The RLC Museum has now successfully relocated from Deepcut to Worthy Down – a mammoth task which involved moving the main museum, four archive stores, two object stores and a vehicle collection.
The new building is simply outstanding; it allows the museum to gather all of its outlying stores into one place, gives a greater amount of floor space for the main exhibition hall and allows for over double the number of display cases – allowing the story of The RLC and its predecessors to be told in far greater detail.
Major (Retd) Simon Walmsley, the museum Director remarked:
“Rewriting the whole exhibition has been a major task – first establishing what stories to tell and then deciding how best to tell them. This has not just been achieved by written text alone. A story can also be told using images, film, objects, uniforms and vehicles. Why describe a battlefield when you can show it as an illustration. Consequently, there are many new and hither too unseen objects now on display, including some wonderful Victorian uniforms, vehicles and fabulous early photographs and letters. Modern museums make much more use of people stories, telling a tale through the eyes and recollections of one who was there. Bringing stories to life in this way makes them more relevant and personal.
Currently the museum team are emptying pallets and boxes to put everything away into the storerooms. This is important because shortly, the new display cases will start to arrive and be erected. After Christmas, the objects being shown will have to be placed into their new display cases and specialist mount makers, along with mannequin designers are ensuring we show the collection at its best. The audio-visual displays, including bespoke short films clips, are used both in the museum cinema and around the museum. These films have been produced using both existing film footage and images purchased by the museum and by commissioning new content, filmed on location in Worthy Down.
The new museum contains many interactive displays, allowing visitors to engage with the collection in a hands-on way. These range from defusing an improvised explosive device, to sitting in a First World War driving simulator. There is also a life size reconstruction of a 1704 ‘Marlborough Cart’ – the first ever logistic vehicle, which was produced using photographs taken from a tapestry at Blenheim Palace.
The RLC Museum will be displaying a considerable number of medals both in the main galleries and in a new medal corridor, representing both the RLC and all of its forming Corps. However, one of our major new attractions will be the RCT Medal Collection. This unique collection, held in its own room, will display nearly every British medal from the Battle of Waterloo until 1993, including countless gallantry awards. This collection also holds all five of the Victoria Crosses attributed to the Forming Corps of the RLC.
The exact date of our opening has yet to be fully determined and naturally COVID restrictions may still affect how we operate. However, open next Spring we will and a warm welcome will await all of you that can come and see us.”