|Bexhill Museum Official Opening|
26 November 2009. Opened by Eddie Izzard.
While the Elva-Climax Mk.III had been on display for several weeks, the official opening of the enlarged and renovated museum took place on Thursday 26th November 2009 with the ceremony of cutting the ribbon performed by actor and comedian Eddie Izzard.
Amazingly, Eddie ran from Eastbourne to Bexhill (around 12 miles), which for him was a mere stroll as he has run over 40 (yes FORTY) marathon races during 2009 on behalf of Comic Relief. The museum was jam packed and after speeches Eddie explored the various displays before making a beeline for the Elva. He genuinely expressed huge interest having spent much of his childhood in Bexhill and of course wanted to get behind the wheel! Len Sayers encouraged Eddie into the cockpit and there was lots of banter and pictures taken as Eddie asked about the car and Elva in general. Needless to say he was delighted to sign our very special team ‘keepsakes’ and eventually we all headed home having imbibed a bottle or two of “Elva Ale” in celebration of a great ‘ELVA’ effort by all concerned. There is no doubt that the display has attracted much attention and will remind future generations of all that was achieved by Elva from the very earliest days in Bexhill.
As museum CEO Peter Fairhurst wrote... Three unique vehicles are sitting proudly on their plinths in the new ‘Motoring’ gallery; the replica 1902 Serpollet, steam powered car, the 1993 Volta battery powered record breaking electric car and, as visitors enter the gallery, directly in front of them they see the ELVA. It is interesting to stand out of sight when people enter and hear their remarks, the most common of which is a single ‘WOW’. Describing the car in a few words would be impossible; it could be described as ‘stunningly beautiful’ but that would not do justice to the hard work, skill and craftsmanship that turned the run-down and derelict wreck that arrived at Dallington, in 2007, into the glittering, totally refurbished sports/racing car that causes grown men to utter the afore-mentioned ‘WOW’.
If the museum can now arrange for the collection of 50p for each time people say “WOW” they will make a fortune! Better still, make time to visit Bexhill and of course the museum, but do make sure you have a 50p coin in your pocket!.
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