Not sure of its provenance, but it appears to have originated from several very large private collections of uniforms and artifacts. The museum owners also pulled off a coup by getting MoD to donate a very large collection of historic firearms when Donnington was cleared out.
Now its all housed in a modern museum building down by the docks in maldon.
One of the uniform displays is para in jump order from 5 Airborne Brigade days; you'll be able to tell the curator that the container is the sort of handbag typical of the RAF regiment, and that really it should contain a mortar baseplate or something ....
The Donnington Collection" is a must for any small arms enthusiast. However many of the arms in the collection are inaccurately labelled. I was there on business and so felt it undiplomatic to point them out.
The rest of the museum was originally based based on the collection of one man. Since then, they have had quite few rare objects donated, like a Mk.2 Canoe (Cockle) of cockleshell Heroes fame, for example.
The Curator shared with me that she only takes on artefacts that they have room to exhibit and so, unlike most museums, about 80% of what they have can be seen by the public. (Most museums are the other way round and worse - 5% on show is not unusual.)
I went round this Museum today and can thoroughly recommend it. The Museum itself looks rather small but it's a bit like the Tardis as there is a surprising amount inside. I went round it with family and we spent a thoroughly interesting couple of hours looking at all the exhibits including 11th century swords, weapons from the 1980's and the Mason collection which is all about the Secret Services. What makes this museum so interesting is that it isn't dedicated to one regiment, or one corps, but has exhibits from across the whole range of the armed forces. There's also quite a bit of local stuff including fragments from a Zepplin crash over Billericay and the remains of an aircraft engine recovered from the mud off Southend.
If you're in the area it's well worth a diversion to see it.