Just a year after the opening of the Betty's by the Sea tearooms at the Courthouse, the Skegness and District Heritage Centre is set to literally spark new life into the cells which form part of the historic building.
Displays are to include an electric chair and stories of the county’s most dastardly acts of crime, all presented in a modern museum-style setting, with plenty of photo opportunities to include some fun amongst the macabre.
This year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee there is display of royal memorabilia in the entrance, and even the opportunity to have your picture taken with the ‘Queen’.
For owner Gary Bangham, transforming the . former 19th centre Minerva Court on the corner of Roman Bank and Ida Road has been a labour of love since first buying the building in 2017.
"The Courthouse is really coming to life now with music events at the weekend which are growing in popularity,” he said. “But it was always my dream to preserve its history by using the cells to develop a heritage centre – and this is really taking shape now.
"It has been wonderful to finally open this to the public but there is still more to come and we will be working with other heritage sites such as the Village Church Farm, Bateman’s Brewery and Lincolnshire Archives to make it even better.”
The Courthouse was originally built in 1883 and named after Minerva - the goddess of wisdom, strategic warfare, and the sponsor of the arts, trade and strategy.
During its history, the building been a courthouse, police station and registration office before being transformed to tearooms and a heritage experience.
Mayor Coun Tony Tye, who officially opened the centre, said he had no idea the building had once been a courthouse. “I have to say I was really impressed with what has been achieved there,” he said. “It is a real asset for Skegness. I couldn’t believe how big the building is and there is so much to see. The coffee is excellent too.”
The centre opens from 10am to 3pm. See Skegness and District Heritage Centre Facebook page for events.