End of era as shops museum goes on sale

The owners of a popular Eastbourne museum who have seen visitors from around the world walk through their doors are selling up.

It will be the end of an era for Graham and Jan Upton and many residents when they finally close the doors of How We Lived Then Museum of Shops. The pair, who opened up back in May 1988, have reluctantly and sadly put the business on the market.

Graham and Jan Upton owners of Eastbournes 'Museum of Shops'. January 21st 2014 E03168Q

Graham and Jan Upton owners of Eastbournes 'Museum of Shops'. January 21st 2014 E03168Q

He said, “It is with reluctance we’re selling up. We’re both past retirement age and unfortunately over a year ago I was quite seriously ill.

“Thankfully I’m on the mend but it makes you think about your future.”

He added, “We’re going to do everything in our power to sell it to someone who will carry it on.”

The couple, who are keen to find the right person to sell to before they move on, are both keen collectors and decided to set up shop after being told their house looked like a museum.

The couple officially opened up shop in Cornfield Terrace in May 1988 and last year celebrated 25 years.

Museum of Shops boasts more than 100,000 exhibits on four floors and includes an ironmongers, chemist shop as well as a gift shop and much more. As well as seeing people of all ages walk through the door the couple, who live in the Rodmill area, have also welcomed a host of famous faces including actors Ian Lavender, Letitia Dean and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Jan said, “We’ve had visitors come back year after year, some who say this is my fifth year. It’s well loved.”

Graham added, “People sometimes say what age group does the place appeal to, we say for the young it’s history and for old people it’s nostalgia.”

The museum and shop will be re-opening to the public on Saturday February 1, having been closed for spring cleaning and improvements.

To watch a video of the couple talking to the Herald visit: www.eastbourneherald.co.uk