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On Tuesday, 9 April, MonLife Heritage and the Chepstow Society came together to commemorate a significant milestone: the 75th anniversary of Chepstow Museum. 

The museum is rooted in the community, working with local groups to foster not only an interest in the past and a sense of continuity but also to enliven the cultural and educational life of the town. 

The event saw MonLife colleagues, the Chepstow Society, current and former volunteers and museum friends gather to share stories, memories and explore the current exhibitions.

Founded in 1949 by the Chepstow Society, the museum’s inception was championed by Ivor Waters, a local historian and respected teacher in Chepstow. Under his guidance, the Society was established in 1948 to create a museum in Chepstow. On April 9th, 1949, the museum welcomed its first visitors in a small room above Chepstow’s medieval Town Gate, inaugurated by Lord Raglan.

Chepstow Town Mayor Cllr Margaret Griffiths, Anne Rainsbury (Community Museums Curator MCC), County Councillor Meirion Howells (Chair of Monmouthshire County Council), County Councillor Angela Sandles (Cabinet Member for Equalities & Engagement),

Driven by volunteers, initially led by Ivor Waters and later by his wife, Mercedes Waters, the museum flourished. Two decades later, outgrowing its initial home, it relocated to the old Board School in Bridge Street. 

The Chepstow Society managed the museum until 1976 when it was entrusted to the care of Monmouth District Council, now Monmouthshire County Council.

In 1983, Chepstow Museum found its current residence in Gwy House, the former Chepstow & District Hospital, expanding its displays and enhancing exhibition spaces and storage facilities over the years. This evolution has been made possible by the enduring support and dedication of volunteers who have woven themselves into the museum’s narrative.

Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Equalities and Engagement, Cllr Angela Sandles, said: “It was fantastic to welcome members from the Chepstow Society, the Chepstow Mayor, town council and valued current and past volunteers. To celebrate the museum’s 75th year with everyone was fantastic, and it provided us with an opportunity to say thank you to all the volunteers throughout the years.┬áIf you are in the area, remember to pop along to see the exhibitions.”

Cllr Angela Sandles

For more information about Chepstow Museum and upcoming events, please visit: https://www.monlife.co.uk/heritage/chepstow-museum/ 

Keith James (President of the Chepstow Society), County Councillor Meirion Howells (Chair of Monmouthshire County Council), Guy Hamilton (Chair of the Chepstow Society) and Chepstow Town Mayor Cllr Margaret Griffiths
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