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Plans for a new museum in Burnham are moving forward

Plans for a new museum in Burnham are moving forward, despite the proposed location of the E-ACT Burnham Park Academy closing down.

The idea, first coined over two years ago by the newly-renamed Burnham Heritage Society, slowed down following the announcement of the closure of the academy.

The group also suffered the sudden death of lead member Chris Long earlier this year, described by society secretary Idris Bowden as a ‘terrible loss’.

But the society is still looking to press ahead, and is searching for new locations.

Mr Bowden, who was a staff member at the academy up until its closure, said: “They’ve [the society] been thinking about a museum for quite a while, I think for about 10 to 15 years. I think John Carey galvanised that interest as a parish councillor.”

The society hoped to open the museum in 2019/2020, proposing to feature a host of temporary and permanent exhibits and follow a ‘thematic’ approach showcasing a ‘school classroom in Burnham in the 1930s’ and another room of ‘how we see Burnham in the next 30 years’.

Mr Bowden said: “The idea would be for the kids to come in and to find out about things, then for local groups also to come in and find out about things or develop the museum.”

The society is asking the community to donate old pictures and share stories of Burnham.

Mr Bowden, a history teacher, said: “There’s quite a lot of history and there’s a tremendous demand and thirst for knowledge of the area to ensure that people can easily come into the community and also to enhance that community feeling.”

Mr Bowden re-enforced the need for a museum, stating that in North Wales, where he is from, lots of ‘history is lost’, with his father, who worked building a local reservoir, finding a series of items including Roman sandals which were later disposed of.

“It would ensure that the community will go a step further because you know you have to look to the past to ensure you go forward in the future sometimes,” he said.

The society will be meeting on Thursday, August 22 to discuss the financing of the museum and are ‘hoping’ to ‘apply for a grant of money’ from Burnham Parish Council.

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