Dickens House Museum in Broadstairs will reopen on Good Friday, 15 April after a two-year closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The museum celebrates Charles Dickens’ connection with Broadstairs (1837-1851). It was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong, on whom Dickens based much of the character of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. The museum displays items that once belonged to Dickens, alongside displays of Dickensian memorabilia, Victorian costumes and Victoriana.
To celebrate the reopening, two members of The Dickens Declaimers, Val Whitehouse and Alan Root, will be doing a dramatic reading from David Copperfield at 1pm. This will be in either Nuckell’s Gardens opposite the museum or the museum, depending on the weather. The Dickens Declaimers are, as their name implies, readers who imitate Dickens in how he used to give readings. They will be reading part of the episode which contains Aunt Betsey and Mr Dick.
Dickens House is owned by Thanet District Council and the operations are supported by the Tourism and Visitor Services Team. Peter Shaw, who has been caretaker at the museum for a number of years, will be Visitor Manager for the 2022 season.
The reopening has been made possible by a contribution from Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Council. A team of volunteers, who are passionate about Charles Dickens and Broadstairs, will be supporting Peter, welcoming visitors and guiding them around the house. The reopening has also been supported by Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship.
Councillor Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Thanet District Council said:
“Dickens House Museum is a popular attraction for visitors, school groups and language students. I would like to thank Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Council, Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship and the volunteers for enabling the museum to reopen.”
- Good Friday to Sunday 24 July – Wednesday to Sunday, 1pm to 4:30pm
- School Summer Holidays (Monday 25 July to Sunday 4 September) – Daily 10am – 4.30pm
- Monday 5 September – Sunday 30 October – Wednesday to Sunday 1 pm – 4.30pm (last entry 4pm)
Anyone interested in being a volunteer at Dickens House and helping visitors to enjoy their experience can find out more by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01843 861 232. Full support and training is provided.