MUSEUM OF ABERNETHY
The Board of Trustees took the decision not to open the Museum at all this season. Although theoretically possible from mid-July, the huge array of protocols that would have been required of our volunteers, not to mention the ‘maturity’ of many of us (ahem), made it something of a no-brainer to remain closed. Many thanks to those who have nonetheless renewed their subscription, and to those who have given donations in these difficult times. This will all help to keep the Museum going this year when we have no income from visitor donations and fundraising. We would be delighted if more previous members renewed their membership and if anyone else would like to support the Museum by joining. Membership fees are £8.50 for a single person, £6 for a retired single person, £14 for a family membership. A form can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can phone 850889 and leave a message and we will get one to you.
Before the pandemic we were lining up a special programme of events to mark the 20th year of the Museum’s existence. The intention now is to roll that over to a 21st anniversary opening next year.
For the new season the intention is to rearrange some of the downstairs displays and add a display on the two local naval surgeon brothers, James and Robert Guthrie. They both had fascinating careers, and were well known in naval circles during and after the Napoleonic wars.
Apart from the odd letter and photo held by us, of (gruesome) interest is a set of naval surgeon’s implements of the period which we have on loan, and we also have copies of some Royal Navy ship designs from 1812, which Robert owned. It is also hoped at some point to supplement what we have with documentary material held by the Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
Meantime, like a swan on the water, despite appearances there has been a fair amount of paddling below the surface. A few individuals have been keeping an eye on the garden, for which we are very grateful. New upstairs cabinets have been built (special thanks to John Robinson for this large project), the exterior woodwork of the building has been repainted, the garden gallery walls have been repointed with traditional lime mortar, and a new hot water boiler has been installed in the kitchen.
Collections Management Group members have been dotting in to the Museum individually to deal with admin matters, photo cataloguing, general maintenance and the like. Some repairs to the salmon coble are pencilled in for autumn. Lastly, from being an I.T. mystery, Zoom has become just another tool of the trade for Board members. Every day’s a school day.
We hope to be in a position to welcome as many of you as possible next spring and summer. Look out for details in the New Year.