History of Gosport Museum and Friends

A potted history of the Gosport Museum and how the Friends became involved.
Gosport Museum Old Building
Building was built as a Technical Library, used as a Grammar School then a museum, gallery and SEARCH Geology Gallery, and Local Studies Centre

The Gosport Museum was founded in 1975 to record all aspects of the history of Gosport from the earliest times to the present. It was housed, where the old Central Library had been and the Grammar School before that. This is the building in the photograph.

The Beginning of The Friends

In 1990 Ian Edleman the Curator of the Gosport Museum at that time created the Friends to support the Museum helping with the exhibits and items in the store. The inaugural meeting was held in the Gosport Council Chamber on Monday 22nd October at 7pm for a 7.30pm meeting. This set-up a Steering Committee. After 4 meetings of the Steering Committee, the Founder Members Inaugural Meeting was Monday 20th May 1991. I have been advised that the first membership was paid and membership number issued, 9101 on the 15th March 1991. In 1991 there were 32 members. The current membership is 36 but the hope is a few have not renewed yet as there were 46 by the end of the 2016/17 year. 

Thank you to David Moore who gave me that information and cleared up a number of questions I had about the past officers and committee.  I feel the beginning of The Friends of Gosport Museum was that date. See the lead up and following in the past Newsletters.

I hope that you will have time to look up the past and current newsletters . Also the list of Friends of Gosport Museum past and current officers and committee members.  I have other records from the Friends past, so please let me know if you think other items could be added to the web site. 

The Logos Used Past and Present
Original Logo by James Davidson

The Logo used aside takes us back to the Newsletter of March 1991, which I understand was the second one produced. The caption at the time was, ‘The new logo has been designed by James Davidson, Senior Designer
for the Hampshire County Museum Service’, so this is a flash-back to the early days of the Friends of Gosport Museum.

Since this website was created a new logo at the top of the home page has been created by Maggie and David and is now used on this web site and the current Newsletters.

What has happened

In 2005 the Museum joined with the Central Library to become part of the new Discovery Centre. Containing displays, graphic panels, computer images and artifact’s continue to tell the story of Gosport. It is housed in the main Discovery Centre building as the Museum-on-the-Mezzanine and now Museum @ Gosport Discovery Centre.

The former Museum building opposite the Discovery Centre was then the Local Studies Centre with a wealth of books, maps, photographs and documents. The building also houses the Hampshire Geology Gallery. This is dedicated to David Kemp including fossils which are millions of years old of Hampshire back to the dinosaurs. It also has Monty the woolly mammoth. SEARCH the hands-on museum is in the same building. This contains the 19th and mid 20th century room set (occasional public openings).

The Hampshire Cultural Trust

The Museum as well as the Gosport Gallery and SEARCH are no longer run by Hampshire County Council but since 1st November 2014 by Hampshire Cultural Trust. There are the beginning of plans by the Hampshire Cultural Trust for the future. The Hampshire Cultural Trust can look into how they can be publicized and run. From 1st April 2019 the building  that has been  a free technological library, a grammar school and more recently  SEARCH, Gosport Gallery,  Geology Gallery and Local Studies Centre which is now called Gosport Museum and Art Gallery came under the Hampshire Cultural Trust. 

There are plans  for redevelopment and the hope is that work will start in April 2020. This has now been delayed due to Covid 19, but fundraising has been continued with and most has been raised. See Bryony Hope item in the Newsletter for September/ October 2020