Exhibits including Nelson's hair face uncertain future as museum emptied

Cannons being removed from the Norfolk Nelson Museum courtyard in Great Yarmouth

Cannons being removed from the Norfolk Nelson Museum courtyard in Great Yarmouth in January. - Credit: Submitted

Thousands of exhibits dedicated to Admiral Lord Nelson including a lock of his hair and his boyhood penknife have been locked away, after a museum was cleared out.

The memorabilia had been on display since 2002 in the former Nelson Museum, on South Quay in Great Yarmouth, until the building closed more than a year ago due to declining visitor numbers and the removal of council funding.

The Norfolk Nelson Museum Picture: Archant

The Norfolk Nelson Museum Picture: Archant - Credit: Nick Butcher

Over the last few weeks, all exhibits have been removed from the building and placed into storage, and on February 5, the keys were handed back to the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust (GYPT), which owns the property.

Kerry Robinson-Payne, the former museum's curator, said: "It was quite emotional to see an empty museum and closing the door for the last time."

A portrait of Lord Horatio Nelson.

A portrait of Lord Horatio Nelson. - Credit: Archant

The original collection was started by Ben Burgess, an avid Nelson enthusiast.

Chris Brett, vice-chairman of the Nelson Society, said: "It's disappointing. Obviously we would like to see the Nelson artefacts on display, but we're keen that the collection is kept together."

Curator, staff and volunteers on the last day of the Nelson Museum’s opening.

Curator, staff and volunteers on the last day of the Norfolk Nelson Museum’s opening. - Credit: Submitted


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GYPT is planning to reopen the building as an art gallery.

David Cansick lowering the flag for the last time

David Cansick lowering the flag for the last time at the Norfolk Nelson Museum in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Submitted


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