4:00pm Saturday 26th May 2012
By Ben Wilkinson
RESIDENTS are being offered a sneak preview of Abingdon’s 17th century museum after its £3m revamp.
The County Hall Museum has been closed since October 2010 for restoration and refurbishment works.
As the project nears completion, museum staff and volunteers will be giving guided tours on Monday, June 4, during the Jubilee weekend.
The scheme is on budget and running to schedule and a July opening date should be announced soon.
Curator Jane Bowen said: “It’s marking the point where we are in the run-up to opening.
“We very much want to share the museum with Abingdon so I hope people will enjoy the tours.
“What they will see is the result of the building, conservation and restoration work. The building looks absolutely fantastic now.
“It’s been a very extensive programme. Everything from the weather vane down has had appropriate and necessary repairs. Anyone who knew the museum before will be amazed at how different it looks.”
Work includes a lift down to a renovated basement with a restored pump from the early 20th century and a new kitchen, cafe and education room.
Julie Mayhew-Archer, chairman of the museum committee on Abingdon Town Council, said: “It isn’t, of course, all finished.
“What people will see on the guided tour is a very special opportunity to get a preview of what it will look like and to see what it looks like inside.
“It’s very exciting and hard to believe we have nearly got there.
“People are really excited that it looks so good and so clean and I think people will be interested to see inside.
“They won’t see the displays but in a way that allows you to concentrate on the building.”
l Tickets for the tours are on sale from the town council offices in Abbey Close.
There are 90 spaces in all on the 11am, noon and 2pm slots.
Tours will last about an hour and cost £4 for adults and £3 for concessions.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group