Valerie Howkins Museum of Memories in Great Yarmouth is to host an open weekend as efforts continue to secure its future
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013
Fans of one of Norfolk's quirkiest museums will have the chance to browse its curious collections at an open weekend being planned for later in the year.
Valerie Howkins' Museum of Memories in King Street, Great Yarmouth, is full of treasures spanning royal and circus memorabilia including the Elephant Man's death mask.
But following her death in November last year, its future remains uncertain.
Mrs Howkins was passionate about the attraction set up in memory of her son David with the aim of generating donations for East Anglia's Childrens Hospices (EACH), as well as showcasing the many bizarre and unique items she had accumulated.
Among the star exhibits is the Albert Schafer stamp room which sees full-sized furniture covered in sticky squares - the painstaking and wondrous work of a recovering clown.
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Earlier in the year her daughter Eva Howkins launched an appeal for help with the aim of re-opening the museum for the summer. However there were few raised hands, she said.
Now in response to enquiries she is now planning an open weekend.
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Many people who had never seen the collection were keen to take a look she said.
Much of the interest was local so she was aiming to avoid the peak summer season when many people were away.
Although a date has not been finalised she is looking at the first half of September.
She had only recently gained access to the museum's website and hoped to update it soon.
Meanwhile there has been interest from the Preservation Trust in keeping a museum at the site, not necessarily in its current form, but that depended on funding.
In the long term she remains hopeful there will be a way to carry on.
Some £1000 was collected at her mother's funeral towards re-opening the museum, although if it didn't go ahead the money would be handed to EACH.
She said: 'It has been quite difficult because my heart is saying mum wanted things to carry on, but physically I am not able to do it. She was so passionate about it. It will open for two or three days just to allow people who want to come and see it to have a look.'
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