Bridgwater Museum
Copyright © Bridgwater Blake Museum 2016
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The Museum Volunteers
The Museum has always relied on volunteers to run it, and there has been a succession of different groupings. 1926 - 1965 Museum Advisory Committee This advised the Curators (who were also the Borough Librarians) and was made up of local historians and archaeologists. 1965 Duties were taken over by the professional staff, and part time staff from the County Museum, Taunton. A Museum Management Committee was established, made up of representatives of interested groups, such as The Bridgwater and District Archaeology Society 1974 Following local government re-organisation in  that year, the Museum was run by Sedgemoor District Council, and in 1975 a paid Custodian was appointed. 1983 The Custodian retired and the Council considered closing the Museum. Instead the MUSEUM SOCIETY offered to manage the day – to – day running. A voluntary Administrator was appointed, who organised the team of volunteers. An Honorary Collections Manager was also appointed. 1988 There was a need for more space. The Mill, next door, came on the Market and The Bridgwater Museum Museum Association Trust was formed to facilitate these plans and purchased it for this purpose. Two professional proposals were made in 1991 and 1993 for expanding the museum. 1994 New Management Committee to be appointed, drawn from SCC, SDC, Charter Trustees and others, to oversee the extension into the Mill. 1994 On the retirement of the Administrator, an Honorary Curator was appointed, and the District Council appointed a Museums' Officer, with responsibility for more than Blake Museum. 1995. Disaster struck when the Mill was partially destroyed in an arson attack in June. Unfortunately the fire spread to the Museum, but luckily none of the exhibits were seriously damaged. 1996 The Museum received Full Accreditation from the Museums and Galleries Commission – a recognition for Quality. By 1999 The Museum Society and the Bridgwater Museum Association Trust were largely defunct, and were wound up. 2000 The Friends of Blake Museum (FOBM) was formed. 2000 An Education and Outreach Officer  was appointed to expand the service provided by the Museum. 2002 The Museums' Officer left and another appointed. 2004 The Council considered moving the Museum to a Cultural Centre in the Town Hall and disposing of Blake House. The BVlake Museum Working Party was set up to counter this. 2005 The 3-year Forward Plan was drawn up in consultation with the Blake Museum Management Committee, and approved by the Council’s Executive on 30th November 2005. 2007 The District Council announced the funding for the Museum would cease on 31 March 2008, and a Task and Finish group would oversee the winding up. 2008-9 The Museum was handed back to the Town Council and the paid staff made redundant. The Museum was to be managed by the Museum Friends and volunteer Curators. 2009-10 Much work of refurbishment undertaken. 2010 – Date. Improvements continue.
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