Thursday, 31 March 2011
Save our museums!
I've just returned from a protest at Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon. It opened and closed its doors to the public for the last time today - at least, in the capacity of a free museum for Barnet residents and visitors.
Still, I say, save our museums!
It's not just about Church Farmhouse Museum. It's about the whole idea of having publicly funded archives and historical educational materials.
Barnet council is going to go through the motions of some negotiations with people who want to set up a trust and run CFM on volunteer labour. Hendon and District Archaeological Society might be interested in taking it on. All these schemes will come up against the fact that Barnet council wants to close the museums, yes, to save the small sum it costs the council to run them, but, mainly, in order to flog off the buildings, or let them out at commercial rents.
Barnet Museum volunteers are still in the thick of their fight to keep Barnet Museum in the building it is in, and propose to pay the council a peppercorn rent. We should throw our weight behind their campaign.
Barnet council's Tory group have little regard for history, and they don't believe residents have the capacity to appreciate it. In short, they take us to be philistines like them. We can, we must prove them wrong!
There are some more pictures here.