Support The Curtis Museum & Allen Gallery, now under threat !
TWO WEEKS AGO, on Tuesday, 6th September, the Curator of The Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery received by e-mail a draft report to Hampshire County Council on behalf of its Museum & Arts Service. It informed him that, not one or two, but all five posts attached to the Curtis Museum & Allen Gallery ( CMAG ) are to be deleted under the plan set out in the Report. The Report proposes engaging with the community during the next six months to discuss alternative ways of maintaining these two institutions; but with our whole professional team removed, there is a real fear that this spells the constructive closure of the Museum and the Gallery, the first of which is 150 years old this year, and both were created through the generosity of the Curtis family descended from the great 18th century botanist, William Curtis, a native of Alton.
THE PROPOSALS were revealed to the local population by a statement reported in the Alton Herald dated 10 September. From reports reaching us, newspapers serving communities beyond the Alton Herald circulation area received no notification, with the result that news of this threat to CMAG is only now filtering through to a large number of parishes served, one way or another, by CMAG. The Report contains little background information, no financial or service criteria and no research data ( for example relating individual museums to their respective community economies and tourism programmes ).
SAVE THE ALTON MUSEUMS is an ad hoc group of individuals drawn from groups with particular links with CMAG ( such as the Friends of the Curtis Museum, the Alton Society, U3A, residents associations et al. ), together with a number offering specific professional skills ( former Town Mayors of Alton; a former FTSE100 company chairman; a chairman of school governors, former local head teachers from Alton and Bordon/Whitehill; an architect; a former Town and EHDC councillor; current and former trustees of independent museums and representatives of the hard-working general community ).
WE URGE YOU to go to the web-site, where you will find our case set out in a model letter. This letter can be replaced very easily by your own response. You can download petition forms, posters and the County’s report summary. As well as the large number of petitions signatures and web-site responses received to date, a FaceBook campaign recently launched by local young people is attracting strong support from people around the world who feel they owe a debt of gratitude to The Curtis Museum and the Allen Gallery.
You are warmly invited to attend a public meeting next Tuesday, 28th September at 7.30 p.m. at The Maltings, Alton,
If you plan to attend and/or put a question, please contact us through e-mail or phone.
Reply to : Luath Grant Ferguson, 9 Tanhouse Lane, Alton Hampshire GU34 1HR
Telephone : 01420 82630
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