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The Regal Room

What you think about us

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"It is always a pleasure to visit the fantastic Rayleigh Town Museum,
my most recent visit on the 1st March was to see the super exhibition on the history
of the railway in Rayleigh with its significance to evolution of the town since 1889."

Mark Francois MP

Very good to see a celebration of local history.
Warm welcome by volunteers
Important to maintain links with the past.
Well done!

Pauline, Aix en Provence, France

Thank you, such an interesting collection.

Helen & Simon, Leytonstone

Lovely to see the Museum open again & thank you Mike for the tour. Best wishes to you all.

Cllr Robin Dray, Chairman of Rochford District Council

We went to the museum at the weekend. Your exhibition was incredible, managed to find our house in a couple of your photos! The museum itself was great, the volunteers were really helpful and keen to answer any questions. Interesting and well worth a visit.

Lisa Fowle via Facebook

What a wonderful museum! Thank you for letting us all come along.

Rayleigh Primary School

Big shout out to Rayleigh Town Museum. Lovely volunteers, interesting exhibitions, brilliant Christmas activities for the children. My children and I had a lovely visit this morning. A real local gem and worth a visit.

Victoria Marzouki - How via Facebook

What a great asset to Rayleigh. So interesting and I learnt a lot about the town. Thanks so much for a job done by the volunteers. I'll be back.

Pauline King, Waiuku, Sth Auckland, NZ.

What a hidden Gem!
Thank you to the wonderful volunteers for their help and stories. Really interesting exhibition about the Railway.

Jessica Rayner, Leigh on Sea

Thank you very much! A quite wonderful museum.

Jennifer Tolhurst
HM Lord Lieutenant

Went and saw the Railway Exhibition today - it’s really well researched and worth a visit with plenty of rare photos I’d never seen before ??- well done Rayleigh Town Museum!

Danny Hickey
Via Facebook

Thanks so much for the WW2 display. Great to see the items such as gas masks and to learn about the Home Guard. Amazed at how thick and itchy the uniforms were! It really brought history to life, thank you to all the volunteers who made it possible.

Hazel Hargraves
Via Facebook

Thanks to Mike and Trevor for the tour of Rayleigh Town and and all the stories. We all found it really interesting. A very enjoyable afternoon.

Many thanks
Julia Harding and members of the SLH U3A local history group

Not enough time to enjoy. Fascinating.

Rick Ashton, New Zealand.

I Love this museum.
An interesting little find.
Thanks for your hospitality.

Olivia, Aged 5

Wonderful Museum. Hidden Treasure.

David Cunningham

Brilliant Museum,lovely speaking to the staff and hearing their passion.

Stuart and Tanya

A surprising discovery and well worth a visit. Good effort by volunteers. Many thanks.

Graham Collett, York.

A simply lovely local museum with lots of interesting items. Will come again.

Digby Fairweather

Far too many albums to go through in one sitting, but very informative. Bought a small library of books too. Thank you very much

Gareth Budd, Sydney NSW Australia

Thank you so much for all of your help and support over the past academic year. It is much appreciated.
Looking forward to working with you again during 2018-19

Best wishes
Down Hall School

Thank you all for a most enjoyable visit to your Town Museum

Hadleigh Evening WI

Very impressive museum with great local displays to give a visitor insights into Rayleigh.

K Hageman

Many thanks to Trevor & all the volunteers for putting the Speedway talk on again. My Dad (Stan Simpkins) & I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wanted to take him but didn't think it would really be my thing, however I found it really interesting & entertaining and Dad was in his element, thank you so much for making us welcome. And for all you do to preserve & research the history of Rayleigh!

Hazel Hargraves
via Facebook

Very interesting, great gem to visit and see history of clips of history...lovely guides,,,,free and interesting

via Trip Advisor

Suffragettes, Excellent, informative and interesting.

Patricia Weaver

Hi Susan,
Thank you for a lovely afternoon. You and Viv looked after us so well. All our members thoroughly enjoyed the visit and no doubt you will see more of them over the course of time.
Kind Regards,

From Hawkwell U3A

This is a real labour of love for those involved and their efforts really are worthwhile. There is a substantial collection of pictures and paper cuttings along with some other items of interest, such as some of the original stain glass windows from the since demolished speedway/greyhound stadium. Many of the pictures are fascinating for comparisons as how the area looks today, especially those of the high street. The stories behind some of the local people and businesses are also great reading and for anyone with an interest in the town and its locality I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is all capped off by very friendly staff who are willing to talk about the museum.

