Maidenhead Heritage Centre celebrates 21st birthday

Maidenhead Heritage Centre celebrates 21st birthday

Lucy Golding

Maidenhead Heritage Centre celebrates 21st birthday

The chairman of Maidenhead Heritage Centre has thanked the supporters and volunteers who have helped it reach its 21st birthday.

Richard Poad, who has been working for the museum since the day it opened, says he is 'proud of the service' it has provided to Maidenhead since it opened on April 13, 1993.

The centre started as a six-month experiment in an empty office building in Moorbridge Road as a joint project between Maidenhead Civic Society and Maidenhead Archaeological and Historical Society.

In 2006 the centre moved to what was the Cricketers Arms pub in Park Street after it received a grant of more than £400,000 from The Louis Baylis Trust (Maidenhead Advertiser).

Since then the museum has staged a variety of local themed exhibitions including about Maidenhead Football Club, the river, charities and both world wars.

In 2011 Prince Michael of Kent opened the permanent exhibition 'Grandma Flew Spitfires' which celebrated the Second World War achievements of the Air Transport Auxiliary based in White Waltham.

Richard said: “A new exhibition takes at least a year to prepare.

"We are very lucky to have around 70 volunteers who work here in various capacities, including doing research and design for exhibitions and displays.

"Our curator Brian Boulter has been involved since 1994 and can be extremely proud of what he has achieved in the last 20 years."

In the next five years the centre's trustees are looking to move to a larger premises as part of the redevelopment around the Maidenhead Town Hall.

Richard added: "Maidenhead began when the first bridge was built around 1250, and good transport communications have always been vital to the town’s growth and prosperity.

"Wouldn’t it be marvellous to have a big enough museum to feature boats, trains, cars and even a Spitfire?"

The museum’s temporary programme for this year will include an exhibition about vintage cars made in Maidenhead and from September one about life at home in the First World War.

Maidenhead Heritage Centre is closed tomorrow (Good Friday 18) but open as usual on Easter Saturday.

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