Innovative new project wins £10,000 grant

annie brassey - bexhill museum exploring her adventures
annie brassey - bexhill museum exploring her adventures

Bexhill Museum is celebrating a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money will fund ‘In conversation with Annie’ led by local artist and traveller Louise Kenward.

This project aims to ‘develop a dialogue with local heritage’, exploring and sharing the archive collection of Lady Annie Brassey brought home from world voyages during the end of the 19th century.

Inspired by Annie, Louise crossed the globe to discover two other farflung Bexhills, collecting objects and observations from places where their paths crossed.

She will hold drop-in sessions at the museum as she explores the stories behind 15 objects from the archives using Annie’s letters and journal entries as context, and connecting them to her own travels. Visitors will be able to take part in a series of workshops and talks.

Reflections on current communication methods as opposed to those in practice during the time of Annie’s book ‘Voyage of the Sunbeam’ (1876-1877), will bring her journal writing to the fore and connect with the Museum’s use of social media which will play a role in telling people about the project, just as Annie’s book told of her travels.

Commenting on the award, Louise Kenward said: “Having visited other places called Bexhill around the world, I’m now really looking forward to returning to my home town, Bexhill-on-Sea and spending time with my travel companion, Annie Brassey. This grant gives me the opportunity to explore and share the collections she brought back from her voyages, now held at Bexhill Museum”.

Stuart McLeod of Heritage Lottery Fund praised the museum for “innovative insight into the collection of one of the first female travel writers. Many of the items collected by Annie Brassey are not currently on display and this project will ensure people can access them. Turn to page 42-43 to find out more about Lousise Kenwards travels to the world’s other Bexhills.