Scores of people turned out for Steyning Museum’s annual meeting last week to bid farewell to long-serving curator Chris Tod.
Chris has been at the helm of the museum for the past 25 years but has now taken the decision to retire at the end of the month.
His final curator’s report, on March 18, included many anecdotes about his time running the museum, such as the time he was presented with an historic meat cleaver by a local butcher and then had to walk down Steyning High Street carrying the ‘offensive’ weapon.
After the official proceedings, a number of Chris’s colleagues and friends shared stories about his time as curator.
Stephanie Grant said: “He is a very modest man and I am sure many of the audience learned much about his skills, huge knowledge and enormously hard work which they would not have heard from him.”
Jeremy Knight, curator of Horsham Museum, said Chris’s ‘great expertise’ had made Steyning Museum ‘a model small museum’.
Stephanie added: “Chris will no doubt still be a regular visitor to the museum and he will always be a fund of knowledge for the community of Steyning, but he will no longer be the curator.
“Suffice it to say that his role has had to be divided at least three ways in order to attempt to cover the extraordinary amount of work he has been responsible for over the past quarter of a century.
“He will indeed be sorely missed.”
Old friends from Steyning also made contributions including a poem based on Kipling’s If, adapted for Chris by David Thompson, the honorary archivist.
Sarah Leigh, organiser of the volunteer stewards, Jacquie Buttriss, vice-chairman, and Julian Buttery, volunteer at the museum, also spoke of their time working with Chris.
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