23 Mar 2009

Gloucester’s Waterways Museum Needs Help

The Friends of the National Waterways Museum have organised an Open Day for the 4th April 2009. The Museum will be open free from 10:00am, and the Friends will be operating exhibits and demonstrating various crafts. There will be presentations from the various volunteer groups at 10:30am followed by time to look around the Museum and enjoy some refreshments; the programme will be repeated in the afternoon from 2:00pm. Anyone who hasn't been to the museum for a while should go along and see the developments there.

Photo: Nearby Glos Docks retail centre as it used to be

During the past few years Gloucester Docks has been a very large building site and as a consequence, the number of visitors to the National Waterways Museum has reduced considerably. The news is that the Waterways Trust who is responsible for the Museum can no longer sustain it financially. There is a widespread feeling locally, including within the Friends that the Museum cannot be allowed to close. The proposal is to move to a position where much of the day-to-day running of the Museum is done by volunteers supervised by a paid manager.

Gloucester City Council are offering support through staff time and recruiting volunteers; Gloucestershire College are assessing what help their students could provide; the Friends of the Museum are extending their activities; and other local organisations are offering positive support. There is also a need for help from individual members of the local community who wish to see the Museum play a vital role in bringing back vitality to the Docks. A particular need is for volunteers to work in the shop, but there will also be opportunities for helping with restoration of exhibits, site maintenance and administration. They are asking for support from members of the public by visiting the Museum on Saturday 4th April to hear more about what is being planned, to offer suggestions to the management team and possibly to indicate an interest in volunteering.

PS I am not updating this blog properly until the end of the month. I am having a 'blog holiday'. I have also changed the 'Comment' setting so that they wont be added until I return to blogging. This is one of a handful of blogs scheduled in my absence. See you soon!

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