Saxon King exhibition opens with a whimper

Echo: Saxon King exhibition opens with a whimper Saxon King exhibition opens with a whimper

SOUTHEND Council has come under fire for failing to tell people about an exhibition featuring the priceless treasures of the Saxon King.

The council is accused of failing to adequately promote the event, which opened to the public at Southend Central Museum on Saturday with little fanfare.

The burial chamber of the Saxon King, who has been nicknamed the Prittlewell Prince, was unearthed, virtually intact, in Priory Crescent, Prittlewell, in 2003.

Experts found a treasure trove, including ornate gold-rimmed drinking horns and a gold belt buckle of a type most popular in England between 600 and 640AD.

Chris Jones, from Southend, said he discovered the exhibition by accident after seeing a small piece about it on the museum’s website.

He said: “I discovered that the museum was starting one of the most exciting exhibitions in recent years.

“Some of the exhibits from this wonderful local discovery were going on display locally in the town that had proudly promoted itself as a serious contender for City of Culture.

“Wow, I thought. What an event. Not something to miss.”

After a fruitless search for more information, Mr Jones headed to the exhibition intending to arrive early expecting crowds.

However, he arrived 15 minutes late and was still the first one in.

Mr Jones, of Hollytree Gardens, Rayleigh, said tongue in cheek: “I’m just so pleased that I timed my visit to perfection to see these amazing treasures.

“I now look forward to the opening of the new cliffs museum and hope I time my visits there to obtain equal perfectly-timed successes.

“I just love having a complete exhibition to myself.

“Well done Southend Council museums department.

“More please, as I loved the opening of this superb historic event in such peace and tranquillity.”

The exhibition, featuring the gold buckle, coins and crosses as well as other significant pieces, runs until March 29, next year at the museum in Victoria Avenue, Southend.

A council spokesman said a “slow burn” campaign was being run to keep down marketing costs.

He said: “A schedule of news releases and media articles is planned until the end of March.

“To date, the exhibition has been featured in Outlook, the official council magazine which is distributed to 80,000 homes, on the culture pages of the council’s website and on the museum’s own website, as well as posters and a banner outside the museum.”

Despite the lack of publicity by the council, more than 150 visitors managed to see the display on Saturday.

The relics, which were first exhibited in Southend between April and June, have just returned from an exhibition in Germany’s Paderborn Museum.

Comments (13)

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7:54am Wed 4 Dec 13

Southend Andy says...

People would have complained if the council did advertise it & 1000s of people turned up. They would have said 'the council spoilt my viewing as too many people were there, people were fighting to see the items, I got punched & kicked'. I already know what people will complain about this.
People would have complained if the council did advertise it & 1000s of people turned up. They would have said 'the council spoilt my viewing as too many people were there, people were fighting to see the items, I got punched & kicked'. I already know what people will complain about this. Southend Andy

9:04am Wed 4 Dec 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Now more people know...more will go now.

this quote explains it really...so whats the fuss about...?

"A council spokesman said a “slow burn” campaign was being run to keep down marketing costs. "


sounds fair enough.
Now more people know...more will go now. this quote explains it really...so whats the fuss about...? "A council spokesman said a “slow burn” campaign was being run to keep down marketing costs. " sounds fair enough. DogsMessInLeigh

10:08am Wed 4 Dec 13

Broadwaywatch says...

Thank you Mr Jones for bringing it to our attention and by doing so getting the press interested enough to make the article out of it.
“slow burn” campaign* I have never heard or seen that phrase before. We live and learn.
Thank you Mr Jones for bringing it to our attention and by doing so getting the press interested enough to make the article out of it. “slow burn” campaign* I have never heard or seen that phrase before. We live and learn. Broadwaywatch

12:39pm Wed 4 Dec 13

heartbeat says...

What an absolute joke. One minute Southend Councillors are desperate to jump on any bandwagon out there and spend our money to get Southend's (and their own) names in lights as being somewhere "special" (think purple flags, "City" of culture, alternative "City" of culture, lighted seafront columns, non-functioning wave machines, tiddly little version of the statue at Kings Cross station on the vast expanse of concrete by Southend Victoria etc. ad nauseum).

Then.... we have an outstandingly important historical display of pieces found locally - "yeah, yeah, we'll pass on that one - we must be prudent and save money."

