Funeral Director Supports Crawley Museum

West Sussex Funeral Directors, Freeman Brothers, has been serving the local community in and around Horsham, Crawley, Hurstpierpoint and Billingshurst since 1855. The company offers support to the local community in a variety of ways beyond the scope of funeral directing, and does so by supporting local events designed to add to the cultural wealth of […]

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Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors staff member Jen

West Sussex Funeral Directors, Freeman Brothers, has been serving the local community in and around Horsham, Crawley, Hurstpierpoint and Billingshurst since 1855. The company offers support to the local community in a variety of ways beyond the scope of funeral directing, and does so by supporting local events designed to add to the cultural wealth of the region. Recently, we were asked to support an exciting new venture at Crawley Museum that proved to be out of this world! Jennifer explains why the decision to sponsor the event was ‘entirely logical, Captain.’

It’s not often that we are invited to attend events of galactic significance, but on Thursday 7th February, Jennifer and Vicky from our Crawley office were delighted to attend a special viewing of Crawley Museum’s latest temporary exhibition, Sci-Fi Fashion from TV and Film, representing Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors as the Museum’s latest new corporate sponsor.

The exhibition, which is on loan from its usual home in Scotland, made the (relatively) short journey through space and time to thrill Crawley audiences by providing a rare glimpse behind the ‘seams’. The displays include costumes, props and special-effect items from a range of well-known TV shows and films, including Red Dwarf, Dune and The Hunger Games, alongside reproduction items from Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of which have been generously loaned to the Museum by Reigate’s independent comic shop, Miwk Collectibles.

The displays are spread across the ground and first floors, with a television showing clips where many of the items are in use. Moreover, the Museum, which specialises in making history and culture appealing and accessible to children and young people, has provided a wealth of interactive activities to help get the whole family interested in learning about this fascinating aspect of film production.

This themed presentation, which bears no particular link to Crawley as a town or to the study and recording of local history, is the second of its kind to take place at the Museum in as many years. It builds on the success of the Museum’s ‘Stegosaurus Uncovered’ exhibition in early 2023, which was centred on a 5 metre cast of a dinosaur skeleton. It is part of the Museum’s ongoing commitment to offering interesting exhibitions for children and young people, to engage and highlight the presence and role of the Museum to the youth of Crawley.

According to the Museum’s Curator, Holly Parsons, she and the Museum’s dedicated in-house Learning and Education Officer (supported and overseen by a dedicated team of trustees) hope to go on hosting similar displays across February and March each year to provide variety to families looking for entertainment in the half term and throughout the chilly late-winter months, as well as providing an indirect introduction to the interesting and exciting displays the Museum already has to offer. We here at Freeman Brothers are excited to learn what next year’s exhibition theme will be!

Crawley Museum, which has been based in its current home in the High Street since the mid-eighties, houses a wealth of records and social history artefacts from Crawley and the surrounding area, spanning archaeological discoveries from the beginnings of settlement right up to the modern period with fascinating displays on the Victorians, wartime Crawley and the establishment of the ‘New Town’ in the late 1940s. The Museum is also custodian of the Ifield Watermill: a 17th century watermill, thought to be the only working example of its kind still powered by its original source – the Ifield Millpond.

The Museum’s annual programme of temporary exhibitions offers unique insights into Crawley’s multifaceted history and culture with something for everyone. Aside from its exhibitions and displays, the Museum also plays host to a large number of local groups, events and talks, including the Crawley Writers Circle, whose members have generously provided examples of original writing inspired by Science Fiction to the current display.

‘Sci-Fi Fashion: An Exhibition of Costumes from Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure Movies’ is on until 30th March 2024 and visitors are welcome throughout the Museum’s stated opening hours: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10-4pm (though extra sessions have been scheduled for the week of half term, see the Museum’s website for details). The exhibition is housed over two floors (which are fully accessible to those with limited mobility) and staff, volunteers and trustees will be on-hand to provide a warm welcome and to guide you through the Museum and its galleries. Entry is free (though donations to the work of the Museum are welcome) and visitors can extend their visit by spending time in the Museum’s permanent local history galleries where information and artefacts from Crawley’s rich history, dating back to Anglo Saxon times, and interactive activities for old and young alike can be found.

Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors is delighted to have been invited to support Crawley Museum in this enterprise, and hopes to continue as a supporter and benefactor of this important Crawley institution in the years to come. We are fully committed to supporting local charities, organisations and events, both financially and with practical support, such as specialist advice, printing and resources, or prizes. If you represent a charitable organisation or are planning a social, cultural or fundraising event, please contact our Community Team on 01403 254590 or by emailing community@freemanbrothers.co.uk to find out how we can help, or visit https://www.freemanbrothers.co.uk/community/ for more.

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Written by Jennifer Bolt

Funeral Support Assistant

February 28, 2024

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