Posted: 16.07.21 at 10:39 by Philip Evans
One of the Seaton attractions most affected by the pandemic has been the town museum, run by Axe Valley Heritage Centre.
The museum, located in the former Town Hall in Fore Street, closed its doors after a successful season in October 2019.
The first COVID lockdown came in March 2020, before the museum was due to reopen for the season, and the doors remained firmly closed until this week.
Association members and guests gathered at the museum yesterday (Thursday) for the official opening for the coming season when one of its longest serving supporters, June Richards, was made a life member.
They were welcomed by the chairman of Axe Valley Heritage Association, Roger Brookman, who thanked all those who had worked so hard to get the museum open again.
The opening ceremony was carried out by the Mayor of Seaton, Cllr Dan Ledger, who spoke of the important role the museum had in the life of Seaton.
Museum curator Ted Gosling, who has held the post for 36 years, then invited Cllr Ledger to present a framed certificate to June Richards, confirming her life membership.
Mr Gosling, who received the Freedom of Seaton in 2011 for his outstanding service to the community, described Mrs Richards as "a special lady".
Mr Gosling told the gathering: "June and her husband Roderick became members of the association from the beginning.
"Many of the items on display came from the Richards family and as a point of interest, Roderick's grandfather, Mr G.H. Richards, built the Town Hall."
Mr Gosling, who has written 40 books on the history of Seaton and the Axe Valley, said Mrs Richards had given generous donations to the museum during lockdown.
He also told the audience that Mrs Richards had celebrated her 80th birthday by undertaking a wing walk, arranged by her family, and Cllr Ledger presented her with a photo of her in mid air.
Mr Gosling concluded: "June, we salute you!"
Mrs Richards said she was delighted to receive the award and thanked the association for their kindness.
Future events include the association's annual meeting on August 5, a coach trip to Dartmoor on September 12 and the Christmas lunch on December 12.
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