Saddleworth Museum calls for community support in bid to survive

By Jasmine Jackson

SADDLEWORTH Museum is inviting locals to reach into their pockets and spend on its lottery and online shop to help raise funds in a bid to survive as its doors remain closed to due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Museums and art galleries were among the first to close in March as part of actions to control the pandemic and Saddleworth Museum, in Uppermill, has remained closed ever since.

Saddleworth Museum

Curators, trustees and volunteers invested time and money on the required systems and equipment in the hope of opening in summer but when rules changed again, plans to allow the public back were postponed.

Charlie Middlewood, on behalf of the Museum and Friends Committees, said: “The museum has had to plan for a quite different medium-term future to have any chance of surviving. 

“Some of the decisions made, such as losing our dedicated learning and education resource, have been painful. 

“We traditionally (as a charity) rely heavily on retired persons and volunteers, many who are still shielding.

“We will be relying even more heavily on the wonderful support of our ‘Friends’ of the museum, who have not even been able to hold a coffee morning.”

The museum is run as a registered charity and is reliant for some of its running costs on money it raises itself, including admissions, retail shop and gallery exhibitions.

In efforts to raise money in other ways while the doors are closed, the museum’s website and Facebook page have been developed.

The website enables an appointments system so people can still tour (Covid compliant) the museum when it can re-open, an online shop, monthly lottery (the 200+ club) and Friends of the Museum group. 

Old favourites, such as a free online quiz to help solve a 200-year-old murder, a virtual tour and donate links remain.

The shop offers the chance for people to buy a number of items representing the Saddleworth area which are unique to the museum. These include cards, bags, coasters, books and annual calendar of old photographs.

The museum is also encouraging everyone to join in their lottery scheme, known as the 200+ club, which began in 2009 and runs for 12 months, with each person buying one number for the monthly draw.

This year’s draw will run from November to next August, costing £10 (or £9 if you join after November 1) per number, with a bonus draw around Easter. The monthly draw will take place on the second Wednesday of each month, with 50 per cent of the fund going out in prizes and 50 per cent to the museum.

Charlie added: “The organisers have ambitions to add a zero to the club’s name so we hope you, the public, can help them do so!

“The museum hopes the public agrees it is worth saving a museum that continues to preserve, conserve and showcase Saddleworth’s past for future generations, and will also continue, after the pandemic, to provide a local resource for meetings, lectures, events, art exhibitions and educational activities.”

Find out more about the museum, visit its online shop or join the 200+ club online:
www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk

Alternatively, email friends@saddleworthmuseum.co.uk or write to The 200+ Club, c/o Saddleworth Museum, High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6HS.

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