On Wednesday 26th August Egham experienced very heavy rainfall, which resulted in extensive flooding in the museum gallery. Thankfully, due to the post-renovation layout, new display cases and luck, only three artefacts, historic prints, were water damaged. The fabric of the building though was extensively damaged, with the ceiling and electrics requiring safety assessment. Runnymede Borough Council, the owners of the Literary Institute, were informed immediately and the museum’s disaster plan was implemented swiftly.
As a result the museum is closed until further notice. Given that the roof will need to be fixed before repairs are carried out in the museum we are not anticipating being able to re-open for several months.
The Egham Museum Trust is meeting on Wednesday 2nd September to decide on a course of action and whether the Literary Institute is fit for the purpose of housing a museum. A statement from the Trust will follow this meeting.
Dr Matthew Smith, Curator of Egham Museum, writes: “We are naturally very saddened that just one year after renovating the museum this has happened but are thankful that the collection survived relatively unscathed. A museum is more than a building though and through our outreach work and various projects we will continue to serve our community as best we can until we can re-open.”