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Open day’s ray of hope for Valerie Howkins’ Museum of Memories

PUBLISHED: 12:05 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:11 27 September 2017

Valerie Howkins at the opening of her Happy and Glorious exhibition staged for Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee  Picture: James Bass

Valerie Howkins at the opening of her Happy and Glorious exhibition staged for Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Valerie Howkins was as much a treasure as the hoard of eclectic items that filled her quirky museum of memories in Great Yarmouth.

The David Howkins Museum of Memories in King Street. 

Picture: James Bass The David Howkins Museum of Memories in King Street. Picture: James Bass

And now a glimmer of hope has emerged over its long-term future following her death in November last year.

Her daughter Eva was facing the prospect of breaking up the lifetime’s collection of oddities gathered behind glass in the former gas show room in King Street.

But following a two day opening that was meant as a “last chance to see” the future looks more positive.

Some 1000 people visited the attraction for free on Friday and Saturday, with many more who couldn’t make it saying they hoped it would open again.

Valerie Howkins' Museum of Memories includes e a room filled with  furniture covered in thousands of postage stamps created by Albert Schafer.

Picture: James Bass Valerie Howkins' Museum of Memories includes e a room filled with furniture covered in thousands of postage stamps created by Albert Schafer. Picture: James Bass

MORE: What now for Great Yarmouth Museum of Memories following death of its devoted founder?

Miss Howkins said she was astounded by the turnout.

“It was absolutely amazing, it was unbelievable,” she said.

“There were so many lovely comments about the museum and mum. She would have been so touched by it all.

The David Howkins Charity Museum in King Street, Great Yarmouth.
Happy and Glorious themed as a tribute to Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.
Valerie Howkins


Picture: James Bass The David Howkins Charity Museum in King Street, Great Yarmouth. Happy and Glorious themed as a tribute to Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. Valerie Howkins Picture: James Bass

“Some had been before and some knew mum and came for her. But many people had no idea the museum was there and had never heard of it.

“Since then I have been contacted by quite a few people who said they missed it but would love the chance to visit.

“I would love to be able to give people the opportunity to see it, and it is still all in tact which is lovely.

“There seems to be some interest in raising money to keep it open and that is something that would be good to see.

Valerie Howkins at the opening of  the upstairs tier of her King Street museum of memories which includes a room filled with  furniture covered in thousands of postage stamps created by Albert Schafer. 

Picture: James Bass Valerie Howkins at the opening of the upstairs tier of her King Street museum of memories which includes a room filled with furniture covered in thousands of postage stamps created by Albert Schafer. Picture: James Bass

“So although I felt it was a closure in some ways it might be the start of something. With the right funding and the right volunteers maybe we could open it.

MORE: Great Yarmouth stalwart Valerie Howkins dies aged 83

“Mum opened it as a tribute to my brother and I would like to be able to keep it open as a tribute to both her and David.

“So many people wanted to talk and reminisce about mum. It was lovely. The amount of affection and love for her was wonderful.

The David Howkins Charity Museum in King Street, Great Yarmouth.
Happy and Glorious themed as a tribute to Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.
Valerie Howkins


Picture: James Bass The David Howkins Charity Museum in King Street, Great Yarmouth. Happy and Glorious themed as a tribute to Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. Valerie Howkins Picture: James Bass

“She would have been over the moon to see that many people coming through the doors.

“At the moment it’s early days but I’m not closing the door totally because it would be lovely to keep it open.

“There will be at least another open day and weekend opening may be the way forward.”

To help contact eva@fitness2000.co.uk.

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