Having followed with interest the letters on the future of the Redoubt, I visited the ‘Summerdown Camp’ exhibition and did indeed find it uninspiring. It mostly consisted of information boards and falls into the latest popular fad of exhibitions and TV shows of factoring on local or personal stories, which are all very well and certainly have their place, but lack depth. It is like trying to tell the story of the First World War solely through the eyes of a few war poets. To teach or show history successfully you have to display and understand the wider historical context and perspective as well, which this exhibition clearly lacked. The tedium was only relieved by the loaned artefacts on display from the military collections (which they want to close) and other museums.
Therefore I have say that, on balance, I incline to Mr Goldsmith’s assessment and his central point, that if this is replicated in the new proposed museum, then indeed the local taxpayer is facing funding a white elephant.
As the ‘Story of Eastbourne’ is already fully covered in the excellent Heritage Centre in Carlisle Road which is staffed entirely by volunteers, costs the taxpayer nothing and will be directly opposite the new Cultural Hub when built (in the right location) it begs the question: Why would anyone in their right mind want to squander several million pounds of local taxpayers’ money building a duplicate facility? It’s a barking proposal and should be kicked into the long grass by councillors never to reappear!
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