Small museums in small provincial towns can be so hit-and-miss and you never quite know what you'll find: some, like The Novium in Chichester, are utterly appalling, others can be real gems.
And Worthing's museum?
Well it's not a gem, but it is a nice little museum all the same and well worth a visit if you're in the town.
The museum is a little hampered by being located in a relatively old building which comes with some space and lay-out constraints, and it is a little dark in there (much needed to protect some of the old costumes) and the exhibits do have a rather dated feel to them but overall it does a decent enough job, especially when you consider that it's free to go (although you can make donations if you wish).
There are some very good artefacts on show from the local area, from pre-Roman times through to the 20th century, including a great Roman gold coin hoard. There is also a large area given over to costumes through the the 20th century plus a handful going back to the 17th century, which was rather interesting. Throughout there were good descriptions for the artefacts.
Where I found the museum a little lacking was in showing the development of the town of Worthing. There is a very good model of the town from 1815 (and it is very good - one of the better ones I've seen) and there were a few other bits on display but overall there was too little on how Worthing went from a small fishing village in c1750 to a reasonably-sized seaside resort of the 19th and the 20th centuries.
All of the museum was located on the ground floor, and there is a small gallery on the first floor but there was barely a dozen paintings on show. There was another larger room with some objects in it but it wasn't particularly clear what that exhibit was with little in the way of explanation - this area seemed to be a little wasted and no one seems to know what to do with it.
Yes, this museum may be a little old-fashioned but at least it shows its good artefacts in a coherent manner that allows you to learn something.
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