A museum dedicated to the rich musical- and river-related history of Eel Pie Island, Twickenham has opened its doors at 1-3 Richmond Road in Twickenham.
Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, match-funded by the Mayor of London, and with the sponsorship of local businesses and organisations, and the support of Richmond Council, the Museum now enjoys a permanent location in the heart of Twickenham.
As well as being able to explore the part this little island played in the British Blues Explosion of the 1960s, visitors will also learn about the rich heritage of the island’s boatyard industry, an activity that continues to this day. Island resident and serial inventor Trevor Baylis also enjoys a dedicated display, recreating part of his workshop and showcasing several of his inventions, most notably the wind-up BayGen radio.
Mayor of Richmond, Cllr Lisa Blakemore, attended the opening and said:
“This borough’s diverse cultural, environmental and historical attractions are one of the reasons it is a favourite destination for visitors from near and far.
“The Eel Pie Island Museum devotes attention to something a little different, and a portion of the borough’s history which may not be as well known to the wider public. Some of the biggest global superstars such as the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and Eric Clapton and many more started out on their path to fame right on our doorstep.
“World-class boat builders have plied their trade on the island for over a century, and the spirit of innovation and creativity continues to this day, epitomised by the island’s community of artists and some 30 businesses employing over 300 people.
“If you have a spare afternoon I encourage you to go check out what they have on display.”
Founder and curator, Michele Whitby said:
“It’s been a long journey to get here but the continued support and enthusiasm from local residents, businesses and beyond has helped enormously to keep us striving forwards.
“Now that we are open, we are keen to hear from anybody with ties to the island - your memories are our Museum, and we would love to have your input into an ongoing digital archive project we have planned!”
The Museum is open from Thursday to Sunday between midday and 6pm (last entry 5.30pm).
— from a Richmond Council press release - 27 February 2018