The first free public Internet terminal in Wantage has opened.

Cllr Joyce Hutchinson, chairman of the Wantage and Grove Joint Economic Forum, officially opened the terminal in the Vale and Downland Museum, Church Street, Wantage.

Members of the public can now access the Internet, send and receive e-mail messages, and print information, all free of charge.

Christian Noll, chairman of the management committee of the museum, said: "Museums are about providing information.

"We do this through the galleries, the collection, our library and fact sheets and now through the provision of access to what must be the richest information store in the world -- the Internet." The museum hopes that the terminal will be used, among other things, to find out more about the town, on Users can browse 80 articles and the on-line diary, and leave comments on current issues.

The museum is open from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and 2.30pm to 5pm on Sundays.