A slice of Weymouth’s rich history will be in the public eye once again as a beloved museum prepares to re-open. 

Weymouth Museum, which has been closed since 2016, is set to open its doors again in March this year after teams have been busy relocating its displays. 

Following a huge effort by trustees and volunteers, the temporary site on the edge of Brewers Quay is almost ready for its grand opening event, where it will be officially opened by historian Professor Ronald Hutton in conjunction with the Crabchurch Conspiracy weekend.

The weekend commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Weymouth and the preceding Siege of Melcombe in 1645.

It occurred during the English Civil War as a result of a royalist plot to overthrow the parliamentarian garrison within Weymouth and Melcombe.

In a public open day on Thursday, potential volunteers flocked to sign up and become a part of the museum team. 
The museum features items dating from the Roman era to modern times including artefacts and costumes, and memoirs from the two World Wars. 

Visitors will also see the skeleton of a woman from Wyke Regis, thought to date back to the 3rd century AD, as well as a football kit donated by the first female referee.

Marcia Headon, chairman of the Weymouth Museum trustees, said: "It's very exciting. An enormous amount of work has gone into putting this together. 

"We've had a lot of interest from people wanting the museum to be regenerated, people in the community feel they have been bereft of it. Weymouth people deserve to know their history."
The museum is preparing to welcome visitors of all ages as it plans to host children's activities as well as an in-depth look at the history of the town.

Alongside the displays, the museum offers its own information service which manages the Local History Collection, and can be contacted by anyone interested in researching the local area or the people who have lived or worked there.

The collection includes microfilm copies of records of the old borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis and Portland Urban District Council, which in some cases dates back to the 14th century.

Pauline Carter, chairman of the Friends of Weymouth Museum, said a tour of the museum will provide visitors with "a glimpse through Weymouth's history."

Speaking about the public open day, Pauline said: "It's been really encouraging. It has made it all worthwhile, we have picked up some volunteers who are really interested in supporting the opening of the museum."

And despite working hard to produce the new displays, the museum trustees believe what they have on offer is only five per cent of their whole collection. The museum is in the process of applying for a stage one bid for Heritage Lottery Funding ahead of the planned opening of its larger site in 2020.

Versant Developments and Homes, which has provided the temporary space for the museum to reopen, bought Brewers Quay in late 2016 with renovation planned for 2017. Development work is currently being carried out in the main building. 

Linda Phillips, who has been a dedicated steward at the museum for three years, said: "We are here to tell people what the museum is all about and answer questions where we can.

"I have always been interested in history, especially to do with the Romans. The history of the place we live in is so fascinating."

Weymouth Museum will be open to the public on Thursday, March 1, with the official opening with Professor Hutton taking place on Friday, March 2.

The museum is looking for volunteers to become part of the team. Visit weymouthmuseum.org.uk