Friends Newsletter Extract: Summer 2016

What was happening at the museum?

May Half-Term

Be a Soldier for the Day! – Tuesday 31st May 2016

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to dress up as a Household Cavalry soldier? March up to the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum on Tuesday 31st May and wear the Household Cavalry kit worn on ceremonial duties since Victorian times. Try on the jackboots, breastplates and helmets and stand to attention whilst hearing stories from ex-soldiers on what it’s like being a soldier escorting the Queen.

Digging Up the Past! – Thursday 2nd June 2016

If you’ve ever hoped to unearth buried treasure or prehistoric fossils whilst digging in the garden, make haste to the Museum on Thursday 2nd June. Here you’ll have the opportunity to become an archaeologist for an hour or two and dig up long-lost artefacts.

You’ll have to dig carefully though, because you might just come across a very sharp tooth from a very ancient creature.

Both events: £2.00 entry per child or £1.00 with an Advantage Card. Sessions will run from 10:30-12:30 and 13:30-15:30. Tel 01628 685686 for more information.

Instagram and the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum You can now follow the Museum on Instagram.

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Chairman’s Newletter

Chairman Malcolm Locke was stepping down from the role and this was his last newletter.

Dear Friends

As this is the last time I will be writing to you as Chair, I thought it would be appropriate to consider what had been achieved in the past four years, what might have been done, and what the future may hold.

Since the museum opened in 2011 the Friends has made a number of contributions towards its smooth running. With agreement from the membership, the appeal fund, originally intended to raise money for a suitable building, was used to pay for items within the museum itself. We helped to pay for the Saxon gold, a new ‘Click Netherfield’ case and provided financial assistance for several other projects. These include the renovation of the four dioramas which are on rotational display in the museum and even paid for the cake to mark the opening of the Sydney Camm exhibition in March. We are also holding a substantial sum to pay for a new donations and comments module currently being designed by PLB, the company responsible for the initial museum installation. There have been a number of delays with this but we hope to see it installed during 2016.

As a registered charity it has been possible for us to apply for grants from various bodies which were not available to the RBWM and we were successful in helping with the funding of the Magna Carta celebrations. At the same time we have had a very successful run of talks with the move to Dedworth being popular. The issuing of a programme card helped to advertise the events, even if we did have to change a few around! Also well received were the Denis Blandford Christmas cards.

Other projects include Windsor Footsteps, our mobile phone based walking tour around the centre of town, now superseded by the Queen’s Walkway, as well as the writing of the Amberley Books Windsor Through Time. Members have also been persuaded to write copy for the Newsletter which has greatly helped Pam in making it an interesting and relevant little journal.

My own personal triumph was the erection of the plaque to Sir Daniel Gooch at the Central Station following a great deal of negotiation with the Royal Borough, Network Rail and Windsor Royal Shopping. The great man now has a permanent memorial in his adopted town and we are planning a Gooch exhibition in August to mark the bicentenary of his birth. I hope many of you will visit.

On a less positive note, I have not had much success in attracting new members or drawing together all those now assisting with the running of the museum, namely the volunteers, the Working Group, and the Friends themselves. We all have our own reasons for getting involved and it has proved difficult to link the groups together and for us to see ourselves as a cohesive whole.

You will all have received a letter recently explaining the problems which are facing your ever-diminishing committee. Many groups like ours have difficulty in attracting members, especially those prepared to serve on a committee, with the result that they are folding at the very time that government cuts are leading to widespread closure of libraries and museums.

With no-one to stand up in defence of these invaluable institutions, it is even easier for councils to dispense with them. I am not suggesting that RBWM has plans to do any such thing at present but who knows what might happen in years to come.

I would therefore urge you to come along to our AGM and offer support to those committee members who are prepared to continue in post and to join them. For a variety of reasons Gloria and I feel unable to carry on in our present roles but rest assured we will continue to offer help from the sidelines if the Friends future is assured.

With all best wishes                                                  Malcolm

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