THE doors at Saddleworth Museum are finally reopening to the public in May after being closed for 15 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A reduced number of volunteers and the curator (in a Covid compliant way) have started preparing the museum on Uppermill High Street for the re-opening at 1pm on Saturday, May 22.
The museum, which has been shut since last March, will follow the National Museum Director’s Council guidelines and observe the Government’s instructions regarding Covid compliance.
Visitors will most likely need to provide names and contact details on entry, wear facemasks, observe social distancing rules and be advised to use the hand sanitisers.
A pre-booking system will not be in operation, but visitors may be asked to wait outside in a socially distanced queue should capacities be reached.
There will be no charge for browsing in the shop or a visit to the Russel Howarth Trustees Art Collection on display in the community gallery.
There will be the usual small charge to visit the four galleries of collections and all exhibitions in place prior to lockdown have been refreshed and extended.
From May 22, the museum intends to be open to the public as normal from 1pm-4pm, seven days a week.
And a host of events and activities are already being planned by the committee and Friends of the museum.
They have launched a ‘Grow and Donate’ public appeal inviting people to donate plants grown from bulbs, seeds, or cuttings for their plant sale on Sunday, May 30.
Donations can be made to the museum during Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23. The museum volunteers ask that you provide identification labels with all donations.
The ‘Friends’ can also arrange collections (Covid safe) within a five to 10-mile radius. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more.
The plant sale will be held in aid of the museum on Sunday, May 30 from 11am to 3pm in the museum’s ‘secret garden’ which is outside but under cover.
Then on Sunday, July 18, the museum intends to hold an Arts and Crafts Fair in its community gallery from 11am-3pm.
Sellers wishing to book a table or space should email email@example.com for more information. More details will be confirmed soon.
In the meantime, the museum is encouraging people to visit their online shop where they can browse and purchase a range of gifts and walking trails: www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk/shops/shop-online/
Those who prefer to order by post can write to: Sales, c/o Saddleworth Museum, High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6HS and ask for brochures and order forms to be posted or pick up a brochure and order forms on Wednesday or Sunday between 12noon and 1pm at the museum.
And the museum’s 200+ Club monthly lottery is still raising much-needed funds for the museum, as well as dishing out prizes to lucky winners. To find out more and join in, visit www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk/friends/200-club/
For more information on any of the museum’s events or projects, visit their website www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk or Facebook page.