Bridport & West Dorset News, Views, Videos & Curiosities

Auction triumph for Bridport Museum

Popular Bridport auctioneer Jim Rowe with museum volunteer Kate Star. They're holding a painting by Philomena Harmsworth.

ENTRANCE to Bridport Museum will be free this year after a fund-raising auction of promises raised more than £3,500.

About £2,000 was needed for the museum to continue the policy of free entrance it began last year – a policy which saw visitor numbers double.

However, strong bidding for more than 50 lots, donated by local people and businesses, raised £2,661 – and cash donations added another £900.

Denhay Farms, the Fowler Industrial Estate and an anonymous benefactor gave £300 each to sponsor fee-free months.

Museum curator Alice Martin said: “It was such a great night. We had about 100 people turn up, which was brilliant.

The auction was held at Bridport Arts Centre

“We’re overjoyed with the wonderful support local businesses have given us.

“Without them it would not have been possible. And it was great to see so many friends, supporters and volunteers turning up on the evening.”

Auctioneer Jim Rowe and Bridport Museum curator Alice Martin

Auctioneer Jim Rowe of estate agents Symonds & Sampson said it had been a pleasure to help raise money for such a good cause.   

He said: “We got off to a great start with a £100 voucher for Mark Hix’s restaurant being sold for £110.

“And we had many other great bids including a week’s long holiday let in Chamonix went for £300 and a flight over Dorset for £100.”

Jim Rowe: A half-empty glass moment...

Other popular lots were a bread-making course at Leakers, which went for £110; a portrait by internationally-renowned photographer George Wright (£102), a week’s holiday at a cottage in Cornwall (£220), and dolphin watching for two for £32.

The Museum on South Street will open for a preview on March 26 and open to the public on the 29th.