Thanks to Chris Jones from me too, for having infinitely more understanding of the value of our heritage than Sarfend Council!!!
What an absolute joke. One minute Southend Councillors are desperate to jump on any bandwagon out there and spend our money to get Southend's (and their own) names in lights as being somewhere "special" (think purple flags, "City" of culture, alternative "City" of culture, lighted seafront columns, non-functioning wave machines, tiddly little version of the statue at Kings Cross station on the vast expanse of concrete by Southend Victoria etc. ad nauseum). Then.... we have an outstandingly important historical display of pieces found locally - "yeah, yeah, we'll pass on that one - we must be prudent and save money." Thanks to Chris Jones from me too, for having infinitely more understanding of the value of our heritage than Sarfend Council!!! heartbeat

1:33pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

Typical. But they can find the cash to publicise "minority" groups.
Typical. But they can find the cash to publicise "minority" groups. Kim Gandy

2:07pm Wed 4 Dec 13

SARFENDMAN says...

Good on top man Chris Jones for bringing this to the public attention through The Echo. Maybe should give him the job of publicity officer as whoever is responsible is clueless.
Good on top man Chris Jones for bringing this to the public attention through The Echo. Maybe should give him the job of publicity officer as whoever is responsible is clueless. SARFENDMAN

3:48pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Tich25 says...

I cant belame the Council for not bragging about it as they would be saying the tree huggers did right by stopping a major road improvement
I cant belame the Council for not bragging about it as they would be saying the tree huggers did right by stopping a major road improvement Tich25

5:02pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Keptquiettillnow says...

Southend Andy wrote:
People would have complained if the council did advertise it & 1000s of people turned up. They would have said 'the council spoilt my viewing as too many people were there, people were fighting to see the items, I got punched & kicked'. I already know what people will complain about this.
And how much it cost to park their car!
[quote][p][bold]Southend Andy[/bold] wrote: People would have complained if the council did advertise it & 1000s of people turned up. They would have said 'the council spoilt my viewing as too many people were there, people were fighting to see the items, I got punched & kicked'. I already know what people will complain about this.[/p][/quote]And how much it cost to park their car! Keptquiettillnow

6:56pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Joe Clark says...

It was on the website, advertised at the museum, Tourist Information Centre, Outlook and I'm sure a friend told me about reading it in a small article in the echo a few weeks ago, short of taking out TV advertising what more could be done.

Was there really any need to run the story and the letter in the same paper bit pointless really as most of the letter was in the article.
It was on the website, advertised at the museum, Tourist Information Centre, Outlook and I'm sure a friend told me about reading it in a small article in the echo a few weeks ago, short of taking out TV advertising what more could be done. Was there really any need to run the story and the letter in the same paper bit pointless really as most of the letter was in the article. Joe Clark

7:21pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Thames Gateway says...

There's no such thing as bad publicity...
There's no such thing as bad publicity... Thames Gateway

7:40pm Wed 4 Dec 13

John Bull 40 says...

They were not quieing at 5. 30 then, maybe to-morrow then.
They were not quieing at 5. 30 then, maybe to-morrow then. John Bull 40

8:04pm Wed 4 Dec 13

SARFENDMAN says...

Joe Clark wrote:
It was on the website, advertised at the museum, Tourist Information Centre, Outlook and I'm sure a friend told me about reading it in a small article in the echo a few weeks ago, short of taking out TV advertising what more could be done.

Was there really any need to run the story and the letter in the same paper bit pointless really as most of the letter was in the article.
So real high profile promotion, you cannot be serious, lol!
[quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: It was on the website, advertised at the museum, Tourist Information Centre, Outlook and I'm sure a friend told me about reading it in a small article in the echo a few weeks ago, short of taking out TV advertising what more could be done. Was there really any need to run the story and the letter in the same paper bit pointless really as most of the letter was in the article.[/p][/quote]So real high profile promotion, you cannot be serious, lol! SARFENDMAN

8:58pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Joe Clark says...

SARFENDMAN wrote:
Joe Clark wrote:
It was on the website, advertised at the museum, Tourist Information Centre, Outlook and I'm sure a friend told me about reading it in a small article in the echo a few weeks ago, short of taking out TV advertising what more could be done.

Was there really any need to run the story and the letter in the same paper bit pointless really as most of the letter was in the article.
So real high profile promotion, you cannot be serious, lol!
What more should they do leaflet drop every house in Southend, posters at every bus stop cinema ad's planes with banners cars with pa equipment...
[quote][p][bold]SARFENDMAN[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: It was on the website, advertised at the museum, Tourist Information Centre, Outlook and I'm sure a friend told me about reading it in a small article in the echo a few weeks ago, short of taking out TV advertising what more could be done. Was there really any need to run the story and the letter in the same paper bit pointless really as most of the letter was in the article.[/p][/quote]So real high profile promotion, you cannot be serious, lol![/p][/quote]What more should they do leaflet drop every house in Southend, posters at every bus stop cinema ad's planes with banners cars with pa equipment... Joe Clark

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