(Above) The Elva engineers reunited. Picture courtesy Rother District Council
The revamped Bexhill Museum will open its doors to the public on Friday July 31 following a £2million refurbishment and extension.
The main Henry Sargent gallery has been refitted to show pieces from the town's long history as well as dinosaur remains of international importance, giant crabs and Egyptology artefacts.
At a special preview event, some lucky locals got a glimpse of the refurbished museum that was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Rother District council and the society of Bexhill Museums.
(Above) Browsing in the revamped giftshop. Picture courtesy Rother District Council
"People were queuing down the street and knocking on the door before the opening because they were so eager to see inside," said Society of Museums chief executive Peter Fairhurst.
"It's difficult to describe how satisfying this is. Everyone involved with the project has done us proud."
Car enthusiasts who attended the event enjoyed the permanent motoring collection which contains the world record-breaking electric powered Volta, a replica of a steam-driven 1902 Serpollent and the rare Bexhill built sports car, the Elva.
The engineers who worked on the original car helped to refurbish the museum vehicle and posed with it at the event.
(Above) Cllr Deirdre Williams, Cllr Carl Maynard and Cllr Joy Hughes at the preview. Picture courtesy of Rother District Council
The museum is now also home to Bexhill's costume collection, moving from its former home in the Old Town, and there is also a dedicated education room to support school visits.
"This project makes the museum so special – it's not like other museums which can be stale and put people off, but is vibrant while being sympathetic to the old building," said Cllr Deirdre Williams, project sponsor for the museum.
Rother District Council leader Cllr Carl Maynard added: "This shows just how committed the Council is to regeneration. It is not just for the people here today to enjoy but people in the future."
Opens 10am. For more information follow the details below.