Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Oyez, oyez, oyez... Fairlynch free at last!

Roger Bourgein announces the good news that entry to Fairlynch Museum will be free for all

Exmouth Town Crier Roger Bourgein made sure that everyone in Budleigh Salterton's town centre on Friday 1 June 2012 got the message. His powerful voice made the streets echo to the sound of the proclamation that Fairlynch Museum had at last taken the decision to scrap admission charges.

Keeping up two British traditions at Budleigh Salterton

Sweet news for Budleigh: Roger outside the town's newly opened Sweet Treats

Roger tempted by sweet samples from the shop's Marilyn Jackson

The news was first broken at the Museum's AGM on Monday 14 May, and was welcomed by Friends of Fairlynch, many of whom had been pressing for an end to entrance fees.

Roger outside Bradleys estate agents, one of Fairlynch Museum's valued supporters

Museum Chairman Roger Sherriff, in announcing the move, said that it had been over ten years since entrance fees to museums were scrapped as part of a government plan to widen access to the nations's culture and heritage.

Giving the butchers a bell

"Since December 2001, when charges were dropped, museums in the UK have seen visitor rates more than double," he said.

"Fairlynch has played a unique and valuable role in conserving for residents and visitors the history and traditions of the Lower Otter Valley since the Museum opened in 1967.  But it's been obvious that many potential visitors have been put off coming to Fairlynch because of our admission fees."

A message for Budleigh tourists at the TIC

Some amazing dresses at Plume

With the scrapping of fees at Fairlynch, due to take force from 1 June, Exmouth will be the only East Devon museum still charging for admission.

The Cream of Town Criers

Outside The Cosy Teapot

"We face an enormous challenge at Fairlynch", explained Roger Sherriff. "We have a wonderful 200-year-old building which is one of the most photographed and painted landmarks of this part of Devon. Unfortunately it requires constant maintenance. We will be relying on the generosity of donations from visitors to help meet the running costs of the Museum and of the very special collections that it houses.  

A red-tape day for Fairlynch

"The Trustees have only been able to take this step to free admission because of a generous legacy left to the Museum by the late Tony Colmer who, with his late wife Angela, were valued contributors of their time and knowledge. Their involvement is sadly missed, and their generosity to the Museum in these difficult times is deeply appreciated.”

Town Crier Roger Bourgein was entertained to lunch on the day of the proclamation at The Feathers Hotel, seen above, by a group of Friends of Fairlynch keen to witness the historic event.

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