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Museum News Winter 2012

Things have gone quiet on the Museum Front. This is for no other reason than that The Beaney project in Canterbury has entered it’s final year and is beginning to exert a massive gravitational pull on the time, efforts and resources of a curatorial staff, modest in number, for such a large museum service.

So once again the coast shall have to be content with Canterbury’s leavings for a year or so. I envisage that until the Beaney opens in September, there will be fewer events and little perceptible movement in coastal museum development. However the museum team are due to deliver on an internal review that they held amongst themselves, some time in the spring. From this we should be able to discern the shape of things to come.

This year has been an encouraging one, in January we finally received the news that the museum had, for the time being, been reprieved. In May we learned about the appointment of Jo Jones the museum service’s new director and in July we got to meet her and in September the membership got to meet her at the Museum Friends social.

At the end of September the Friends stall at the Giant Picnic was the first real bit of outreach activity that we had organised for the museum, and a taste of the kind of thing I hope we will be doing more of. Friends are now invited to all private views, and the opportunity for further social and community events looks bright.

In the coming year we will need to look at helping with funding and finding ways to increase the footfall. We are in the process of joining the British Association of Friends of Museums with a view to finding support and advice from more experienced groups than ours.

In a year we have made the transition from a fairly militant campaign group to an organisation supportive of a museum that now has the opportunity to flower and become a more significant in the cultural life of the town.

Sometime in the Spring our membership secretary, Phil, will be seeking subscription renewals. Please continue to support the Friends, without community groups actively involved in these crucial services, they can easily fall again under the shadow of the axe, especially in such straitened times.

David Cross, Secretary

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