someone from Cheshire: "One of the best local museums I've had the good fortune to find." Someone of undisclosed origin wrote: "The smallest museum in the world and the most friendly." Some superlatives were more striking - from Milan simply "bello", from London "enchanting" and from Middlesex "small but superb".

The most comprehensive endorsement came from Bradford - "Comprehensive, well-organised, helpfully labelled, informative and entertaining - a credit to its founder and its helpers". A German visitor wrote: "I loved it! That's how England should be!" He also wrote: "I think I'll return." An amazingly large proportion of contributors expressed this intention - "I can't wait to come back", and many were themselves clearly repeat visitors - "Always interesting" and "It improves every time we visit".

All the comments above relate to 2003/4. However, we still treasure some past endorsements. Someone in January 2002 wrote: "An hour of pure pleasure" and another, "I once had gerbils called Gert and Daisy". But our favourite visitor is still the Russian who wrote in April 2001: "God bless those who cherish and honour their past."

We also have an online Guestbook for visitors to the website. Have a look at what people have written and you are welcome to make your own comments.Guestbook

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20 March 2017

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