Allhallows Museum free to visit in 2011

Trustees hope visitors will make donations instead and spend more in museum’s gift shop.

ENTRY to Allhallows Museum in Honiton will be free throughout 2011 - to mark its 65th anniversary.

The museum’s trustees, who were re-elected at a meeting in the Mackarness Hall last week, hope the offer will encourage more people through the doors.

Visitor numbers were down last year. However, shop takings were up.

Pat Perryman, chairman, told a packed annual meeting: “We are not charging entry fees for 2011. We would like to think we could continue with it, but it depends on donations.”

She added: “Visitor numbers, disappointingly, fell by 10 per cent to 7,965.

“However, more visitor surveys were completed than ever before and they were very complimentary, with all expressing satisfaction and 92 per cent saying they were ‘highly satisfied’ with their experience.”

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Treasurer Howard Foss reported that shop sales rose to �18,109 in 2010.

“The rise in the sales figure was quite significant,” he said. “It was 10 per cent up, despite a drop of 10 per cent in visitors.”

It costs �83.50 a day to run the museum and the trustees hope free entry will encourage people to spend more in the shop or leave donations.

The museum re-opens on April 4 and will boast some exciting new displays.

Allhallows’ archivist and secretary to the trustees, Margaret Lewis, received a hearty round of applause at last Thursday’s meeting in recognition of her hard work.