From Bigaitch27
via Trip Advisor

Thank you very much indeed for the wonderful talk you gave to the FOSMS (Friends of Southend Museums) group on Thursday. On the way out so many people were telling me how much they had enjoyed it - all were smiling and one gentleman said it was 'inspiring', they all agreed!
I'm sure many will visit the Museum, I certainly will.

All Best Wishes,

Very interesting & looking forward to finding out if any of my ancestors were suffragettes!

Anne Howes

Very important and an absolute treasure to the town, thank you!!

Keith Needham

Quaint little museum with lots to see and do. The volunteers are enthusiastic and very welcoming. Entry to the museum is free and there are activities for children of all ages. A lovely little curiosity and great way to spend a bit of time

Tom Bill
via Google

Hello Mike
Many thanks for your informative and entertaining walk and talk this morning, it was very much enjoyed by us all. Can we also congratulate you on your excellent, interesting and welcoming Museum, such a delightful place.

Thank you also for providing us with the Heritage Trail leaflets, I know that many of our group commented that they will be returning soon with friends and family to cover the route again.

Well done and thanks to you all

Billericay U3A
Local History Group

I went to the museum during a visit to Rayleigh, entry is free and it is open on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM until 4 PM. There is much of historical interest about Rayleigh including photographs and objects including camera's and a cinema projector. There are also archives to study. Well worth a visit, highly recommended.

Via Trip Advisor

"I love visiting the museum. It's fascinating to see and hear so many relics and stories from Rayleigh's past. What's really good is that you are welcome to sit and pore over a wealth of old photos and postcards and go through archives of documents and booklets. Every Rayleigh resident should check it out to get a totally new perspective of our town!"

Sarah Turner

"A lovely little museum stacked with local history"

Robert Grieve

Hi, greetings all the way from Lower Hutt New Zealand. Just to let you guys know I received a copy of your 2018 Heritage Calendar today posted to me by my sister in Rayleigh.
Rayleigh was my home town for 55 years and it is fantastic to have the calendar arrive. I believe this will be the furthest one of these calendars will travel ( unless you know different)

Kind regards and keep up the good work guys, have a great festive season.
Richard Ashton.

Thank you so much for the thought provoking assemblies recently on Remembrance. The pupils enjoyed hearing about local stories and the impact of war on Rayleigh itself. We look forward to working with you again in the future.

Mrs Latey

Brilliant exhibition and very friendly staff

From Georgina Roberts

The museum is quite small but full of info & very interesting facts. Worth a visit

From Janice Hughes

Home Front

Rayleigh and Wickford MP and Patron of the Rayleigh Town Museum, Mark Francois, dropped by the museum recently in order to see our special exhibition on life on the Home Front in Rayleigh during World War Two.

Mark viewed a number of exhibits including photographs of Rayleigh taken during the war, documents advising the Rayleigh Urban District Council on what to do in the event of a German invasion and a number of other artefacts including some weapons from the time. Mark also saw documents in relation to the rationing that people had to undergo during war time.

The exhibition was brought to life by Trevor, a volunteer from the Hertfordshire Home Guard Historical Re-enactment Society, who was present in his Home Guard uniform with a variety of de-activated weapons and was able to answer questions from visitors about what it was like to serve in the Home Guard during World War Two. The exhibition, which ran for several weeks, was very popular and received hundreds of visitors, including parties of local school children keen to learn about the history of the war in their community.

Commenting on his visit to the museum, Mark Francois said: “One of the really nice features about our new museum in Rayleigh is their ingenuity in constantly updating their exhibitions, in order to make them relevant to the visiting public. As we approach this time of remembrance, I think it particularly fitting that the museum laid on an exhibition about life on the Home Front in Rayleigh during the war, to give people today some idea of the privations that people had to go through in order to resist the Nazi threat. I give the museum full marks for laying on such a good presentation and I would also like to thank Trevor for providing a special extra something in his re-created role as a member of the Home Guard.” Mark Francois MP and Trevor

Visit from Chairman of Essex County Council

The Chairman of Essex County Council, Cllr John Aldridge visited the museum with his wife Christine.
Cllr Aldridge wrote "A remarkable enterprise that reflects the energy of the curators and the community spirit of the town of Rayleigh." in our visitors book. Behind Cllr Aldridge and his wife are Chairman of the Museum, Mike Davies and Sue Smith.

Mike Davies, Sue Smith, Cllr John Aldridge and Wife Christine

Please check back here regularly for updates on our progress and information on fundraising events.

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Rayleigh Town Museum, 1st floor, 91, High Street, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7EJ
Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Museum Telephone 01268 773535 (answerphone when we are not open)

Charitable Incorporated Organisation 1159405