Exhibitions and Displays
We have lots of displays in various rooms throughout the Museum covering a whole range of themes throughout Maldon's social history and showcasing examples of how life once was.
As you step into the museum you will be greeted by our wonderful volunteer stewards just on the right behind the counter. They will greet you and offer you a guide and entry ticket(s) on transaction. To allow for greater distancing space, we've removed the shelves that formed part of the old Book Shop. Directly in front of you, you can see three wonderful paintings by one of our former volunteers Liz Willsher depicting Maldon through time. Just to the right on display on the wall is an array of clay pipes that were made and found in Maldon over the centuries.
Immediately to the left from facing the counter and past the counter you'll come into the Long Room. In this room you will find that there is plenty to see! One the left wall you'll find examples of items used in boat and ship building, items used by the Maldon Constabulary and a timeline of Maldon's major events through time. On the right hand side you'll find a mockup of a bakers bread oven (including a rather dapper baker) and a vintage shop front showing off all sorts of branded tins and items from the past. At the end of the room, you'll find a tricycle used by Kathleen's Kitchen, a bakery local to Maldon with many fond memories of fresh sausage rolls, cream cakes and doughnuts. Situated at the head of the room is the old 'Merryweather Manual Machine' used by the Maldon Fire Brigade in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. This machine, purchased and donated to the old Maldon Fire Brigade by Edward J Smith in 1877 and would have likely been used to help tackle the 'Great Fire of Maldon' in the High Street in 1892.
After you’ve stepped back past the front counter you’ll be in the Main Hall. On the left wall you’ll find our new exhibition called 'Transport of Yesteryear' featuring images and articles from Bates Cycle Co. of Maldon, the Bentall's Car manufactured by Bentall's of Heybridge and pride of place our resident Penny Farthing bicycle. On the right hand wall you’ll find our Time and Tide display showing how life once was for fishermen on Maldon’s waterfront as well as old photos showing the Promenade through time. On the back wall you’ll find a 'OO' gauge scale model of Maldon East (and Heybridge) railway station which opened in 1847 and closed to all rail traffic in 1966 after the Dr Beeching Report. You will also find other photos and artefacts representing Maldon’s railway heritage.
Stepping through down the corridor and looking on your right you’ll come to our 1940’s Room depicting life during the Second World War. You can find plenty of examples of how life would have been for many people during the war with examples of household items used during the 40s and examples of Ration Books and newspaper headlines describing the biggest events during the decade. Immediately opposite this display is a board commemorating the First World War with examples of veterans' medals, painting and photos of Maldon and its servicemen during that time.
Continue on into the Victorian Scullery or wash room for a glimpse of what work may have been like for a Victorian scullery maid or washerwoman. You’ll find examples of old press irons, items of cloth and a mangle for wringing out linen amongst other items.
Victorian Room / Cath Backus Room
Continuing the Victorian theme we come to the Cath Backus Room named after the original founder of the ‘Maldon District Museum Association’. In here you’ll find a variety of objects related to the 19th Century including medals and coins, ornaments, an organ and a Thomas Edison phonograph c. 1900 as well as various displays relating to Maldon during the era.
Back on yourself briefly at the bottom of the stairs you’ll find displays relating to Maldon’s theatre and cinematic past including film posters and photos of actors from Hollywood's Golden Age of Cinema. You will also see photos and other memorabillia from Maldon's two cinemas: The Hippodrome which was located in the High Street where the Sark restaurant and Peacocks store is now which closed in the 1930's and the Embassy which closed in the early 1980s. Upstairs on the landings you’ll find our relocated 'Stones, Bones and Old Pots' with some of our archaeological pieces and two specimens of human skulls. One that was recovered at the time of the building of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal and the other of the 19th C. local murderer William Seymour. on the right, a small display about HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s two visits to Maldon in 1971 and 2012. Over on the other side is a display of late 19th C. rifles and at the very top of the stairs, a display on one of Maldon’s most famous residents Edward Bright aka The Fat Man of Maldon with updated information about him provided by local historian Lynne Raymond.
Coming to our penultimate room of displays it’s the Sadds Room. This room is dedicated to Maldon and Heybridge’s industrial past with displays and artefacts from two of the biggest industrial companies Sadds of Maldon and Bentalls of Heybridge. Inside you’ll find model boats and barges built at Bentalls and Sadds, a woodwork shop and family histories of Sadds and Bentalls amongst other things. Two models of Thames sailing barges owned by the companies are also on display.
Step inside Room 9 and you'll be met with a bright and airy room which is host to a number of smaller exhibits. You will also find our Reading Corner, an area of the Museum for visitors of all ages to sit and browse through the various text books including local history and interest books that cover Maldon's history as well as that of the District and Essex as a whole. There are also many articles and other booklets and folders of information that will fascinate you. Also availble is a selection of history books aimed for children's learning. There is also an area for children's activities.
Room 9 has a revolving theme of new exhibits. It will soon have an exhibition on the history of youth groups in Maldon with a focus on their importance for helping to develop the lives of young people which will run from Easter until the end of July. From July until closing in late October, a contrast, as we will be putting on an exhibit on Maldon's military history, from the Battle of Maldon 991 until the 20th Century.