Museum of Shops, 'How We Lived Then', Eastbourne,
Sussex Feb 2004
Our first leisure trip out to somewhere in 2004 was to
the Museum of Shops - How We Lived Then - in Eastbourne in East Sussex
to see how shops looked in bygone times. This visit was Mike's
nostalgic birthday treat; after all, he must remember all the old
artefacts shops of old sold in his childhood!
2017 note: Sadly 'How We Lived Then' in Eastbourne has
now closed down. We'll leave this page up to serve as an example
of a nostalgic 'past times' type visitor attraction.
The entrance to the Museum of Shops in Eastbourne is in Cornfield Road
and the fascinating frontage looks just like an old shop itself,
providing a glimpse of many nostalgic artefacts from a bygone era.
Once inside the Museum of Shops we wandered the 'streets' looking in
all the shop windows as we went. Luckily we had the whole place
to ourselves as February is hardly peak tourist season.
This shop in Eastbourne's Museum of Shops had a collection of china egg
cups and ordainments. With a lot of stuff crammed into most of
the exhibits it did look a little too 'busy' though.
In the Grocer's shop this swarve looking shopkeeper seemed to stock
pretty much everything, some of the products undoubtedly wouldn't be
allowed now! How We Lived Then!
No, they didn't have digital cameras in the olden days, just cumbersome
looking box brownies here in the wonderful old fashioned photography
Here we have the Chemist's products laid out on the counter, all with
the labels neatly facing the customers. Did shopkeepers really
dress like this?
Here's the Tobacconist's shop frontage, admirably demonstrating How We
Lived Then with stuff priced in old pennies, sixpences, shillings and
half-crowns. Do'y 'ave change from a ten-bob-note?
On to the historic hardware store. Now no disrespect to the
wonderful artefacts presented at the Museum of Shops of course, but the
product promotion of old was rather drab we thought with its dull
labelling and uninspiring packaging, but that was how it was in the
olden days before modern marketing kicked in. Other pre-decimal
coinage included the guinea, florin, thruppence; and the smallest, a
A collection of old beers on the shelf here in the Off Licence.
It was a pity about the layer of dust over many of the exhibits at the
Museum of Shops in Eastbourne, sadly suggesting a lack of upkeep.
(Note: we were advised in 2011 that
'How We Lived Then' has benefited from a recent overhaul).
Pubs had strict opening times and were closed in the afternoons in the
olden days, drat! Eastbourne's Museum of Shops was full of
wonderfully interesting artefacts from bygone times and was well worth
the visit for a dose of nostalgia. Entrance cost £3.25 (or
three-pound, five-shillings!) at the time of our visit.