The Museum in the Park is the oldest museum in Maldon, and has existed in different locations sporadically since the early 1920’s.
It started life as the Maldon Borough Museum located in London Road on the site that was to become the fire station, almost opposite the old Court House. In 1938 when the fire station was built, the Collection moved briefly to the High Street in a building owned by the Borough Council. In 1939 when war broke out the Collection was moved and put into storage in a shed, adjacent to the Council Offices on Market Hill, now Hill House Park. Many items were stolen or damaged.
Mrs Catherine Backus who lived opposite on Market Hill, discovered the remains of the Collection and together with a group of like minded people, formed the Maldon District Museum Association. In 1968 they installed the Collection in rooms above Mathews Shop in the High Street, where Prezzo’s now exists.
Thames Barge Display
In that location the Collection grew in size, and importance to the town. However when the Collection outgrew the premises which were sold in about 1990, the Collection was moved to The Spindles in Church Walk adjacent to the current Oak House Restaurant.
In 1996, the Park Keepers House built at the Entrance to Promenade Park, with a bequest from Col. Cramphorn, became vacant, and Maldon District Council offered it as a location for the Museum, which continues to this day. The Museum leads a precarious existence, entirely managed and staffed by Volunteers. Maldon District Council kindly providing occasional maintenance.
Display featuring Greens Flour Millers and Bentall Ploughs
The Museum contains an eclectic mix of items, illustrating past person and business life around Maldon, and complements the other two local Museums, The Museum of Power and the Military Museum.
As of May 2017 Judy Betteridge, retired as Vice Chairman having been involved with the Museum for 17 years, principally being involved in accessions and display, ensuring all Items were stored correctly, and designing displays with her partner in crime Liz Wilsher who stood down a short while before. Judy who shunned personal publicity was the “Force Majeure” of the Museum, with her unrestrained wit, and ebullient personality