Housed in an old industrial building on the site of a former market garden, Deal Maritime and Local History Museum itself has as rich a history as the exhibits it displays and cares for within its walls.
In the mid nineteenth century the site became a series of workshops, with the owner living in the cottage next door. In 1867 Willard Sawyer built and stored velocipedes, an early bicycle, in the main building fronting St George’s Road and lived along the road with his photographer son William Sawyer.
Upstairs, in the main museum building, the long workshop was used for building ladders for the hop fields surrounding the town and they were taken out through the first floor doorway. Later the workshop became stores for vegetables, then an ironmongers/builders merchant before becoming a garage to the neighbouring property. Miss Nora Oppitz donated the building for a museum and from her generosity Deal Maritime and Local History Museum was born.
The museum is a charity, run by a board of trustees, and is maintained and developed by volunteers. We aim to provide opportunities for individuals and families to explore, enjoy and be inspired by the past in and around Deal, and promote learning and research at all levels.
Our objectives are
- the maintenance and development of a museum in Deal for the exhibition to the public of artefacts and displays illustrating the history of Deal, Walmer and district.
- the extension, enhancement, conservation, maintenance, preservation and storage of the collections of the museum;
- the fostering of an environment where visitors of all ages are able to explore, and be inspired by, the history of the local area;
- the provision of opportunities for research and learning relating to the collections of the museum;
- the facilitation of the ongoing recording of the history of Deal and district.
Members of the board of trustees are: